Skip to Content | Skip to Search | Skip to Navigation

Applied Ecology

Applied Ecology is the study of the interaction of organisms – plants, animals and micro-organisms - with their environment and the effects of human activities on their interactions, including species relations, ecosystem processes and changes in landscapes and the biosphere. Applied ecologists work to implement sustainable land use and agro-ecology, conserve species and ecosystems, ameliorate soil, water and air pollution and restore degraded habitats.

Faculty Members

Melissa A. L. Clark

Senior Lecturer and Director of the Indiana Clean Lakes Program

Christopher B. Craft

Janet Duey Professor in Rural Land Policy

Burnell C. Fischer

Clinical Professor

Marc L. Lame

Clinical Associate Professor

Kimberly A. Novick

Assistant Professor

Todd V. Royer

Associate Professor

Joseph Shaw

Associate Professor

Jeffrey R. White

Professor and Director, Integrated Program in the Environment

Faculty Research

Tiny fish provides giant insight into how organisms adapt to changing environment

An Indiana University-Dartmouth College team has identified genes and regulatory patterns that allow some organisms to alter their body form in response to environmental change.

Plans for wildlife refuges show strengths and weaknesses for adapting to climate change

Indiana University study finds U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System management plans are ahead of their peers for adapting, but more needs to be done.

New report urges stronger regulation of PBT chemicals, with focus on international harmonization

A group of worrisome chemicals is inconsistently identified and managed, according to a new report by a team of 11 international experts, including four from Indiana University.

Indiana University researcher makes case for restoring wetlands on agricultural lands

New research by an Indiana University scientist reveals the value of restoring wetlands and riparian habitat on agricultural lands.

IU-led $2.4 million NASA project eyes climate change in Greenland -- with a third eye on Mars

"Our work on methane cycling in warming tundra ecosystems fits well with the objectives for exploration of methane cycling on Mars -- a target of the upcoming missions," White said.

Studying the "intentional communities": Change is the key

In a recent study published in the journal, Ecology and Society, students of SPEA clinical professor Burney Fischer and Distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom, examine "intentional communities" to find the characteristics of the most successful ones.

Study finds insecticidal protein from genetically engineered corn is present in Indiana streams

The study suggests a need for better understanding of whether agricultural practices may produce unexpected effects on the environment.

Tidal Marshes Compared for Effectiveness in Improving Quality of Estuaries

Professor Christopher Craft is co-author of an article published in the May/June issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Professor Vicky Meretsky has turned to digital photography

Decisions concerning the listing status of a species under the Endangered Species Act require consistent and accurate estimations.

Researchers discover high levels of algal toxins in Indiana lakes

A team of SPEA researchers, led by professor Bill Jones, has discovered detectable levels of microcystin, a toxin produced by several common species of cyanobacteria, in 68 percent of a sample of Indiana lakes and reservoirs. That's higher than twice the rate at which microcystin was found in a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The national survey found microcystins in 32 percent of lakes and reservoirs.

Effects of sea-level rise on tidal marsh ecosystems

The coastal wetlands in the U.S. are essential to the ecological and economic health of many communities. They serve as habitats for many birds and animals, they filter out many pesticides and pollutants sent "downriver," and they protect shorelines from the worst impacts of storms and flooding. However, predicted rising sea levels due to climate change have raised many questions about what will happen to the nation's shorelines. Through the support of the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, Professor Chris Craft and a team of researchers examine the coastline marshes of the southeast to determine their susceptibility to climate change. They came away with a model that may predict the future picture of our nation's coastal wetlands.