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.
Janet Duey Professor in Rural Land Policy
Clinical Assistant Professor
"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.
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.
The study suggests a need for better understanding of whether agricultural practices may produce unexpected effects on the environment.
Professor Christopher Craft is co-author of an article published in the May/June issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal.
Decisions concerning the listing status of a species under the Endangered Species Act require consistent and accurate estimations.
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.
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.