So many insects, so little time! I began my career studying the community assembly of caddisflies that filter streamwater with beautiful silken catchnets. Lately, I've been interested in messing up the sex life of European Corn Borers to slow the evolution of resistance to genetically engineered insecticidal crops.
The more I learn, the more I'm blown away by the diversity and adaptability of songbirds. I study these backyard marvels and their evolutionary history—where they came from and why they still come to my bird feeder.
Who wouldn’t want to study something called the “cocktail party problem” in animals? It’s all about animal communication and how they adapt to situations where there’s VERY LOUD NOISE (think croaking frogs).
Oh sure, fertilizers make your grass nice and green, and farmers love what it does to their corn crop, but these extra nutrients can also change the chemistry of plants which changes the diseases and animals that feed on them. I study these effects around the country and the world.
Borer and Eric Seabloom coordinate global grassland experiments through their Nutrient Network.
We know that climate change affects plants but we don’t know exactly how, especially with trees that live a long time. So we’re manipulating the weather to study how they respond. And did I mention we’re in a Central American tropical forest?
My research program takes a multidisciplinary approach that uses methods from epidemiology, ecology, animal behavior and mathematics to investigate infectious disease dynamics in animal populations. I combine empirical data with models to explore pathogen dynamics and persistence.
How did and does cooperation evolve? What about aging? What are the implications for sustainable agriculture and human health? Because my few students mostly work with short-generation species (plants and microbes) under controlled conditions, they have made substantial progress towards answering such questions.
Droughts and floods, pipes and pavement; all affect how and when water moves through landscapes, what the water carries with it, and ultimately how aquatic ecosystems work and what they look like. My lab studies the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and their interaction with surrounding natural and human-altered landscapes.
As director of the University's Institute on the Environment, I think big picture—human's impact on ecosystems, the effects of climate change and how agricultural practices designed to feed a hungry planet affect other species and our own well-being.
Research Interests: Principles and application of biological control of arthropod pests. Behavioral, population and evolutionary ecology of natural enemies. Specific research initiatives include the implications of cover-cropping for biological control, the integration of biological control with resistance management in transgenic corn, population ecological implications of biased sex ratios in coccinellid beetles, and biological control of alfalfa blotch leafminer.
Ever wonder how washing the dishes, mowing the lawn or watching TV affects the environment? I study carbon and nutrient cycling—like how ordinary household activities contribute to pollution and how we can adapt our practices to live sustainably.
I am interested in mammalian evolution. My research focuses on the systematics and biogeography of South American marsupials and on the rodents of Madagascar and the Philippines. I use molecular data to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among species, and I use the resulting phylogenies to better understand the forces influencing diversification.
Since an early age, I've been fascinated by disease, particularly crazy-scary diseases like anthrax. I'm now a historian—and a licensed veterinarian—who focuses on the history of crazy-scary diseases in science, medicine and human-animal interactions.
, Assistant Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biologykozak016@umn.edu
Research Interests: Phylogenetics; museum/biodiversity informatics; phylogeography & historical biogeography; speciation & species limits; tempo & mode of lineage diversification; evolution of species richness & community structure; evolutionary, ecological, and conservation applications of geographic information systems (GIS)
I’ve always been interested in the birds - their amazing vocalizations, bizarre behaviors, and complex plumage patterns. My research examines the evolutionary relationships of bird species, genera and families in order to shed light on the origin of this morphological and behavioral diversity.
Research Interests: Evolution of species' geographic ranges, ecology and genetics of speciation, mating system and floral evolution, evolution of plant-herbivore and plant -pollinator interactions, molecular population genetics and phylogeography
Ph. D. University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biologyoberh001@umn.edu
Research Interests: Conservation Biology, with an emphasis on monarch butterflies, and human impacts on insects. Engaging the public, especially K-12 students and teachers, in citizen science. Promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy.
Hands down, lions are the coolest, baddest, most charismatic animals on the planet. But for all their so-called ferociousness, their existence is in peril. I study lion's evolutionary traits and complex social structure—and work with the people of Africa— to ensure their survival.
Dr. Sadowsky, a fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is internationally known and respected for his research work in the area of environmental microbiology. He is currently director of the BioTechnology Intsitute and the Minnesota Mississippi Metagenome Project. His research interests include molecular plant-microbe interactions in nitrogen-fixing symbiotic systems, investigations of the use of microorganisms for biodegradation and bioremediation; molecular methods to determine sources and kinds of bacteria in the environment; and metagenomics of soil, water, and intestinal environments. (Biol 4850, Intro to Mississippi Metagenomics)
Grasslands today are threatened by human land-use decisions and invasive species. My research takes me around the country to study the effects of invasion and disease on grasslands, and I help coordinate a global network of grassland experiments.
Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer coordinate global grassland experiments through their Nutrient Network.
Prairielands are an excellent environment to study evolutionary genetics. Specifically, I look at evolutionary processes that influence plants growing in fragmented habitat. Central to our research are long-term genetic experiments, which we maintain in a giant garden in the midst of remnant prairie.
, Associate Professor, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Curator of Ichthyology, Bell Museum of Natural History and Director of Graduate Studies in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Interests: Systematics, morphology, evolution, taxonomy and biogeography of North American fishes; phylogenetic treatment of morphological, molecular and biochemical data.
Bugs are awesome – we have so much to learn from them! I study how animals deal with new and changing environments whether through learning or flexible development. Using butterflies and beetles for inspiration, I ask questions such as 'why are some animals so smart?’
I study the impact of human consumption and population pressure on the planet's ecosystems and the effects of climate change and habitat destruction. Big, heavy stuff, and my students are making a big, heavy difference.
My research addresses the enormous issue of understanding how life forms have come to exist. To do that, you need to understand what causes biological diversity and complexity, starting with very simple biological systems.
, Assistant Professor, Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biologypventure@umn.edu
Aquatic ecology; fish and fisheries; invasive and endangered species; life history (e.g., growth, maturity, reproduction, longevity); population dynamics and modeling; resource management and policy; temperature and climate change.
I study chimpanzees in Africa. I'm especially interested in what we can learn about human evolution from studying the behavior and ecology of our closest living relatives. My research focuses on aggression, territorial behavior, and the origins of war. I also work on related topics, including communication and disease ecology.
I study the evolution of bird populations through DNA sequencing. Although lab work isn't always pure fun, the result—the blueprint of heredity, a DNA sequence and the possibility of helping to save a species—is absolutely awe inspiring.
What makes males and females different? I study the evolution of mate choice and sexual signals, and am also interested in how behavior can shape the rate of evolution. Most of my work is on insects, but I’ve also studied crustaceans and birds.