This fall the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) welcomes two new assistant professors to the faculty. “Kerry Ard and Suzanne Gray join the ranks of other exceptional faculty in the school and bring with them expertise that will significantly advance our leadership in environmental sociology and aquatic science and fisheries,” notes SENR’s Interim Director, Jeff Sharp.
Ard, assistant professor of environmental and natural resource sociology joins SENR after completing her doctoral work at the University of Michigan where she focused on how social processes create and sustain environmental inequalities by race and class and how these unequal exposures are linked to health disparities. Students in the SENR and across campus will have the opportunity to engage and learn more about these processes as Ard teaches courses such as Introduction to Rural Sociology (RS 1500) and Environmental Sociology (RS 7560). Ard recently presented her research as part of the SENR Seminar Series held on September 26 and which can be publicly viewed here. Her research has been published in the journals of Environmental Practice and Health Affairs. Dr. Ard’s expertise aligns quite well with Ohio State’s discovery themes and already brings a “Big Data” orientation to SENR which fits well with the University’s efforts to develop its capacity in this area. Ard is also currently serving as an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Population Research.
Gray, assistant professor of aquatic physiological ecology completed her doctoral research in behavior ecology at Simon Fraser University and recently held a position as a research associate at McGill University. Gray’s research integrates physiological and behavioral ecology to advance understanding of the generation, maintenance, and conservation of aquatic biodiversity. Specifically, she is fundamentally interested in understanding why (and how) some animals can rapidly respond to human-induced environmental shifts, while others cannot and uses freshwater fish as a model organism for elucidating these mechanisms. To study these responses, she integrates lab and field studies with theory from physiological and behavioral ecology. She has published her research in a number of journals, including most recently: Journal of Experimental Biology; Aquatic Invasions; Environmental Biology of Fishes; and Current Zoology. Gray has extensive international fieldwork experience, but notes, “I am very much looking forward to studying endangered great lakes fishes and drawing on the uniqueness of the SENR community of scholars that is thinking about similar issues, but bringing different perspectives to address the bigger picture.” Gray will teach a 5000-level course, Taxonomy and Behavior of Fishes comprised of both lecture and lab, whereby students will have the opportunity to identify fish morphology to understand major groups of fishes.