Faculty Research

  1. Student researchers (l to r) Liz Ames, Alicia Brunner and Jay Wright with aProthonotary Warbler tagged for the study. (Photo: Christopher Tonra)

    New songbird research featured

    Jun 19, 2019

    Research led by School of Environment and Natural Resources faculty member Christopher Tonra is featured in the June 19 Ohio State News release, "A songbird’s fate hinges on one fragile area." The news release highlights the findings of a study published by Tonra and colleagues in the journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications. Using geolocators the team tracked Prothonotary Warblers (a migratory songbird experiencing population decline) from six breeding sites in North America to determine where they go and what challenges they face during their annual migration.

    Read the full Ohio State News release to learn more about their findings here and the implications for bird and habitat conservation. 

    The Ohio State News release was authored by Jeff Grabmeier. 

  2. An upcoming workshop by CFAES experts will teach you the hows and whys of soil testing. (Photo: Getty Images.)

    Dig into soil health at Feb. 14 workshop

    Jan 29, 2019

    The answers to growing better crops are under your feet if you look. So says Steve Culman, soil fertility specialist at The Ohio State University, who is helping lead an upcoming workshop on how to test your soil. “Soil testing provides a window into the soil, revealing if a plant is likely to see the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive,” said Culman, based at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences(CFAES). The workshop, called “Digging Into Soil Health: What Tests Can Tell Us About Our Soil,” will be Feb. 14 in Dayton. It’s part of the annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), which runs from Feb. 14–16.

  3. Ohio State News:  Nightlights for stream dwellers? No, thanks

    Nightlights for stream dwellers? No, thanks

    Dec 28, 2018

    Artificial light at night isn’t just a health problem for those of us sitting in bed scrolling through Instagram instead of hitting the sack — it hurts entire outdoor ecosystems.  When the critters that live in and around streams and wetlands are settling into their nighttime routines, streetlights and other sources of illumination filter down through the trees and into their habitat, monkeying with the normal state of affairs, according to new research from The Ohio State University.  “This is among the first studies to show that light at night has detrimental effects not just on individual organisms in the environment, but also on communities and ecosystems,” said Mažeika Sullivan, lead author of the study, which appears today (Dec. 19, 2018) in the journal Ecological Applications. 

  4. Ohio State News features research on energy-conservation plans

    Ohio State News features research on energy-conservation plans

    Dec 4, 2018

    Ohio State News features new research by School of Environment and Natural Resources faculty member Nicole Sintov and post-doctoral researcher Lee White on utility customers and their decisions to continue to participate in energy-conservation plans.  The research published this month in the journal Nature Energy finds that decisions to stay in time-of-use rate energy programs among utility customers in the southwestern United States is based more on perceptions about savings versus actual savings.

    Read more about the study and findings in the Ohio State News story written by Misti Crane.

  5. A new study in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed will look closely at farm fields with elevated phosphorus. The aim: improve Lake Erie’s water quality while maintaining yields of crops. (Photo: Getty Images.)

    New Study Will Track Ways to Cut Runoff from Elevated Phosphorus Fields

    Nov 13, 2018

    Some farm fields in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed have more phosphorus than their crops can use. Called “elevated phosphorus fields,” such fields may be at higher risk of contributing to Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms. That’s the premise of a new five-year, $5 million study that hopes to learn about those fields and lower that risk by creating new public-private partnerships.

  6. New study finds drought-resistant native plant can irrigate food crops

    Nov 7, 2018

    The trick to boosting crops in drought-prone, food-insecure areas of West Africa could be a ubiquitous native shrub that persists in the toughest of growing conditions.  Growing these shrubs side-by-side with the food crop millet increased millet production by more than 900 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science. A couple of decades have passed since Richard Dick, a soil scientist now at Ohio State, was traveling through rural Senegal in West Africa and noticed low-lying shrubs that seemed to be doing fine despite arid conditions that had wiped out most other vegetation in farmers’ fields.  Read more about this study in the Ohio State News story written by Misti Crane.

  7. SENR faculty member Kerry Ard to discuss air quality at 2018 MORPC Sustainability Summit.

    Faculty Member to Discuss Air Quality at Sustainability Summit

    Oct 23, 2018

    Kerry Ard, assistant professor of evironmental and natural resource sociology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources will speak at this week's  Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission's (MORPC) 2018 Summit on Sustainability  The Summit is MORPC’s signature environmental conference, bringing hundreds of community leaders together to explore and share sustainable solutions.

  8. New tool developed to guide conservation decision-making

    Oct 23, 2018

    Ohio State scientist, Robyn Wilson is part of a team that has developed a new tool to help guide wildlife conservation decision-making.  The tool, Recovery Explorer addresses a critical challenge faced by conservation agencies - how to conserve and protect as many species as possible from extinction with limited funding and finite resources. The tool was developed in collaboration with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS) scientists in a two-year project supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

  9. School of Environment and Natural Resources faculty member Lauren Pintor (shown center)  is an investigator on a new NSF Rules of Life grant.

    Faculty Member Investigator on NSF Rules of Life Grant

    Oct 8, 2018

    Lauren Pintor, assistant professor of aquatic sciences in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University is a collaborator and investigator on research recently funded in one of the National Science Foundation’s Big Ideas investment areas - Rules of Life.

    The project will build off previous research the team has conducted on intraspecific variation in behavioral traits among two crayfish species, Faxonius rusticus and F. virillis (both abundant and broadly distributed invasive species).

  10. NIFA Invests in Research to Guide Agroecosystem Sustainability and Resilience

    Jul 30, 2018

    Robyn Wilson, an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) at The Ohio State University is the principal investigator of a newly funded project, “Regional Integrated Modeling of Farmer Adaptations to Guide Agroecosystem Management in a Changing Climate.”  The $1.1 million investment by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture will elevate the capacity of decision makers in the eastern Corn Belt Region (ECBR) to adapt to an increasingly variable climate and the associated changes that this increased variability may bring. The research will identify how changing seasonal and extreme precipitation patterns induce changes in ECBR land use and management patterns due to adaptations by heterogeneous farmers and the broader human system. The results will help to guide more sustainable and resilient agroecosystems across the nation. Co-principal investigators and collaborators on the project are Kai Zhao of SENR, Elena Irwin, Yongyang Cai and Alan Randall of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics; Bryan Mark, Jason Cervenec and Aaron Wilson of Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center; and Greg LaBarge of OSU Extension. 

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