World Class Faculty

FNR is organized and staffed to deliver programs addressing the land-grant mission of learning, discovery and engagement in natural resources. The department boasts 31 tenure-track, two clinical and two research faculty members. Faculty expertise covers the core disciplines to deliver undergraduate degrees in Aquatic Sciences, Forestry and Wildlife. In addition, FNR faculty have strong expertise in interdisciplinary ecology, natural resources social science and wood products.

FNR faculty conduct research in aquatic sciences, digital natural resources, ecology of natural systems, forest science, genetics, hardwood products innovations, natural resource social sciences, quantitative ecology and wildlife science. According to Google Scholar, 16 of 34 FNR faculty members have more than 2,000 citations, 17 have an h-index over greater than 20 and 17 have an i10 index of greater than 40. FNR faculty were ranked #6 in scholarly performance for scientific publications among university fisheries and wildlife programs in the United States in 2016, and #11 in scholarly performance of scientific publications among university forestry programs in 2018. 

FNR prides itself on having a global dimension to its research and teaching programs. FNR faculty members have served as primary investigators or co-PIs on international research projects ranging from

  • Hyperspectral monitoring of tree stress in Italy
  • eDNA monitoring research on Mexican gray whales
  • Field research on Pacific sea turtles in Costa Rica
  • Conducting international extension with the School Furniture for Developing Countries project
  • Conducting forest regeneration research in Sweden
  • Examining co-producing environmental conservation and social equity in Bolivia
  • Examining toxicity of nanoplastics to fish
  • Conducting research at the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

The Extension program in FNR consists of a blend of faculty and professional staff working in six discipline areas: forest management, natural resources sustainability, wildlife, wood products, urban forestry and aquatic sciences. Twenty-five percent of the department's Extension capacity is in faculty appointments.

FNR faculty also are nationally and internationally recognized as evidenced by their participation as editors for peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as in leadership positions in professional societies.Faculty members have served in graduate committee membership roles at international universities from South Africa to the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain, to Canada, Ethiopia, Chile and Australia.

In addition, five research centers are led by members of the FNR faculty - the Center for Global Soundscapes, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Indiana Water Resources Research Center, and Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center.

#1
In The State

Purdue's Forestry and Natural Resources program is ranked #1 in the state of Indiana.

Award rings
Award-Winning Research

FNR boasts three of the last four College of Agriculture Research Award winners.

#6
Scholarly Performance of Scientific Publications

FNR is ranked #6 in Scholarly Performance of Scientific Publications among Fisheries and Wildlife Research Programs. 

More About Our World Class Faculty

Center for Global Soundscapes; Directed by Dr. Bryan Pijanowski.
The Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscape’s mission is to support discovery, learning and engagement activities that lead to the preservation of Earth’s natural acoustic heritage. From soundscapes in the desert, the tropics, to vernal ponds of the estuaries, and the planet’s megacities, the Center for Global Soundscapes is advancing our knowledge of nature and society.

Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center; Directed by Dr. Matt Ginzel
The mission of the HTIRC is to advance the science and application of tree improvement, management, and protection of hardwood forests, with emphasis in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR). With fifteen plus partners this research includes: developing hardwood (oak and walnut) molecular markers for use in determination of genetic quality and population structure of current natural forests and plantations; developing vegetative and tissue culture propagation technologies for use in genomics research and mass propagation systems for superior trees; develop nursery guides for production of quality seedlings and forest management guides for regeneration and reforestation of degraded agricultural land and riparian zones; and conducting research on breeding and selection programs for black walnut, black cherry and northern red oak.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant; Directed by Dr. Tomas Höök
IISG research, outreach and education efforts bring the latest science to southern Lake Michigan residents and decision makers and empower them to secure a healthy environment and economy. IISG continues to be a leader in the region on aquatic invasive species control, pollution prevention and Great Lakes literacy, and has developed decision tools that help communities grow while protecting natural resources.
The Indiana Water Resources Research Center (IWRRC) is one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes established under the authority of the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.  Each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam have institutes housed at their land grant university that receive annual base funding through the U.S. Geological Survey to support competent research, train future water scientists, and disseminate research results to water managers and the public. The mission of the IWRRC is to coordinate the intellectual and physical resources of Indiana’s universities, state agencies, and industries to resolve technical, economic, and other problems associated with water resources management, use, and preservation.
The TropHTIRC is a collaborative research, development and extension partnership. Established in 2010, TropHTIRC’s mission is to advance the science of tropical hardwood tree improvement, regeneration, and conservation genetics. Our goal is to develop and disseminate knowledge to foster sustainable tropical hardwood forestry, production of forest products, restoration, and maintenance of genetically diverse ecosystems. We work with a diversity of partners to increase knowledge and develop strategies for breeding, conservation, utilization, silviculture, and marketing of tropical hardwoods. 

Three faculty in FNR hold endowed chairs. 

  • Dr. Doug Jacobs - Fred M. van Eck Chair of Forest Biology (since 2012)
    The van Eck chair is the first named professorship in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resource’s history and was made possible by an endowment established through a gift from the Fred M. van Eck Forest Foundation for Purdue University.

  • Dr. Songlin Fei - Dean's Chair of Remote Sensing, College of Agriculture (since 2020)

The University Faculty Scholars program is intended to recognize outstanding mid-career faculty who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction.

Eligibility includes faculty who hold the rank of tenured associate or full professor who have been in rank for no more than fives years and new hires at this academic level if appointed with tenure. 

Faculty will be considered for the Showalter Faculty Scholar award if their expertise is in the environment (including air and water quality); biochemistry and molecular biology; disease prevention, diagnosis, progression, treatment and control; new technologies for food production, preservation, distribution and safety; or medical and biophysical instrumentation including the analysis of large datasets. 

FNR faculty have earned numerous awards at the department, college and university level as well as nationally and internationally. A full list of faculty awards is available. FNR faculty listed below have earned outstanding teacher awards at Purdue. 

2021

2020 

2019

  • College of Agriculture Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher - Dr. Elizabeth Flaherty
  • Teaching Leadership Award - Dr. Elizabeth Flaherty; Faculty Learning Community for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Natural Resource Sciences.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2011

The Purdue Agricultural Research Award is the highest honor given to mid-career faculty members - those with less than 18 years experience beyond the PhD - for excellence in applying scientific principles to solve important research problems. Recipients have, through their research, made significant contributions to agriculture, natural resources, and the quality of life of Indiana citizens. 

2011 - Andrew DeWoody. Dr. DeWoody received the award for his research in genetics, which has covered a wide range of life - from land mammals to aquatic life to birds. He has created methods to understand mating systems in fish and developed tests that allow scientists to more easily study endangered or threatened species through DNA. 

2018 - Maria "Marisol" Sepulveda. Dr. Sepulveda received the award for her research examining the non-lethal effects of contaminants in the environment. 

2019Songlin Fei. Dr. Fei received the award for his research into critical ecological problems and leadership of the integrated Digital Forestry initiative. 

2020 -Tomas Höök. Dr. Höök rreceived the award for his research into fish and fisheries ecology in the Laurentian Great Lakes and leading the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program. 

FNR Faculty Making Headlines

China research
New Research Grant Aims to Map Planted Forests in China

Jingjing Liang, assistant professor of quantitative forest ecology, is aiming to improve the...

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Aerial photo of forest, digital forestry research including remote sensing.
Remote sensing, digital tech advance tools for precision forestry

Powerful partnerships among Purdue University's colleges of agriculture, engineering and...

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Spraying for invasive species
Researchers Evaluating Effectiveness of Cost Share Programs

In 2003, the USDA Forest Service recognized invasive species as one of the four greatest threats...

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