Research - Ecology of Natural Systems

Develop knowledge of factors influencing complex interactions in ecological systems at multiple scales of biological organization ranging from physiological to community and eco-region units, with an emphasis on effects of anthropogenic drivers such as climate and land-use change and tactics for restoring and conserving ecological processes.

Faculty
Landscape
Dr. John Couture
Integrating chemical and landscape ecology to advance our understanding of the influence of trophic-level interactions on ecosystem functioning

Dr. John Dunning
Response of wildlife populations to large-scale change, conservation biology, restoration ecology, conservation biology

Dr. Songlin Fei
Spatial analysis and pattern recognition, invasive species distribution modeling and forest ecosystem dynamic modeling

Dr. Bryan Pijanowski
Land-use modeling & spatial ecology,ecological assessment, natural resource economic impact analysis

Dr. Guofan Shao
Smart applications of geospatial technology including remote sensing & geographic information systems

Dr. Rob Swihart
Disturbance ecology, effects of habitat fragmentation, spatial modeling of populations & communities

Dr. Patrick Zollner
Behavioral ecology of ecological landscapes, forest management in changing landscapes, animal movements

Physiology
Dr. Paul Brown
Aquatic animal nutrition, physiology, biochemistry

Dr. Morgan Furze
Tree physiology and ecology, carbohydrate reserve dynamics, responses to global change

Dr. Matt Ginzel
Chemically mediated host location and colonization behavior of wood-boring insects

Dr. Douglass Jacob​s
Forest tree regeneration including nursery culture, outplanting and early stand management

Dr. Maria Sepulveda​
Ecotoxicology, development and application of molecular biomarkers of exposure and effects to environmental contaminants in vertebrate and invertebrate animal models

Population-Community
Dr. Andrew DeWoody
Population genetics, molecular ecology and evolution

Dr. John Dunning
Response of wildlife populations to large-scale change, conservation biology, restoration ecology, conservation biology

Dr. Songlin Fei
Spatial analysis and pattern recognition, invasive species distribution modeling and forest ecosystem dynamic modeling

Dr. Reuben Goforth
Aquatic ecology, fish and insect species and communities in streams, species persistence, community ecology

Dr. Tomas Höök
Fish ecology and ecological modeling focusing on recruitment processes, foodweb interactions, bio-physical coupling, eutrophication effects and fish life history trait variation

Dr. Michael Jenkins
Effects of invasive species on ecosystem structure and function, forest ecosystem response to disturbances

Dr. Michael Saunders
Oak ecology and silviculture, fire ecology, natural disturbance-based silviculture, dendroecology, growth and yield modeling

Dr. Rob Swihart
Disturbance ecology, effects of habitat fragmentation, spatial modeling of populations & communities

Dr. Rod Williams
Ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, education and outreach, genetics

Learn More About Our Research

View our nine research areas along with our world-class faculty.

Purdue centers seek to support and enhance the research and partnership enterprise at Purdue University. The centers are valued and encouraged at Purdue as they create a venue for faculty to come together to pursue common goals. Forestry and Natural Resources have faculty and staff involved in six centers here at the University.

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources maintains an impressive collection of state-of-the-art research and education facilities. These labs, green houses, and educational facilities are a fundamental component that enables our faculty and students to learn, make new discoveries, and engage our clients in using these discoveries to sustain our nation’s ecosystems and natural resources.​

The mission of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is to develop and disseminate knowledge in the natural resource sciences associated with the protection, management, and sustainable use of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. One way the department accomplishes our mission is by owning and managing 24 properties located throughout the state to provide opportunities for research, extension, and education that achieves sustainable use of our natural resources.

See Our Research Ecology of Natural Systems' Stories

A shaved ice machine sprinkles snow over young arabidopsis plants to freeze the whole plant at once.
The perks and pitfalls of ‘plastic’ plants

Imagine broccoli’s short, sparse and ugly cousin, and you have Arabidopsis thaliana. It is...

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From centuries-old, hand-drawn maps to LiDAR lasers & the role of both in forestry
From centuries-old, hand-drawn maps to LiDAR lasers & the role of both in forestry

An army of bow saws and boots march through dense thickets of forest patches in the Chicago...

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Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant's Ben Szczygiel with Chuoy the buoy; the Natural Resources Teachers Institute at the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment; Drs. Bryan Pijanowski and Jingjing Liang with their team doing the can you hear me sign in the forest
FNR Year in Review 2022: The Collaborations

Four research centers and four long-term research projects are housed within the Purdue...

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Master's student Meredith Scherer in the lab, holding a snake and taking a chainsaw training course
FNR Graduate Student Spotlight: Meredith Scherer

Whether it is the work she is doing in the lab to understand the impacts of per- and...

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A weather station at Martell Forest, an American marten, alumna Zoe Alameida, a long-tailed salamander
FNR Year in Review 2022: The Research and Outreach

In this segment of the FNR 2022 Year in Review, we take a look at the research advances,...

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David Savage with acoustic monitoring equipment
FNR Graduate Student Spotlight: David Savage

PhD student David Savage pivoted from planned research on coffee plantations in Colombia to a...

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