Research Group - Ecology of Natural Systems, Wildlife Science
Facilities - Animal Care Facility, Wildlife Conservation Lab
Related Centers - Center for the Environment, Purdue Interdisciplinary Center for Ecological Sustainability
Research - Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Conservation Implications of Active Forest Management, Avian Use of Restored Grasslands and Wetlands, Body Masses of Birds of the World, Education in Natural Resource Conservation
John B. “Barny” Dunning is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue. He received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio) in 1978, where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona) in 1986. Prior to coming to Purdue, Dr. Dunning held positions as a postdoctoral research associate and research scientist at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Ecology. During that time, he worked on the wildlife impact of forest management across large spatial scales at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina. This research was funded by grants from the Department of Energy, U.S. Forest Service and the National Science Foundation. He joined the faculty at Purdue in 1994, and was promoted to Professor in 2010.
Barny teaches courses in environmental conservation, ornithology, global environmental issues, and conservation biology. From 2009, he was voted the department’s Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher three times, and received the Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award by the College of Agriculture. He has published over 75 research papers and 3 books. His research focuses on the effects of habitat change across large landscapes on native wildlife species. Much of this research has focused on various species of sparrows in grasslands, wetlands and other open habitats. Sparrows are representative of a large group of native songbirds found in non-forested habitats that have declined greatly in recent decades. His early work included collaborations with computer modelers to merge field-based ecological knowledge with simulation of projected landscape change to predict which species will be impacted most severely by proposed human land-use. More recently, Barny has made use of habitat restoration projects involving both Midwestern grasslands and wetlands to examine how native birds respond to the creation of habitat in new locations within landscapes. He is involved in a long-term field experiment on forest management and its impacts on Indiana wildlife (the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment) as a component of the Sustainable Hardwood Ecosystems area of excellence.