Research Areas

Research Areas

Research Projects are ongoing both on and off campus in Academic Departments and at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station Research and Education Centers around the state. Below is a list of faculty and their research focus areas, organized by department, commodities, thematic areas, and our Strategic Initiatives.


AREC Researchers

Anna Alberini

  • Energy economics work focused on residential energy consumption and on the adoption and effects of energy efficiency technologies in people’s homes
  • Evaluation of policies aimed at reducing emissions from automobiles
  • Estimation and valuation of health effects of environmental quality
  • Valuation of mortality and morbidity risk reductions delivered by environmental and safety policies
  • Non market valuation

James Archsmith

  • Evaluating emissions reduction policies in the face of short-run adjustment costs
  • Estimating Unit Commitment Costs in Wholesale Electricity Markets

Erich Battistin

  • Design and evaluation of public interventions
  • Economics of education
  • Measurement of welfare and social inequalities
  • Applied micro-econometrics and causality in the social sciences

Jing Cai

  • Diffusion and impact of financial innovations
  • Identifying ways to improve the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, and impacts of tax policies on firm behavior

Robert Chambers

  • Production Theory
  • Public Economics
  • Uncertainty
  • Financial Economics
  • Trade
  • Microeconomic Theory

Becky Epanchin-Niell

  • Designing cost-efficient strategies for managing invasive species
  • U.S. Endangered Species Act and species conservation
  • Cross-boundary resource management
  • Private land conservation decision-making
  • Coastal adaptation to sea level rise and saltwater intrusion

Paul Goeringer

  • Agricultural law
  • Crop insurance and risk management issues
  • Water law issues

Jim Hanson

  • Organic Agriculture
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • International Agricultural Extension Systems
  • Nutrient Management

Jorge Holzer

  • Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
  • Marine Resource Economics

Dale Johnson

  • Farm & Financial Management
  • Computer Use in Agriculture
  • International Extension

Kenneth L. Leonard

  • Development Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Choice under Uncertainty
  • Social Learning
  • Rural Africa

Erik Lichtenberg

  • Agriculture and environment
  • Land Use
  • Natural Resource Economics
  • Pesticides and pest management
  • Land use
  • Agricultural resource conservation
  • Nonpoint source pollution control
  • Agricultural policy
  • Technological change
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Water
  • Food safety
  • China
  • Agricultural biotechnology
  • Occupational and environmental health and safety
  • Risk assessment
  • Health care service delivery

Joshua Linn

  • Energy and electricity environmental economics topics 
  • International transportation 
  • Alternative fuels and vehicles 
  • Cafe standards and fuel efficiency
  • Electricity markets and regulation 
  • Europe 
  • Fuel taxes 
  • Natural gas
  • Renewable and clean energy
  • Transportation in developing countries, including China
  • Vehicle pollution

Lori Lynch

  • Environmental and Agricultural Policy

James MacDonald

  • Industrial organization of food and agriculture

David Newburn

  • Environmental and Resource Economics
  • Land Economics
  • Water Resource Economics
  • Spatial Modeling

Lars Olson

  • Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
  • Economics of Invasive Species
  • Growth Theory and Economic Dynamics
  • Economics of Uncertainty

Louis Preonas

  • U.S. energy markets
  • Economic impacts of electricity access in the developing world
  • The intersection of energy, water, and agriculture


M.R. Sharan

  • Inequality in socially diverse settings
  • Institutional and technological innovations empowering marginalized groups

Cory Smith

  • Development economics
  • Economic history
  • Political economy

Neslihan Uler

  • Research interests lie at the intersection of Public Economics, Environmental Economics and Experimental Economics
  • In a controlled laboratory experiment, studies the effect of carbon offset markets on individual behavior and tests whether such markets can decrease carbon emissions
  • Examines whether output-sharing partnerships observed among common property users can eliminate or at least attenuate over-exploitation of common property resources
  • Studies whether competition among charities triggers new donations or shifts donations from one charity to another without increasing the charitable pie
  • Investigates the role of inequality, taxes and wasteful government spending on charitable donations

Roberton C. Williams III

  • Public Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Taxation
  • Carbon Pricing
  • Climate Change Policy
  • Design of Environmental Regulations
  • Fuel Taxes

ANSC Researchers

Roselina Angel

  • Maximizing nutrient availability from diets with the goal of reducing environmental impact as well as improving production efficiency and costs of production 
  • Minimizing the impact of poultry production on the environment, primarily as related to phosphorus and nitrogen
  • Understanding requirements, improving absorption through management and diet (calcium/phosphorus ratios, use of enzymes and other feed additives) and implementation of new tools under commercial conditions
  • Work with nitrogen focused on diet changes as well as post excretion changes to minimize nitrogen excretion and nitrogenous emissions to air
  • Research in exotic animals as it relates to developing adequate diets for captive animals as well as trying to solve some of the nutritionally related problems developed by exotic animals in captivity
  • Current focus is in insectivorous birds and incidence of iron storage disease

Charlie Apter

  • Animal behavior and welfare
  • Animal and equine science
  • Diet and health, food science, Nutrition
  • Sustainability

Sarah Balcom

  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Animal Sheltering
  • Human-Animal Relationships
  • Population health
  • Pre-veterinary advising
  • Sheep
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Companion Animals
  • Online education

Angela Black

  • Animal Science
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Laboratory Animal Management
  • Small Ruminant Parturition
  • Reproductive Endocrinology

Debabrata Biswas

  • Reducing levels of these bacterial pathogens in food-producing animals and prevent the cross contamination in the food processing plants are effective ways to reduce food safety risks for humans
  • Reduction of pre- and post-harvest levels of colonization and contamination with foodborne bacterial pathogens including E. coli O157, Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella enterica  in foods specifically meat and meat products and development of vaccines that prevent colonization of animals by these enteric pathogens which may reduce human gastrointestinal infections
  • Investigation the role of natural products in control of colonization of zoonotic/foodborne bacterial pathogens in animal guts and mechanisms of their antimicrobial activity/survival ability in the presence of synthetic antibiotics and/or natural antimicrobial components.
  • Development of bioactive pre-biotics, probiotics, and/or its combination (synbitics) for alternative source of therapeutic and sub-therapeutic (growth promoter) components for organic and conventional farm animal production and stimulate the growth probiotic and the production of its metabolites by genetically engineered beneficial bacteria
  • Develop the efficient and faster technology to improve the detection of foodborne enteric bacterial pathogens in food products and other polluted materials

Andrew Broadbent

  • Replication and Pathogenesis of Avian Viruses
  • Prevention and Control of Diseases affecting poultry
  • Model pathogenesis and immunosuppression
  • Viruses with segmented RNA genomes (AIV, IBVD, ARV)

Amy O. Burk

  • Characterizing the use of pasture and manure best management practices by horse farm operators and to gauge their farms’ potential environmental impact through a mailed survey and field
  • Issues related to feeding novel forages, feeding direct-fed microbial to enhance digestibility, and the effects of obesity on horse health

Christine Hakenkamp

  • River Ecology
  • Zoology
  • Life Science/Biology Statistics

Iqbal Hamza

  • Uncover pathways for heme transport in iron metabolism and anemia in humans using genetics and cell biology using a multi-organismal approach with C. elegans, zebrafish, yeast, mice and parasites
  • Develop therapeutics that target heme and iron transport pathway in parasites that infect humans, livestock, and plants; and in humans with genetic disorders of heme and iron metabolism

Younggeon Jin

  • Epithelial Biology
  • Role of E-cadherin in the intestinal stem cell homeostasis and regeneration
  • Gastrointestinal Health and Physiology

Carol L. Keefer

  • Research focuses on pluripotency and cell lineage determination in preimplantation embryos and the role metabolic mechanisms play in regulating embryonic development
  • Understanding these developmental processes will provide new insights into the basis of embryonic loss and provide schemes for improving reproductive efficiencies in livestock following traditional and assisted (cloning/transgenic) reproduction
  • Expertise:  Embryo development (fertilization, preimplantation development), nuclear transfer (cloning), and embryonic stem cells in non-murine models (bovine, caprine, feline, and laprine)

Byung-Eun Kim

  • To elucidate the molecules and the mechanisms required for copper homeostasis in cellular, organismal, and behavioral level
  • Identification of mechanisms for systemic copper signaling pathways
  • Identification of inter-organ signaling factor for cardiac copper deficiency
  • Investigation of the Ctr1 copper ion channel as a potential risk factor for cardiomyopathy
  • To understand molecular mechanisms of copper uptake and distribution in C. elegans
  • Identification of novel copper-regulated genes and systemic pathways in worms that have similar roles in mammals

Richard A. Kohn

  • Develops and uses mathematical modeling for basic and applied research in animal nutrition
  • animal nutrient metabolism to whole-farm nutrient cycling and life-cycle analysis
  •  Models of rumen fermentation and farm nutrient cycling have recently been applied to biofuel production systems that produce methane, hydrogen or ethanol from plant fiber using anaerobic digestion and fermentation 
  • Research goal is to decrease pollution of air and water resources from animal agriculture
  • Biofuel production through anaerobic digestion and fermentation

Li Ma

  • Research is centered on elucidating the genetic basis and mechanism of complex traits and diseases of animals and humans, which can potentially leads to higher production of economically important traits for livestock animals, and can also results in better prediction and cure of diseases
  • Focus on developing statistical approaches and computing tools to boost the power of current and next-generation sequencing-based genetic studies, including approaches to facilitating accurate and powerful tests of association, to detecting gene-gene interactions, and to integrating a variety of biological knowledge from genetic, genomic, and epigenetic studies to genomic selection of livestock species
  • Sequence-based big data genomic discovery and application to improve dairy fertility
  • Genetic analyses of recombination and PRDM9 alleles and their implications in dairy cattle breeding
  • Genomic discovery and application to Improve cattle health using the US dairy genomics database

Megan McLean

  • Livestock Production
  • Physiology of Mammalian Reproduction

Tom E. Porter

  • Research center on the neuroendocrine regulation of growth and metabolism
  • Cellular differentiation of the anterior pituitary gland during embryonic development
  • Defining the intracellular and extracellular regulation of pituitary cell differentiation during embryonic development
  • Global analysis of gene expression in the neuroendocrine system
  •  Identifying those genes involved in regulating growth and body composition in vertebrates

J. Eduardo Rico

  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Dairy Cattle
  • Metabolic disorders of the peripartum
  • Health-promoting bioactives of milk

Mohamed Salem

  • Aquaculture Genomics
  • Muscle biology
  • Zoology

Andrew Schiffmacher

  • Embryonic Tissue Lineage Development
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Cadherin Biolog
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Jiuzhou "John" Song

  • Research center on elucidating the genetic basis and epigenetic mechanism of genome to phenome, especially on complex diseases and quantitative traits of livestock animals and humans.
  • Developing statistical approaches to study the interaction between livestock genomes and environmental factors, especially to discover alleles and epi-alleles as biomarkers that modify responses to environmental stimuli and to investigate how such epigenetic marks and alleles affect exposed animal.
  • Global analysis of systems biology by integrating a variety of biological knowledge from genetic, genomic, and epigenetic studies
  • Modeling and epigenetics in reprograming of chicken stem cell
  • Developing strategies of animal disease-prevention and improving livestock performance

 Chad H. Stahl

  • Improving swine growth via nutritional programming of Stem Cell Populations
  • Developmental nutrition
  • Tissue-specific stem cells
  •  Alternatives to conventional antibiotics
  • Effects of early-life nutrition on lifetime growth performance
  • Programming of mesenchymal stem cells and satellite cells
  • Identifying alternatives to conventional antibiotics for intestinal pathogens
  • Improving Swine Growth via Nutritional Programming of Stem Cell Populations (USDA/AFRI)

Nishanth E. Sunny

  • Understanding the metabolic mechanisms modulating growth and development in various species, and also contributing to the etiology of obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease
  • Identifying the critical pathways involved in metabolic regulation during growth and development, and also identifying shared metabolic defects contributing to the onset of obesity, type II diabetes mellitus and fatty liver disease
  • Understanding various mechanisms through which hepatic mitochondria integrates substrate flux, oxidative phosphorylation, ATP synthesis and inflammation, to maintain normal cell function. Strategies or agents targeting to alleviate mitochondrial dysfunction could be a promising strategy to a) enhance growth and development and b) for treatment of metabolic diseases

Lisa A. Taneyhill

  • We study animal growth and development by focusing on the molecular mechanisms of embryonic patterning using the chicken embryo as a model.
  • We focus on two embryonic cell types critical for patterning, neural crest and placode cells. Neural crest cells are a transient population of migratory cells that ultimately differentiate to become a wide range of structures, including the peripheral nervous system, pigment cells (melanocytes), and the bones and cartilage of the face and neck. Neural crest cells emerge from the neural tube and migrate away into the periphery by undergoing an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) characterized by the loss of various epithelial properties (for example, cell-cell adhesion) and the subsequent acquisition of a mesenchymal (motile) phenotype, an event molecularly similar to EMTs observed in metastatic or invasive cancers when cells leave the primary tumor site.
  • Placode cells arise in the epidermis and concomitantly become motile and undergo differentiation to form sensory neurons. These neurons interact and aggregate with neural crest cells to assemble the cranial ganglia, which are crucial for integrating various somatosensory inputs
  • Because of the substantial contributions of neural crest and placode cells to vertebrate development, many human congenital and hereditary malformations, diseases and cancers result from aberrant neural crest and placode cell formation. We aim to uncover the molecular pathways that control neural crest and placode cell development to shed light on the etiology of these diseases

Monica Vanklompenberg

  • Animal Physiology
  • Animal Biology
  • Commercial Poultry Management

Zhengguo Xiao

  • Generation of functional memory CTLs during vaccination: Long-term goal is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms for the generation of functional cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in vaccination and cancer therapy. In particular, interested in the role of inflammatory cytokines in CTL activation.
  • CTL activation and Exosomes: Found that CTLs secrete exosomes following antigen stimulation in vitro. Are currently exploring the potential molecular mechanisms for CTLs in regulating innate immunity through CTL-derived exosomes, using in vitro and in vivo murine models.
  • Mucosal immune response to pathogens in cattle: Antigen presentation is the linchpin of an effective immune response to infectious disease, including Ostertagiosis in cattle, which is caused by parasite O. ostertagi (OO). OO is the most impactful bovine GI nematode parasite in temperate climates, due to chronic infection in the abomasal mucosa. Based on recent preliminary experiments, hypothesize that O.ostertagi regulate antigen presentation through modulating immune cells, such as regulatory B cells and antigen presenting neutrophils. Will first define these immune cells in O. ostertagia-infected cattle. Then, will examine the effects of these immune cells on antigen presentation to T cells from control animals. Finally, will identify the molecular mechanisms responsible for these regulatory functions, using high throughput proteomics and RNA-Seq.

Entomology Researchers

Amy E. Brown

  • Translational research in pesticide toxicology, epidemiology, and policy
  • Identifying, testing, and implementing strategies to minimize exposure to pesticides
  • Improving pesticide applicators' knowledge and skills to minimize potential effects on human health and the environment
  • Increasing the health care community's understanding of pesticide-related illnesses

Karin Burghardt

  • Dr. Burghardt is an ecologist broadly interested in how plant defenses shape communities and ecosystems. Her research addresses this question through the lens of multiple trophic levels (plants, insects, birds, and microbes). New work will extend this understanding to fluxes and flows of nutrients.

Anahi Espindola

  • The EspindoLab focuses on the effect of the biotic and abiotic environment on individual species, species communities, and inter-species interactions (with a slight preference for pollination) using molecular, geospatial, ecological, and experimental approaches.

Megan Fritz

  • Study of insect evolution in response to a constantly changing environment
  • Study the  genomic variants that enable insects to adapt to their environment
  • Computational Biology, Bioinformatics and Genomics, and the Molecular and Cellular Biology research clusters through the Biological Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Maryland

Daniel Gruner

  • Regulation of interacting species and maintenance of biodiversity in ecological communities
  •  Understanding spatial patterns of relative abundance and species richness, and the factors that promote or impair local population persistence and species coexistence in ecosystems, especially among the hyper diverse insects and invertebrates
  • Conceptual research at large scales as well as local phenomena in 'natural' and managed ecosystem
  • Species interactions constrain community diversity, function, and invasion
  • Roles of history, evolution, genetic structure, and biotic interactions in assembling diverse, functional communities
  • Variation in food web patterns across patches, landscapes, ecosystems, and over time, and their resilience of these structures to perturbation
  • Use of knowledge of ecology to predict and ameliorate the manifold impacts of humanity
  •  Responses of Coastal Ecosystems to Rapid Environmental Change
  • Synthesis of Trophic Interactions and Cascades across Ecosystems
  • Nematodes, Microbes, and the Little Things That Run the World beneath our Feet

Kelly Hamby

  • Understanding insect interactions with free-living microorganisms to improve pest management
  • Invasive and emerging insect pest issues, evaluating and optimizing pest management programs, and development of sustainable alternative management tactics
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in small fruit and grain crops

David Hawthorne

  • Interaction of genetic and ecological forces and the evolutionary consequences of those interactions
  • Study population genetic processes in pest insects to understand how they became pests, how they have evolved to counter our control efforts, and how we might use evolutionary thinking to better manage those pests
  • Understanding the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation these maps have been used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL's) that underlie variation in ecologically important traits in these insects,
  • Evolutionary process by which the Colorado potato beetle acquired potato (Solanum tuberosum) as a host plant (a great example of animal adaptation to a changed environment) and the means by which it has become resistant to many classes of insecticides
  • Understanding the genetic basis of insecticide resistance in order to contribute both to the development of management plans to slow or prevent the adaptation of this pest to new insecticides and to the rational development of those new compound
  • Work on the pea aphid is also focused on the genetic basis of adaptation of an insect to its host plants 

Cerruti Hooks

  • Application of ecological theories and use of natural enemies in the development of management strategies for insect pest.
  • Determining mechanisms underpinning arthropod responses to habitat manipulation and using the information to concomitantly enhance the effectiveness of natural enemies, suppress crop pests, and improve marketable crop yields
  • Integrate ecological pest management tactics with other insect management strategies (e.g., biological control, host plant resistance, etc.
  • Establish pest management systems that incorporate and centers on biological and ecological control but are not too disruptive to current crop protection practices
  • Taking an interdisciplinary research approach to develop pest management strategies that suppress above and below ground crop pests concurrently thereby enhancing the opportunity to improve the overall economic and ecological sustainability of farming communities
  • Introducing production practices to growers and other stakeholders that offer multiple production benefits establishing an integrated extension alliance

Bretton Kent

  • Elasmobranch (shark and ray) faunas of the Neogene
  • Elasmobranch diversification during the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum
  • The role giant sharks in determining the structure of elasmobranch faunas

William Lamp

  • Ecology of insects in the human environment, and my projects align within three broad fields: integrated pest management (IPM) of forage crops, understanding ecology of emerging insect pests, and implications of IPM and land use on invertebrates in streams and wetlands

Charles Mitter

  • Identifying and understanding major transitions in lepidopteran ecology, particularly larval feeding habits, and their evolutionary consequences
  • Molecular studies involving next-generation sequencing of non-normalized transcriptomes, in an attempt to achieve fully-resolved phylogenies by the use of very extensive sequence data from over 1000 protein-coding genes

Maile Neel

  • Understand patterns of biological diversity as well as the relationships between these patterns and the ecological and evolutionary processes that have created them thereby applying this understanding to developing effective conservation approaches and to predict effects of changing patterns and processes
  • Applying and integrating techniques from traditionally disparate fields including systematics, population genetics, autecology, synecology, landscape ecology, and restoration ecology
  •  Testing basic assumptions on which much of conservation biology is based as  it is typically not possible to collect all desirable data on a particular problem in timeframes necessary to contribute to management decisions
  •  Verifying the validity of such assumptions is critical to identifying where general principles apply and where acquiring new scientific information is necessary for sound decision-making. It also assesses risks of making decisions without complete information

Magdalene Ngeve

  • Dr. Ngeve is a global change biologist interested in how different global change phenomena alter the distribution of genetic variation within species, and how species are responding to these changes, using integrative approaches (molecular, field, modelling) - Current expertise is on mangroves and submerged aquatic vegetation.
  • She is also interested in the involvement of all stakeholders in mitigating the impact of global change; and in training (teaching) the younger generation to be able to tackle real world problems.

Tammantha O'Brien

  • Science education and molecular genetics

Margaret Palmer

  • Understand what controls stream and wetland ecosystem structure and function
  • Stream and wetland restoration ecology
  • Ecological theory and restoration ecology
  • Effect of land use, hydrology, and geomorphology on aquatic ecosystem dynamics
  • Evaluating wetland and stream ecosystem functions
  • Understanding the relationship between wetland inundation, hydrologic connectivity, and carbon fluxes.
  • Quantifying the effects of stream restoration on nitrogen removal in Chesapeake Bay tributaries
  • Evaluating hydrologic and stream community responses to novel forms of stream restoration called regenerative storm water conveyance systems

Leslie Pick

  • Study the regulatory genes and pathways that control embryonic development 
  • Evolution of the Hox gene, which has undergone changes in both its expression pattern and protein sequence to switch its function from an ancestral homeotic gene to a segmentation gene in Drosophila
  • Modeling diseases of insulin-signaling pathways in Drosophila

Michael Raupp

  • Elucidate the mechanisms by which plants escape attack from herbivorous insects  
  • To create sustainable landscape systems with minimal dependence on synthetic pesticides through the conservation and enhancement of biological diversity with special emphasis on natural enemy communities
  • Investigate mechanisms of host plant resistance, the ecology and behavior of herbivores and their predators, parasitoids, and pathogens, and the impact of landscape design on pest and natural enemy population dynamics
  • Develop and implement integrated pest management programs (IPM) for landscape, nursery and greenhouse systems
  • Evaluate bio rational pesticides and formulated microbials to determine which materials and techniques are efficacious and minimize disruption to natural enemy communities
  •  Provide training on the theory and practice of IPM to a diverse clientele that includes growers, public and private sector landscape and park managers, and private citizens  

Leo Shapiro

  • Teach two high enrollment core courses in the UMD Introductory Biology series, Principles of Ecology & Evolution (BSCI 160) and Organismal Biology (BSCI 207), and supervise Principles of Ecology & Evolution lab (BSCI 161)
  • Development of resources for teaching insect biology
  • Hybridization & speciation, insect diversity

Marcia Shofner

  • Ecology, diversity, and evolution.

Paula Shrewsbury

  • Develops and implements research-based integrated pest management (IPM) programs for a variety of clientele involved with the production and maintenance of ornamental plants and turf ( i.e., nurseries, urban landscapes, turf grass) including green industry professionals such as landscapers, growers, and IPM practitioners, extension personnel and master gardeners, and government agency personnel.
  • Program integrates research and educational outreach activities towards the development of sustainable environments.
  • Elucidate practices that conserve biodiversity, specifically natural enemies and pollinators, and the ecosystem services (biological control, pollination) they provide. Projects include manipulating habitats in managed systems to create more favorable environments for beneficial insects, and altering plant management practices that are detrimental to beneficial insects.
  • Development of biological control programs towards the management of invasive species such as brown marmorated stink bug and emerald ash borer.
  • Examining arthropod communities associated with native compared to non-native woody ornamental landscapes.
  • Evaluating new technologies and materials for their efficacy against key insect and mite pests and non-target effects on natural enemies

Jeffrey Shultz

  • Evolutionary morphology, biomechanics behavior, and systematics of arachnids and other arthropods
  • Taxonomy, evolution and reproductive biology of leiobunine harvestmen (daddy longlegs) of eastern North America
  • Hydrodynamics of gill ventilation in mayfly naiads, mechanics of elastic sclerites and hydraulics in arachnid locomotion, molecular systematics of major arthropod groups, comparative anatomy of scorpions and many others 

Ramond St. Leger

  • Pathogenicity, evolution, and plant symbiosis
  • Transgenic, mycology and genomics for understanding and manipulating fungi in the world
  • Improve our fundamental understanding of biological systems (specifically, host-pathogen interactions)
  • Alleviate the burden of vector-borne diseases, and enhance agricultural systems

Dennis van Engelsdorp

  • Research focus on pollinator health, and honey bee health specifically
  • Understanding and (importantly) improving honey bee health
  • Understanding both the etiology of individual bee diseases and the large scale monitoring of colony health
  • Identifying determinates of disease in honey bee colonies
  • Identifying and promoting management systems which promote colony health
  • Broad scale monitoring of pollinator health

Sara Via

  • Genetics of insect plant interactions, particularly of crop pests
  • Genetic architecture of local adaptation and host plant specialization in pea aphids
  • Evolutionary genetics of speciation–with-gene-flow
  • Strategies for climate change communication

Jian Wang

  • Understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms that guide the formation and maintenance of the nervous system using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system
  • Use of  the genetic technique called MARCM (Mosaic Analysis with a Repressive Cell Marker) (Lee and Luo, 1999) to manipulate gene expression in a single neuron or a subset of neurons within the developing brains and to examine neuronal morphology at the certain developmental stages
  • Study the functions and signaling pathways of Drosophila Dscam (Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule)
  • Understanding the biological significance of this tremendous molecular diversity, to continue the systemic, genome-wide mosaic screens for genes underlying different aspects of neuronal development

ENST Researchers

Eni Baballari

  • Soil science
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil Health and Conservation
  • Lab Safety

Andrew Baldwin

  • Research focuses on coastal and restored wetland ecosystems
  • Plant-microbe interactions in coastal wetlands, effects of plant species on bacterial, archaeal, and mycorrhizal communities; effects of organic material amendments in establishment of microbial communities and their associated ecosystem functions in restored wetlands
  • Role of mycorrhizae and nitrogen availability in the restoration of the native lineage of Phragmites australis, and how these factors may control growth of the invasive lineage
  • Examining variable and practices affecting the restoration of wetland plant communities and ecosystem services in Delmarva Bay wetlands as part of USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project
  • Another active project, funded  by NOAA, seeks to integrate ecological and socioeconomic sciences to promote restoration of coastal marshes and increase resilience of coastal communities

William Bowerman

  • Research uses 54 years of bald eagle productivity and contaminant data to determine localized, watershed-level, as well as population level, effects caused by organochlorines and heavy metals
  • Determine sink/ source effects and morphometric differences in nestlings between these spatial regions

Shannon Pederson Browne

  • Wildlife
  • Ecology
  • Biology

Charles Burgis

  • Stormwater
  • Water Quality
  • Green infrastructure
  • Edge of filed nutrient losses
  • Stable isotopes
  • Nutrient Management
  • Freshwater Salinization

Frank Coale

  • Keen investigative focus on soil phosphorus dynamics and the inter-relationships among agronomic production practices and phosphorus over-enrichment of surface water resources
  •  Applied his science to the study of on-farm nutrient management for efficient agronomic production and water quality protection in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
  •  Discovery and rigorous quantification of the impact of agronomic production practices on phosphorus transport to threatened water resources

Shuiwang Duan

  • Water Quality
  • Water and Nutrient Management
  • Stream and River Restorations
  • Stable Light Isotopes
  • ARC GIS application in watershed water quality

Candice Duncan

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Remediation
  • Contaminant Transport

Meredith Gore

  • Conservation social science

Reginal M. Harrell

  • Ecological and Natural Resource Ethics
  • Cultural Ecosystem Services associated with managing endangered and threatened vulture species in Southern Africa
  • Stress physiology of fish and other vertebrates
  • Conservation biology

Bob Hill

  • Parameterization of Tillage Effects on Soil Hydraulic Properties and Agrichemical Losses.
  • Development of Nutrient Management Planning and Environmental Risk Assessment Software

William Hubbard

  • Forest Management
  • Finance & Economics
  • Climate Change in Natural Resource Systems
  • Program Accountability & Evaluation
  • International Extension in Natural Resource Systems

Jose-Luis Izursa

  • Energy and nutrient fluxes in integrated food production systems
  • Water dynamics in sustainable food production
  • Hydroponics and aquaponics

Michael Kearney

  • Coastal environments and oceanography – coastal marsh processes and ecology
  • Quaternary sea level rise and coastal evolution
  • Wave generation and storms
  • Estuarine oceanography and sedimentation
  • Shore erosion, barrier island evolution and stratigraphy, coastal hazards, and coastal development
  • Remote sensing (optical, hyperspectral, radar) application to coastal environments and land use change
  • Watershed hydrology and effects on aquatic systems

Edward Landa

  • Inorganic contaminants (radionuclides, metals and metalloids) introduced into terrestrial and aquatic environments as a result of technological activities such as nuclear fuel production, coal combustion, and vehicle usage. Investigations have been driven by concerns focused on both human and ecosystem health, and have included:
  • Characterization of host phases of such contaminants in solid-waste forms, and in soils and sediments exposed to such contaminants as a result of air or water contact;
  • Mobilization of such contaminants by the physiological activities of microorganisms, and higher plants & animals.
  • Materials and environments of particular focus have been: Uranium mill tailings, naturally occurring radioactive materials, and low-level radioactive waste;
  • Traffic-derived contaminants and their impacts on watershed soils and storm water ponds.
  • Interface between science and the broader human community
  • Potential radio ecological and phytoremediation applications of the rare earth element-actinide chemical analog concept in soil-plant systems
  • Impacts of tire leachate on mosquito larvae

Stephanie Lansing

  • Bioenergy and waste treatment using ecological engineering
  • Waste to Energy Research: Anaerobic digestion, microbial fuel cells, gasification, and solid-oxide fuel cells
  • Energy (eMergy) and life cycle assessments (LCA)
  • Antimicrobial resistance, persistence and treatment in dairy and beef manure waste management processing and the wastewater industry
  • Recovering nutrients from waste using post-nutrient extraction after anaerobic digestion
  • Nutrient recovery from Chesapeake Bay using algal turf scrubber (ATS) with anaerobic digestion of algae feedstocks to drive a fuel cell at the Port of Baltimore
  • Food waste, dairy and poultry manure digestion in Maryland, as well as sanitary waste digestion in Haiti
  • Small-scale digesters for the US and developing countries
  • High temperature and high pressure anaerobic digestion
  • Effects of nanoparticles on anaerobic digestion and post-digestion utilization

Paul Leisnham

  • Research focuses on two overlapping dimensions of coupled human-natural environment systems: Ecology and management of medically important mosquitoes, and  Socio-ecological determinants of watershed health
  • Addresses theory and methods relevant to population and community ecology, global change biology, watershed management, integrated pest management, and public health

Emileigh Lucas

  • Nutrient Management
  • Soil Science

Jennifer M. Mullinax

  • Wildlife Ecology
  • Habitat Modeling 

Brian Needelman

  • Increasing Resilience to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Maryland
  • Carbon Sequestration in Restored Tidal Marshes at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Masoud Negahban-Azar

  • Developing systems-level solutions for urban water and environmental management, assessing their performance, and visualizing tradeoffs between multiple objectives
  • Systematic Approach in Urban Water Management
  • Graywater and Wastewater Recycling
  • Green Infrastructures
  • Natural Treatment Systems
  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus
  • Emerging Contaminants fate in Receiving Environment

Wendy Ann Peer

  • Use biochemistry, genetics, live cell imaging, phenology, and physiology to address hypothesis-driven research in plant growth and development
  • Investigate the roles of plant specialized compounds, including flavonoids and hormones, and other plant growth regulators in plant developmental processes and responses to the environment
  •  Auxin homeostasis
  •  Flavonoid function
  •  Plant growth regulators/invasive species
  •  Metal-center proteins

Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman

  • Urban ecosystems, green infrastructure function, and ecosystem services
  • Using in situ installations of street-scape water harvesting basins in Tucson, AZ to ask: How are soil quality and soil food webs impacted by the flush of materials following rain events? How does water harvesting impact microbial activity and soil C&N cycling? How does water harvesting impact plant function and ecosystem service provision?   
  • Social-ecological systems, ecosystem services, and ecological resilience
  • Exploring the provision of ecosystem services in the San Pedro River watershed with several approaches: (1) using plant trait based and soil ecological perspectives to explore the drivers of ecosystem services (i.e., carbon sequestration, sediment retention, birding habitat, aesthetics) at inter and intra specific scales. (2) Using ecosystem service assessment and mapping approaches, we are exploring how land use has changed over the past 40 years and how this impacts ecosystem service provision

Martin Rabenhorst

  • Genesis, morphology, and classification of hydromorphic soils
  • Pedogenesis and soil-landscape relations
  • Hydropedology of non-tidal wetlands and coastal marshes
  • Pedogenesis and resource inventory of subaqueous soils
  • Technology development for documenting reducing soil conditions

David Ruppert

  • Soil science
  • Nutrient management (nutrient capture and release by soil; soil fertility)

Adel Shirmohammadi

  • Watershed scale modeling
  • Relationship between incidences of human cancer and drinking water quality on spatial coordinate system using GIS in a Super Fund site
  • Storm water management in urban and suburban ecosystems
  • Sustainable management of agro-ecosystems 
  • Creating Diagnostic Decision Support Systems (DDSS) for sustainable management of landscape using community empowerment

David Tilley

  • Determining the effects of ecological systems, such as green walls, green roofs, and artificial wetland gardens, on energy balance, water balance and water quality of the built environment
  • Design for Urban Water & Energy (DUWE), Energy & Environment, Computer-aided Design for Ecology, and Energy Analysis

Bob Tjaden

  • Whether Tree Farmers and agricultural landowners are knowledgeable about ecosystem services
  • How Tree Farmers and agricultural landowners feel about participation in a PES program.
  • How demographics and geographic characteristics affect willingness to participate in a PES program.
  • How financial payments, contract length and the agency administering a PES program affect participation
  • Whether there are significant differences in the survey responses of Tree Farmers and farmers
  •  Maryland’s Forest Resources in a Dynamic Environment:  Assessing the Future Sustainability of Maryland’s Forest Industry
  •  Integrating Socio-Ecological Research and Collaborative Learning to Increase Marsh and Community Resilience to Sea-Level Rise

Gurpal Toor

  • Conduct basic and applied research and extension to (1) increase understanding of environmental issues as related to agricultural and natural ecosystems and (2) solve environmental problems related to nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Develop solutions to manage nutrients in plant root-zone and protect water quality
  • Gaining better understanding of processes, mechanisms, and pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus flows in soil-plant-water systems
  • Sustain agricultural production and reduce environmental impacts on water bodies in Maryland and Chesapeake Bay
  • Develop, evaluate, and refine innovative tools using nutrient management principles to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of water bodies while using waste materials (manures, bio solids) and commercial fertilizers
  • Investigate mechanisms and processes controlling release and transport of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural landscape to drainage ditches, streams, and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed 

Ray Weil

  • Multi-Purpose Cover Crops to Enhance The Environment and Farm Profitability
  • Soil Quality Management for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Active Organic Matter Test to Help Farmers Profitably Improve Soil Quality
  • Environmental Impacts of Management Intensive Grazing Based Dairy Farms
  • Current Regulations Protect Soil Ecosystems from Metal Toxicity

Stephanie Yarwood

  • Microbial interactions and functioning in soils from many different ecosystems, with the overall goal of understanding environmental factors that affect microbial community composition and how microbial community structure in turn affects ecosystem function
  •  Examining how subsurface microbial communities change during soil formation and how microbial communities vary due to anthropogenic disturbance
  • Comparing microbial community composition in conventional and organic grain production in the mid-Atlantic
  • Investigating the community structures of freshwater tidal wetland plants and rhizosphere microorganisms in restored and natural locations in urban and suburban/rural watersheds

Lance Yonkos

  • Laboratory and field studies of contaminant abundance, transport, fate and toxicological effect in fresh and estuarine surface waters and sediments
  • Investigation into micro plastic abundance in surface water, sediments and oysters as a function of predominant land use within various Chesapeake Bay watersheds
  • Use of field-deployed freshwater mussels to identify primary sources of contaminant introduction to the Anacostia River
  • Identification of legacy toxic constituents in leachate from Md coal ash management facilities to assist in targeting environmental mitigation strategies
  • Evaluations of agricultural management strategies to mitigate environmental release of endocrine disrupting compounds from poultry manure and bio solids amended fields
  • Development of non-lethal tissue collection methods to minimize sampling pressure on resident fish populations during field investigations into endocrine disruption

NFSC Researchers

Richard A. Ahrens

  • Dairy Husbandry
  • Nutrition
  • Dairy Science
  • Family and Consumer Sciences

Robert L. Buchanan

  • Predictive microbiology, quantitative microbial risk assessment, microbial physiology, mycotoxicology, and HACCP systems
  • Co-developers of the widely used USDA Pathogen Modeling Program

Thomas W. Castonguay

  • Effects of exercise, age and body composition on metabolic flexibility measured by 
  • Indirect calorimetry influence of sugars on the human hypothalamic BOLD response as measured by fMRI
  • The influence of sugars on hypothalamic genes regulating food intake and body composition; 11 beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase – 1 and its role in dietary obesity

Seong-Ho Lee

  • Nutritional and pharmacological chemoprevention: Find promising dietary compounds and chemo preventive agents for cancer prevention
  • Molecular carcinogenesis: Identify molecular target genes associated with cancer and elucidate mechanisms of their actions
  • Nutritional biochemistry: Describe the function of nutrients at the cellular/molecular level and physiological mechanisms of action of various nutrition-related processes

David K.Y. Lei

  • Nutrient control of gene expression
  • Elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for the altered gene expression modulated by cellular zinc status.
  • Studies are being conducted to examine the influence of zinc status on the expression of tumor suppressor p53 gene and its target genes (p21, Gadd45 and Mdm2), as well as on cell cycle regulation and apoptosis, in normal human bronchial epithelial, prostate epithelial and aortic endothelial cells, and in human tumor cell lines.
  • Influence of food and medicinal plant materials with bioactivities on cell cycle modulation and on tumor suppressor genes in normal human prostate epithelial cells and prostate tumor cell lines

Phyllis McShane

  • Dietetic Internship Education
  • Nutrition Informatics
  • IPE: Interprofessional Education

Jianghong Meng

  • Food safety microbiology
  • Molecular identification
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • Pathogenicity of major foodborne pathogens including Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, CampylobacterSalmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes

Phylis B. Moser-Veillon

  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Role of leptin in energy substrate utilization during lactation

Diana Obanda

  • Nutritional biochemistry
  • Functional foods as intervention for obesity related gut microbiota dysbiosis
  • Insulin resistance and inflammation

Abani K. Pradhan

  • Research area: Food safety and risk assessment
  • Key words: Food safety risk analysis, quantitative microbial risk assessment, predictive microbiology, food safety engineering, and molecular epidemiology
  • Research aims at integrating experimental and field data with mathematical modeling, and developing predictive and risk assessment models that will aid in guiding several stakeholders such as policy makers, government agencies, consumers, and food industry to improve food safety and public health
  • Conduct interdisciplinary research to address critical food safety issues related to foodborne pathogens (e.g., Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenesToxoplasma gondii) in different food categories such as fresh produce, meat and poultry, dairy, and low moisture foods: pet foods and chocolate
  • Recent research projects include predictive modeling and quantitative risk assessments for pathogenic bacteria and parasite Toxoplasma gondii in produce, meat, and dairy products; antimicrobial resistance and dynamics of endemic infectious diseases on dairy farms
  • In addition, currently exploring appropriate methods and approaches to integrate molecular data (e.g., whole genome sequencing) and risk models to evaluate public health risk

Shaik O. Rahaman

  • Elucidating the molecular signaling events underlying the pathogenesis of various inflammatory diseases, specifically, atherosclerosis and fibrosis.
  • Insights into pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases
  • Identify potential therapeutic targets, and discover basic molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation

Nadine Sahyoun

  • Relationship between diet, lifestyle factors, nutritional status and health outcomes, especially in older adults
  • Study of determinants and impact of food and nutrition security on populations in the US, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa

Hee-Jung Song

  • Developing, implementing and evaluating a behavioral, community-based nutrition intervention, which sought to modify the food environment for low-income African Americans in Baltimore
  • Intervention for the management of hypertension, community-based type II diabetes care and breast and cervical cancer control
  • To study how social, behavioral, environmental determinants influence health status and to develop sustainable nutrition intervention programs, particularly for underserved population including low-income family and children  
  • Studying the relationship between food environment and diet related diseases and exploring its longitudinal changes are one of main research interests
  • The systematic translation of research findings into sustainable practice and dietary instrument validation

Rohan V. Tikekar

  • Development of novel processing technologies and ingredients to enhance food safety and quality Develop novel photochemical processes for inactivation of microorganisms in fresh produce
  • Investigate the impact on non-thermal food processing technologies such as ultraviolet light and cold-plasma processing on enzyme activity, contaminant reduction, and textural changes in foods
  • Develop fundamental understanding of ingredient interactions during food processing and evaluate their impact on food quality
  • Understand the nature of redox reactions occurring in foods during processing operations and their effect on foods
  • Improve the stability and delivery of bioactive compounds through optimized encapsulation systems developed using novel ingredients or ingredient properties
  • Exposure to complimentary analytical techniques such as fluorescence spectroscopy, molecular imaging, ESR spectroscopy, HPLC and GC

Margaret Udahogora

  • Community based research and Intervention for the prevention/management of type 2 diabetes among African Descents
  • Food security, nutritional status and diabetes among African Descents
  • Food security status among college students and  factors associated with food security and health behaviors

Qin Wang

  • Functionality evaluation and development of delivery systems from nanoparticles and films from food proteins and polysaccharides (i.e. zein, soy protein isolate, whey protein, wheat gluten, chitosan and its derivatives).
  • Biosensor development via electrodeposition and quorum sensing of magnetic nanofillers and biopolymer films.        
  • Antimicrobial packaging material development using food proteins (i.e. zein, whey protein, chitosan) and silver.
  • Protein modification for improved functional properties and its formation of nanostructure.
  • Safety, quality, and sensory evaluations of microgreens and comparison with mature counterparts and sprouts

Cheng-i Wei

  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Biology
  • Medical Microbiology

Liangli (Lucy) Yu

  • Nutraceuticals and Functional foods for reducing the risk of obesity and related diabetes, and coronary heart disease;
  • Interactions between food factors and gut microbiota, and the impacts on host health,
  • Food safety and integrity chemistry

PSLA Researchers

Carol Allen

  • Optimizing water quality
  • Fruit and vegetable crop production to meet current food safety requirements

Mark Carroll

  • Water quality issues in the management of turfgrasses and the development of low input sustainable turfgrass systems
  • Characterizing the sorption of pesticides to turfgrass thatch, and on the evaluation of solute transport models to predict pesticide movement in turf
  • Development and validation of innovative approaches that will minimize nutrient fertilization of lawns and on quantifying nutrient and sediment runoff losses from residential developments

Priscila Chaverri

  • Systematics of ascomycetes that are important in agriculture and in tropical forests.
  • Systematics research focused on monographic work, taxonomy, and phylogenetics with a keen interest in  evolution
  •  Taxonomy of endophytes in the tropics and the systematics of fungal pathogens (Nectriaceae) associated with hardwood trees in temperate and tropical regions
  • Biodiversity of fungi associated to rubber trees (Hevea spp.) and towards understanding their role as plant protection agents
  • Secondary metabolites as drivers in fungal endophyte community diversity
  • Fruit-eating bats and endophytic fungi: an unexplored indirect mutualism

Diana Cochran

  • Commercial crop production
  • Crop diversification
  • Relationship between plants and environmental variables
  • Sustainable in-season crop management practices

Gary Coleman

  • Research is directed towards understanding the biology of nitrogen cycling and homeostasis in trees and the impacts of these processes on growth and development by integrating molecular biology, genetic, genomic, proteomic and physiological approaches

James Culver

  • Multidisciplinary research with efforts directed at understanding virus biology and its role in disease as well as studies aimed at engineering viruses and other biological components for application in nano-based systems and devices.
  • Utilize discoveries in virus biology to develop new approaches for their control and application
  • Developing methodologies to produce assembled arrays of functionalized viruses for use in sensors, energy harvesting and drug delivery.
  • Characterizing specific plant–virus interactions and cell responses that occur within the vascular tissues of infected plants.   
  • Identification of signaling pathways involved in disease development 
  • Develop crop plants that are incapable of supporting virus spread and/or disease development

Christopher Ellis

  • Ways to integrate human habitat and natural systems and to minimize conflicts for both
  • Working across scales from site design to regional planning mindful that an intervention at one scale affects others
  • Stream and wetland restorations, low impact development/environmental site design, and creative ways to integrate storm water solutions into K-12 school grounds to support environmental education 
  • Study the effects that physical environments have on human functioning, health and satisfaction.
  • Planning and design for sustainable land development
  • Landscape ecology & environmental perception
  • Information technology for landscape planning and design
  • Geographic modeling and analysis of built and natural systems

John Erwin

  • Environmental control of plant growth in greenhouses and controlled environment agriculture
  • Identifying ways to maximize flowering, photosynthesis and yield using different
    lighting and temperature strategies
  • Manipulating the environment in controlled environment systems to maximize
    edible crop nutritional value.
  • Identifying new production strategies to reduce chemical use, environmental input and labor costs.
  • Identifying strategies to facilitate heat and drought tolerant crops to improve plant
    resilience in a changing climate.
  • Identifying new ornamental crops that are heat and drought tolerant.

Kathryne Everts

  • Sclerotinia sclerotiorum diversity and management of white mold on lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) in Maryland and Delaware
  • Downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis), detection and management
  • Interactions between Salmonella enterica Newport and Fusarium spp. on melon fruit
  • Sustainable management of foliar and soil borne disease of vegetable crops

Macarena Farcuh

  • Fruit quality
  • Fruit ripening
  • Postharvest physiology
  • Fruit biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Fruit safety
  • Fruit hormonal balance

Nicole Fiorellino

  • Adaptive nitrogen management
  • Alternative crops
  • Long-term phytoremediation of soils with high phosphorus concentrations

Mengjun Hu

  • Plant Pathology
  • Grape and Small Fruit Disease
  • Fungicide Resistance and Its Mechanisms

Byoung-Suk Kweon

  • Environmental Behavior
    • Conduct interdisciplinary research that involves understanding human–environment relationships
    • Focus on questions of how natural and built environments influence people’s well-being
  • Environment and Health
    • Link between environmental risks/facilitators around public schools and their consequences on children’s school performance and health
  • School and Children’s Environment
    • Transform school grounds into outdoor learning environments
    • Develop various ways to integrate school environments into school curriculum
  • Landscape Performance
    • Document environmental social, and economic benefits of landscape projects
    • Calculate the effects of green schools on children’s learning and well-being
  • Environmental Justice
    • Study the distribution of vacant lots in Baltimore City
    • Examine the distribution of parks among different racial groups

John Lea-Cox

  • Water and nutrient management to reduce the environmental impacts of our production practices
  • Plant physiology, plant water relations, plant pathology, soilless substrates, water and nutrient modeling, production system dynamics, green roof and urban storm water systems and wireless sensor networks.
  • Recycling of Water
  • Green Roof Systems
  • Wireless Sensor Networks for Resource Management
  • Water-borne Pathogen Management

Shirley Micallef

  • Microbiological safety of fresh produce
  • Assessing the impact of various cropping practices on the persistence of foodborne enteric pathogens in the agricultural environment, including cover crops, soil amendments and mulches
  • Environmental metabolomics of plant surfaces to understand enteric pathogen colonization of plants
  • Studying enteric pathogen-plant responses
  • Crop microbiomes 

Angus Murphy

  • Processes that control the movement of the phytohormone auxin to regulate programmed and plastic plant development
  • Integration of light and gravity responses and modification of auxin fluxes by salt stress.
  • Transport of other aromatic acids that function in plant / fungal growth processes.
  • Reduction of mycotoxins in plant foods

David Myers

  • Green Infrastructure
  • Ecological Design
  • Greenway design and planning
  • Residential environments
  • Conservation design and planning

Maile Neel

  • Habitat Fragmentation and the Spatial Distribution of Biological Diversity
  • Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation

Dennis Nola

  • Urban agriculture and social justice of equitable urban revilatization

Bill Phillips

  • Weed ecophysiology

Yiping Qi

  • Plant synthetic biology and plant innate immunity
  • Plant Genome Editing with sequence specific nucleases (SSNs) including ZFN, TALEN, CRISPR/Cas9 and Cpf1. Genome editing is about to revolutionize biological research, medicine and agriculture
  •  Developing and testing multiple genome and epigenome editing tool systems to aid reverse genetics, accelerated breeding and metabolic engineering in important staple crops such as rice and wheat as well as energy crops such as Camelina and poplar
  • Plant immune signaling networks in Arabidopsis and rice

Karen Rane

  • Plant Disease Diagnostics - all crops
  • National Plant Diagnostic Network
  • Diseases of woody and herbaceous ornamentals
  • Plant Diagnostic Laboratory

Nidhi Rawat

  • Genetic resistance to pathogens
  • Investigating how the plants interact with their pathogens and
  •  Developing solutions to fungal diseases of small grain crops including wheat and barley
  •  Using Fusarium graminearum, the causal organism of Fusarium Head Blight in wheat and barley, as a model we are investigating the broad-spectrum strategies that the plants use to resist the pathogen spread.
  • Exploring and applying genetic solutions to the diseases of wheat and barley

Joseph Roberts

  • Emerging disease issues in addition to management strategies that prevent loss of turfgrass.
  • Studying microbial communities that associate with turfgrasses in an effort to better understand plant-microbe interactions for limiting the occurrence of pathogen
  • Promoting turfgrass survival and utility through design and implementation of sustainable management strategies

Deni Ruggeri

  • landscape democracy & right-to-landscape
  • community participation and co-design
  • place identity and attachment
  • engaged scholarship and pedagogy
  • social factors in urban design and livability 
  • Bottom up community development processes

Naomi Sachs

  • Application of the Healthcare Garden Evaluation Toolkit (H-GET) in healthcare and beyond
  • Design for Mental and Behavioral Health Environments
  • Correlations between Urban Greenspace and Violent Crime
  • Positive Nature Theory

Fereshteh Shahoveisi

  • Turfgrass Pathology

Jack Sullivan

  • Sustainable Urban Landscapes
  • Healing Landscapes
  • Landscape and Garden History in England and Italy
  • Campus Design
  • Design for residential and institutional landscapes

Joseph Sullivan

  • Research centers on the responses of plants to various forms of environmental stress - both natural and anthropogenic.
  • Physiological mechanisms that enable plants to exist in a wide range of environmental conditions and how human activities such as stratospheric ozone depletion, global climate change or urbanization may impact plant, agricultural or ecosystem productivity or ecosystem structure and functioning.
  • Environmental Stress
  • UV-B Radiation
  • Global Climate Change
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Plant Physiological Ecology
  • Urban forest Ecology

Vijay Tiwari

  • Genetics and genomics of small grain crops with emphasis on wheat, rye and barley.
  • Integrating genomic tools and germplasm development to achieve the goals of sustainable agriculture.
  • Identification of novel genes and alleles against abiotic and biotic stresses is a key step to perform genetic improvement of crop plants.
  • Identification, transfer, and isolation of important genes and alleles playing vital role against abiotic and biotic stresses in small grain crops
  • Molecular understanding of yield and yield contributing factors in bread wheat

Katherine Tully

  • Assess the sustainability of food production systems by examining their effects on interactions among plants, soils, carbon, nutrient, and water cycles in a changing climate.
  •  Identify farm management strategies that can balance food production and environmental health.
  •  Investigate sustainable agriculture strategies in developing countries where access to land, water, and inputs are limited.
  • Research focus on saltwater intrusion (the landward movement of saltwater from the ocean) and its consequences for both agriculture and the environment.
  • Research focus on how cover crops can promote efficient on-farm nutrient cycling, sequester carbon, and improve water quality

 Christopher S. Walsh

  • Economically-significant questions affecting the production and handling of fruit and vegetable crops
  • Culture-dependent and molecular techniques to study the effects of standard production practices on the epiphytic bacteria present on the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Identify and test metrics for use in food safety assurance programs

 Melissa Welsh

  • Agricultural & Extension Education
  • Teacher Preparation/Mentoring
  • Agricultural Literacy
  • Motivation
  • Experimential Learning

 Shunyuan Xiao 

  • Understanding molecular mechanisms of plant broad-spectrum resistance mediated by RPW8 against powdery mildew fungi
  • How RPW8 is targeted to and activates defenses at the host-pathogen interface
  • Origin & biogenesis of the extra-haustorial membrane and its role in host defense and fungal pathogenesis
  • Pathogenicity mechanisms of powdery mildew fungi
  • Development of novel & host-pathogen-interface–focused resistance against haustorium-forming pathogens in plants.
  • Broad-spectrum disease resistance
  • Plant-fungal interaction
  • Powdery mildew pathogenesis

 Jianhua Zhu

  • To understand the molecular mechanisms that plants have evolved to cope with abiotic stresses
  • Identification of key components in signal transduction pathways for plant responses to abiotic stresses, with the long-term goal of developing rational strategies to improve crop productivity and agricultural and environmental sustainability a combination of forward and reverse genetics in Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, and other crop plants to study the roles of proteins and non-protein encoding regulatory small RNAs in plant abiotic stress responses
  • Molecular mechanisms of plant abiotic stress responses
  • Gene regulation
  • Functional genomics
  • Epigenetics
  • Study the roles of proteins and non-protein encoding regulatory small RNAs in plant responses to abiotic stresses including salinity, drought, and temperature extremes (cold & heat)

Vet Med Researchers

George Belov

  • Understanding molecular mechanisms of membrane remodeling in cells infected with positive strand RNA viruses
  • Characterization of the role of cellular Arf GEF proteins in replication of picornaviruses
  • Development of novel anti-viral therapeutics targeting cellular factors hijacked for viral replication

Seth Dickey

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)among bacterial pathogens
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Bacterial Genetics

Mostafa Ghanem

  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Avian Pathology
  • Development of advanced Molecular Diagnostics

Chrysoula Kitsou

  • Transgenic models of infectious diseases
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Anti-Tick vaccines
  • Genome Editing

Weizhong Li

  • Vaccine development against viral respiratory infections and virus‐host interaction
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Virology and Immunology

Daniel Nelson

  • Development of antimicrobial alternatives to antibiotics
  • Structure/function/bioengineering studies of bacteriophage endolysins
  • Bacteriophage-derived immunotherapeutics
  • Use of bacteriophage proteins for bacterial diagnostics
  • Rapid dispersion of biofilms with bacteriophage depolymerases
  • Streptococcal/Staphylococcal therapeutic approaches

Utpal Pal

  • Lyme disease, Leptospirosis and Vector Biology, CRISPR/Cas9 mediated Genome Editing in model Rodents and Ticks
  • Genetic and antigenic determinants of Borrelia burgdorferi infection
  • Pathogenesis of Lyme disease
  • Vaccine and diagnostic potentials of select antigens
  • Host-pathogen interactions - pathogen receptors in the vector and hosts
  • Virulence factors of Leptospira interrogans
  • Biology and genetics of Ixodes scapulars ticks
  • Anti-Tick Vaccines
  • Use of CRISPR/Cas9 mediated Genome Editing to understand Host-Pathogen Interactions and Immunity

Jaekeun Park

  • Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Influenza
  • Microbiology

Sean Riley

  • Spotted Fever Rickettsia
  • Molecular and cellular interactions between intracellular bacteria and mammalian cells
  • Microbiology

Meiqing Shi

  • Intravascular immune responses to Cryptococcus neoformans and Trypanosoma brucei
  • Molecular mechanisms involved in brain invasion by C. neoformans and T. brucei
  • Dynamic interactions of immune cells with C. neoformans and T. brucei in the brain
  • Pulmonary immune responses to  C. neoformans
  • Role of dendritic cells, T cells and cytokines in the immunopathogenesis of trypanosome infections

Nathaniel Tablante

  • Investigate knowledge gaps and risk factors in the pathogenesis and recurrence of economically important poultry diseases on the Delmarva peninsula
  • Develop and recommend practical and cost-effective strategies to prevent and control economically important poultry diseases such as Avian Influenza

Ekaterina Viktorova

  • Development of vectored vaccine against polio based on Newcastle Disease Virus co-expressing poliovirus P1 and 3CD proteins
  • Characterization of the role of cellular GBF1 protein in replication of picornaviruses
  • Studying the origin of  poliovirus  replication organelles

Xiuli Yang

  • Pathogenesis of Lyme disease
  • Microbiology
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Immunology

Yanjin Zhang

  • Molecular virology of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), hepatitis E virus (HEV), Zika virus and others. 
  • Viral pathogenesis and virus-cell interactions 
  • Mechanisms of viral interference of host innate immunity -  Interferon induction and downstream signaling
  • Development of effective vaccines and novel antiviral therapeutics

Xiaoping Zhu

  • Identification of new mechanisms of immune regulation on mucosal infections and inflammations at molecular and cellular immunology level
  • How the mucosal immune system distinguishes pathogenic from non-pathogenic microbes and
  • how pathogens evade innate and adaptive immunity
  • Harnessing innate and adaptive immunity for mucosal vaccine development and immunotherapy

Strategic Initiatives

AGNR Strategic Initiatives
See how our research is connected to our Strategic Initiatives