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Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

Graduate Faculty Research Topics

The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management conducts research in the following areas:

  • Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology
  • Forest Resources
  • Rangeland Ecology and Management
  • Wildlife Ecology and Management

Fisheries & Aquatic Ecology

Jim Long
Shannon Brewer
Daniel Shoup

  • Ecology of streams and rivers

  • Fisheries science

  • Population and community ecology of riverine fishes

  • Movement patterns and habitat relationships of riverine fishes

  • Management of recreational fisheries

  • Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing applications in fisheries

  • Role of predation risk, competition, and abiotic factors in structuring food webs in aquatic systems

  • How fish optimize their habitat selection and diet in the face of competitive and predatory pressures

  • How changes in habitat selection or diet by a species affects (directly or indirectly)other species in the system


Forest Resources

a.) Ecohydrology

Chris Zou

  • Plant, soil, and water interactions

  • Soil moisture dynamics and redistribution

  • Woody plant expansion and eco-hydrological impact

  • Coupling of carbon and water cycles

  • Ecosystem fluxes of CO2 and H20

  • Eddy covariance technique

b.) Forest and other Natural Resource Management

Dr. Omkar Joshi

  • Stated and revealed preference methods in natural resource valuation
  • Timber price and market forecasting
  • Timber growth projections and economic valuation
  • Economics of wood-based bioenergy
  • Input-output modelling of forest and related industries
  • Family forest landownerships in United States
  • Community and social forestry issues
c.) Forest Biometrics

Tom Lynch

  • Modeling growth and development of naturally-occurring shortleaf pine forests

  • Sampling and monitoring trees and shrubs in great plains riparian ecosystems

  • Evaluation of restoration of shortleaf pine - bluestem forest type (pre-settlement forest type)

  • Polyareal plot sampling and growth estimation from permanently established sample points

  • Distance sampling for forest inventory

  • Estimation of volume, product yield, weight, center of gravity and moment of inertia for individual tree-length stems and logs

  • Growth and development of intensively managed loblolly pine plantations

d.) Forest Ecophysiology & Silviculture

Rod Will

  • Water relations, carbon and nitrogen metabolism of forest plants

  • Factors controlling vegetation dynamics

  • Water uptake and transfer in trees

  • Relations between root morphology and anatomical structures

  • Hydraulic properties of pine and oak

  • Effects of environmental stress on tree and forest stand

  • Effects of silivcultural treatments on growth, productivity, and physiology of forest stands

  • Environmental effects on the photosynthesis and respiration of trees

  • Canopy dynamics of forest stands

  • Effects of global climate change on trees and forests

e.) Wood Products

Salim Hiziroglu

  • Wood composites, wood-moisture relation, mechanical processes of wood products

  • Value-added composite panels from under-utilized species of Oklahoma

  • Evaluation of surface characteristics of wood composites


Rangeland Ecology & Management

Sam Fuhlendorf
Karen Hickman
Gail Wilson
Chris Zou
Laura Goodman

  • Grazing behavior and animal performance

  • Targeted grazing

  • Plant animal interactions

  • Integrated plant management

  • Ecological restoration

  • Conservation of native plant communities

  • Sustainable use for products and services

  • Landscape ecology

  • Plant-animal interactions

  • Wildlife habitat ecology

  • Community ecology

  • Rangeland monitoring

  • Landscape management

  • Ecological succession

  • Diversity of rangelands

  • Grazing ecology

  • Conservation grazing

  • Rangeland management

  • Invasive plant species (Old World bluestems, tall fescue, Sericea lespedeza)

  • Fire Ecology

  • Grassland ecology

  • Social-ecological resilience

  • Eastern redcedar ecology and management

  • Large-scale conservation

  • Sociology of conservation management


Wildlife Ecology and Management

a.) Upland Bird Ecology & Management

Craig Davis
Dwayne Elmore
Scott Loss
Tim O'Connell

  • Large-scale conservation partnerships

  • Wildlife damage management

  • Ecology and management of avian species, with an emphasis on wetland and grassland species

  • Ecology and management of terrestrial invertebrates

  • Grassland bird responses to different grazing practices

  • Ecology and recovery of endangered Ozark big eared bats, interior least terns, and red-cockaded woodpeckers

  • Assessment of the status of lesser prairie-chickens

  • Resource conservation and management in Romania and Poland

  • Effects of habitat alterations on wildlife populations

  • Field studies of breeding songbirds

  • Habitat loss and degradation

  • Landscape ecology

  • Ecology and management of upland game birds

  • Bobwhite thermal ecology, nesting success and behavior, nocturnal ecology

  • Modeling of operative temperatures on landscapes, and response of populations to forest management practices

  • Human-caused accidental mortality of birds (e.g. collisions with man-made structures, predation by pets, poisoning

  • Effects of invasive species on bird habitats

  • Urban ecology of bird populations and communities

  • Ecology of arthropod borne diseases for which birds are reservoir hosts

b.) Behavior, Ecology, & Conservation of Large Mammals

Sue Fairbanks

  • Red wolves in Texas, giant anteaters in Brazil and American bison

  • Captive mammals, mainly primates, at the Tulsa and Oklahoma City Zoos

  • Analysis of media coverage of environmental issues

  • Habitat selection and behavior of ungulates and black bear

  • Population ecology of ungulates and black bear

  • Seed dispersal by bison in tall grass prairie