Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

image of Bombus species students from the undergraduate Field Techniques course help banding Red Knot shorebirds Localization of the ancestral sugar transporter in algae, bacterial derived UhpC in the inner membrane of plastids (yellow regions) in the red alga Galdieria. Image produced by Fabio Facchinelli in the Weber lab.

News and Events

  • Two recent publications from the Winfree lab give new insights on biodiversity preservation and ecosystem functions

    image of Dr. Rachael Winfree Dr. Rachael Winfree recently published an article in Ecology Letters (featured by Nature as a research highlight), which shows that the major contribution to crop pollination in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is provided by a few common native bee species, whereas many rare species contribute little to this vital ecosystem function. In a large, international study published this month in Nature Communications, Dr. Winfree and colleagues reported that wild bee species provide significant crop pollination services averaging over $3,000 per ha per year, but that these services are provided by only 2% of the species found in the countries where the research took place. Together, these studies suggest that if other ecosystem services are similar to crop pollination, then efficient conservation of ecosystem services would target only a few common species. read more
  • Students Contribute to the Success of the Delaware Bay Shorebird Project

    red knot shorebird With red knots and ruddy turnstones in hand, students in the undergraduate Field Techniques course contributed to the success of the annual Delaware Bay Shorebird Project. Their participation in this activity is an annual happening under the tutelage of Professor Rick Lathrop and the watchful supervision of alumnus Dr. Larry Niles of LJ Niles Associates LLC, head of the International Shorebird Project and the Habitat Conservation Initiative of Conserve Wildlife NJ, and alumna Dr. Amanda Dey of the Endangered and Nongame Species Program in NJ Department of Environmental Protection. read more
  • Slim Karkar publishes a paper in PNAS on the evolution of metabolic connectivity in algae

    image of Dr. Slim Karkar Slim's paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) is part of a collaborative research project in the Bhattacharya lab with Dr. Andreas Weber in Germany on the evolution of metabolite transporters that line the inner membrane of photosynthetic organelles, the plastids. Plastids are the workhorses of primary production on our planet and provide the air we breathe. Using genomics and cell biology Slim and his co-authors figured out that most plastid transporters are of host nuclear origin with some key components provided by foreign bacteria through horizontal gene transfer (HGTs). This work supports the hypothesis that the creation of new organelles is directed by the host cell, with the endosymbiont making a smaller contribution to host-plastid connectivity. Slim's work and ideas can be incorporated into the nascent field of synthetic biology, whereby scientists are trying to engineer artificial symbioses that provide platforms for biofuel or other biotechnological uses. read more

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About Us

Our interdisciplinary department specializes in ecology, evolution, and natural resource conservation. We study the evolutionary origins and maintenance of biodiversity, conserving and restoring native ecosystems, and issues of global change such as managing natural resources within urban ecosystems.

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Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences | [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources]