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Rhys Williams

Professor

Disciplines

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Sociology
  • Place and Environment

Research Interests

  • Professor Williams’ current research examines these themes in two different projects. One is a study of the involvement of religious groups in progressive political causes – with two collaborators he recently published Religion and Progressive Activism (New York University Press, 2017). The second is an examination of the public attitudes and political language about immigration and immigrants in contemporary American politics, and how they use images of national identity.

Heather Wheeler

Professor

Disciplines

  • Biology
  • Computer Sciences

Research Interests

  • Genome-wide analyses of the past few years have revealed that a substantial portion of the genetic control of complex traits is exerted through the regulation of gene expression. Much of the genetic variation associated with complex traits falls outside the protein coding regions of genes. Mechanistic understanding of how this variation contributes to phenotype is lacking, but gene regulation is thought to play a major role. We develop and apply methods that fully harness gene regulation within complex trait association and prediction studies.

Nancy Tuchman

Professor and Founding Director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Disciplines

  • Life Sciences

Research Interests

  • Human impacts to aquatic ecosystems are widespread and varied
  • from direct (e.g. point-source pollution, hydrologic disturbance) to indirect impacts (e.g. increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations). Throughout my career, I have explored a range of human impacts to aquatic ecosystem structure and function, spanning from investigating the impact of introduced exotic zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) on Great Lakes ecosystems, the effects of elevated CO2-altered leaf litter on stream ecosystem food-webs, to the effects of emerging contaminants such as plasticizers (Bisphenol-A), and pharmaceuticals (e.g. antibiotics and endocrine disruptors) on streams and lakes. Presently, my lab is focused on exploring ecological impacts of invasive plant species on Great Lakes coastal wetland ecosystems.
  • Great Lakes coastal wetlands are experiencing widespread increases in the spread and dominance of the aggressive invasive plants Typha x glauca (hybrid cattail) and Phragmites australis (common reed), resulting in reduced species diversity and altered ecological functioning. Since 2002, we have explored the community and ecosystem impacts of Typha on Great Lakes coastal wetland ecosystems, mechanisms of Typha dominance at community and regional scales, and the long-term impacts of Typha on nitrogen cycling and ecosystem functioning. Since 2010, we have begun exploring and developing environmentally and economically sustainable restoration options for controlling Typha. Specifically, we are examining the effects of experimental Typha removal as an alternative to burning or herbiciding, on plant and invertebrate communities and wetland biogeochemistry