J. Stephen Gosnell, Baruch College

How can understanding the causes and consequences of ecological diversity help us better manage natural resources?

My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of ecological diversity. I usually ask these questions about diversity in coastal systems such as oyster reefs and salt marshes. These are excellent places for this work because of the rich diversity of organisms they house, the environmental gradients they span, the stressors they encompass, and the valuable services they provide. Many coastal communities are also the target of management actions ranging from restoration to harvest management, and a better understanding of how diversity is maintained and why it matters in these areas is essential to motivating, guiding, and valuing management actions. Because of this much of my work merges basic and applied ecology. Current management connections include work on oyster reef (in collaboration with the Billion Oyster Project) and salt marsh restoration. You can read more about our current projects under the research tab.

My interests in these topics also drives my work as a teacher. I lead upper division courses on conservation biology and biostatistics, and I also enjoy introducing students to ecology through non-majors and first-year courses. My courses typically use open educational resources in lieu of traditional textbooks in order to increase student access and bring current material into the classroom. You can view material I've developed or aggregated for my courses under the teaching tab.

Communicating science and outreach is another aspect of my job that I truly enjoy. Our work on managed systems offers chances to communicate with stakeholders on various projects, and the lab also coordinate outreach opportunities focused on K-12 education. You can read more about these efforts under the outreach tab.

There are openings for new students (undergraduate and graduate) in the lab who share similar interests. Interested students should contact me at stephen.gosnell@baruch.cuny.edu; you can also find more information here.

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