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Areas of Expertise

Researchers at the Odum School of Ecology are addressing today's pressing and complex issues, from global climate change to water policy to infectious diseases - and much more. With expertise in areas including ecosystems, disease, conservation and aquatics, Odum School faculty are at the forefront of cutting-edge research.

There are many experts in a variety of fields at the Odum School, but there are five core research areas that we are especially known for:

Infectious disease ecology
Ecosystem ecology/Biogeochemistry
Aquatic ecology/Watershed ecology
Evolutionary ecology/Biogeography
Sustainability science/Conservation ecology

Faculty with expertise in these areas are noted below:

Infectious disease ecology
The study of the interactions among pathogens or parasites and their human, animal or plant hosts in the context of their environment and evolution.
Sonia Altizer
Jeb Byers
Ron Carroll
Andy Davis
John Drake
Vanessa Ezenwa
John Gittleman
Richard Hall
Andrew Park
Jim Porter

Ecosystem ecology/Biogeochemistry
Ecosystem ecology is the study of the interactions among living things and their physical environment. Biogeochemistry is the study of the chemical, physical, geological and biological processes that govern ecosystems. Both are concerned with how energy moves through ecosystems.
Ford Ballantyne
Gary Barrett
Krista Capps

Ron Carroll
Alan Covich
Bud Freeman
Elizabeth King
Jacqueline Mohan
Bernie Patten
Cathy Pringle
Amy Rosemond
Nina Wurzburger

Aquatic ecology/Watershed ecology
The study of marine and freshwater organisms and ecosystems, including their interface with the land.
Jeb Byers

Krista Capps

Ron Carroll

Scott Connelly
Alan Covich

John Drake
Bill Fitt
Laurie Fowler

Bud Freeman

Craig Osenberg
Bernie Patten

Jim Porter

Cathy Pringle

Amy Rosemond
Seth Wenger

Evolutionary ecology/Biogeography
Evolutionary ecology is the study of how interactions between and within species change over time as species evolve, taking into account factors such as competition, mutualism, predation and pathogens. Biogeography is the study of the geographical distribution of plants and animals.
Sonia Altizer
Jeb Byers
Andy Davis
Bud Freeman
Vanessa Ezenwa
John Gittleman
Jacqueline Mohan
Andrew Park
John Pickering
Jim Porter
Cathy Pringle

Sustainability science/Conservation ecology
Sustainability science is the study of the interactions between natural and social systems. Conservation ecology is the study of the effects of human activity on species and ecosystems with the goal of protecting biodiversity and preventing species extinction.
Kimberly Andrews
Gary Barrett
Krista Capps

Ron Carroll
Laurie Fowler
Bud Freeman
Elizabeth King
Cathy Pringle
Seth Wenger

EUGENE ODUM, PIONEER OF MODERN ECOLOGY

Dr. Odum, widely regarded as “the father of modern ecology,” founded the University of Georgia’s Institute of Ecology as well as the Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. He also wrote Fundamentals of Ecology, one of the first textbooks on the subject that was first published in 1953 and still used in universities. Dr. Odum argued that the earth is a series of interlocking environmental communities, or ecosystems and is often credited with making the term "ecosystem" a household word.