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David Lodge

Francis J. DiSalvo Director, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future; President of the Ecological Society of America

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Oxford (1982)
B.S., The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee (1982)



My appointment at Cornell University began in May of 2016 where I will serve as the first Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. My academic home at Cornell will be in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a joint appointment in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. As the founder of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), where researchers strive to conduct research that matters to society, my goal is to find answers to the most critical environmental questions of our time. Along with collaborators and partner organizations, we focus on the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, and their synergistic impacts on water resources. We seek to provide solutions to minimize the trade-offs between human welfare and environmental health where trade-offs are unavoidable, and discover win-win solutions where they are possible. I have conducted extensive research experience on a wide variety of vectors of invasive species, including ships, boats, canals, and commerce in life food, pets and plants. With numerous collaborators, I have studied Eurasian watermilfoil, rusty crayfish, zebra and quagga mussels, and Asian carp and many other species. My research focuses on ecological forecasting to better inform environmental risk assessment, policy development, and natural resource management.  On numerous occasions I have testified before the U.S. Congress, and has also served as an expert witness in federal court. I served as the first chair of the U.S. government’s national Invasive Species Advisory Committee in 2000-01, led research on freshwater biodiversity as part of the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2000-05, and led an expert subcommittee providing advice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on reducing invasions from the ballast water of ships in 2010-11. I am a member of the scientific advisory boards of NOAA and the International Joint Commission. Collaborations with economists, historians, theologians, and philosophers, and has provided me with extensive experience in partnering with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to help translate and transfer scientific work to the public policy arena. I served as a Jefferson Science Fellow in the US Department of State in 2014-15, and faculty member at the University of Notre Dame for over 28 years.


Conservation Biology, freshwater ecology, invasive species, risk analysis, environmental policy


  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Many global environmental changes have very large impacts on biodiversity, on community structure, and on the function of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We combine basic and applied ecological research to contribute to conservation of the world’s fresh waters, with a particular emphasis on the causes, effects, and management of biological invasions. Through field and laboratory experiments as well as short- and long-term natural observations, we explore the complex interactions that occur among plants, invertebrates, fish, and other organisms and how aquatic communities change over time. Members of the Lodge Lab are developing new methods in ecological forecasting risk assessment to help guide policy and management actions aimed at preventing species introductions.  We are also advancing novel technologies such as environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance to improve the study and management of invaders, imperiled species, and other species of interest. Finally, we collaborate extensively across disciplines to link ecology with other fields such as economics to understand how changes in aquatic systems influence human use and perceptions. Current research in my lab focuses on conservation biology, especially on the overlapping spheres of interest described above, all of which relate to current global changes. My students, postdocs, and I have conducted field work in the inland lakes and streams of northern Indiana/southern Michigan, UNDERC in the upper peninsula of Michigan, the Great Lakes, the coastal plain of North Carolina, Denmark, and Kenya. Current funding comes from NSF, EPA, NOAA Sea Grant, USDA, and the US Department of Education.


  • Xu CCY, Yen IJ, Bowman D, Turner CR. 2015. Spider web DNA: A new spin on noninvasive genetics of predator and prey. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0142503. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142503.
  • Howeth JG, Gantz CA, Angermeier PL, Frimpong EA, Hoff MH, Keller RP, Mandrak NE, Marchetti MP, Olden JD, Romagosa CM, Lodge DM. 2015. Predicting invasiveness of species in trade: climate match, trophic guild and fecundity influence establishment and impact of non-native freshwater fishes. Diversity and Distributions. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12391.
  • Lodge DM. 2015. Faith and science can find common ground. Nature 523, 503 (30 July 2015). doi:10.1038/523503a.
  • Evans NT, Olds BP, Renshaw MR, Turner CR, Li Y, Jerde CL, Mahon AR, Pfrender ME, Lamberti GA, Lodge DM. 2015. Quantification of mesocosm fish and amphibian species diversity via eDNA metabarcoding. Molecular Ecology Resources doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12433.
  • Reisinger LS, Petersen I, Hing JS, Davila RL, Lodge, DM. 2015. Infection with a trematode parasite differentially alters competitive interactions and antipredator behaviour in native and invasive crayfish. Freshwater Biology doi: 10.1111/fwb.12590.
  • Egan SP, Grey E, Olds B, Feder J, Ruggiero S, Tanner CE, Lodge DM. 2015. Rapid molecular detection of invasive species in ballast and harbor water by integrating environmental DNA and Light Transmission Spectroscopy. Environmental Science and Technology doi: 10.1021/es5058659.
  • Turner CR, Uy KL, Everhart RC. 2015. Fish environmental DNA is more concentrated in aquatic sediments than surface water. Biological Conservation 183: 93-102.
  • Gantz CA, Gordon DR, Jerde CL, Keller RP, Chadderton WL, Champion PD, Lodge DM. 2015. Managing the introduction and spread of non-native aquatic plants in the Laurentian Great Lakes: a regional risk assessment approach. Management of Biological Invasions 6(1): 45-55.
  • Sargent LW, Lodge DM. 2014. Evolution of invasive traits in nonindigenous species: increased survival and faster growth in invasive populations of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus). Evolutionary Applications 7(8): 949-961.
  • Turner CR, Miller DJ, Coyne KJ, Corush J. 2014. Improved methods for capture, extraction, and quantitative assay of environmental DNA from Asian Bigheaded Carp (Hypophthalmichthys spp.). PLoS One doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114329.
  • Wittmann ME, Cooke RM, Rothlisberger JD, Rutherford ES, Zhang H, Mason DM, Lodge DM. 2014. Use of structured expert judgment to forecast invasions by Bighead and Silver Carp in Lake Erie. Conservation Biology doi: 10.1111/cobi12369.
  • Renshaw MA, Olds BP, Jerde CL, McVeigh MM, Lodge DM. 2014. The room temperature preservation of filtered environmental DNA samples and assimilation into a phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol DNA extraction. Molecular Ecology Resources doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12281.
  • Turner CR, Barnes MA, Xu CCY, Jones SE, Jerde CL, Lodge DM. 2014. Particle size distribution and optimal capture of aqueous macrobial eDNA. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5(7): 676-684. Barnes MA, Jerde CL, Wittmann ME, Chadderton WL, Ding J, Zhang J, Purcell M, Budhathoki M, Lodge DM. 2014. Geographic selection bias of occurrence data influences transferability of invasive Hydrilla verticillata distribution models. Ecology and Evolution 4: 2584-2593.
  • Peters JA, Cooper MJ, Creque SM, Kornis MS, Maxted JT, Perry WL, Schueler FW, Simon TP, Taylor CA, Thoma RF, Uzarski DG, Lodge DM. 2014. Historical changes and current status of crayfish diversity and distribution in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 40: 35-46
  • Wittmann ME, Cooke RM, Rothlisberger JD, Lodge DM. 2014. Using structured expert judgment to assess invasive species prevention: Asian carp and the Mississippi-Great Lakes hydrologic connection. Environmental Science & Technology 48: 2150-2156.
  • Barnes MA, Turner CR, Jerde CL, Renshaw MA, Chadderton WL, Lodge DM. 2014. Environmental conditions influence eDNA persistence in aquatic systems. Environmental Science & Technology 48: 1819-1827.
  • Wittmann ME, Jerde CL, Howeth JG, Maher SP, Deines AM, Jenkins JA, Whitledge GW, Burbank SR, Chadderton WL, Mahon AR, Tyson JT, Gantz CA, Keller RP, Drake JM, Lodge DM. 2014. Grass carp in the Great Lakes region: establishment potential, expert perceptions, and re-evaluation of experimental evidence of ecological impact. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71(7): 992-999
  • Peters JA, Lodge DM. 2013. Habitat, predation, and coexistence between invasive and native crayfishes: prioritizing lakes for invasion prevention. Biological Invasions 15: 2489-2502
  • Egan SP, Barnes MA, Hwang C, Mahon AR, Feder JL, Ruggiero ST, Tanner CE, Lodge DM. 2013. Rapid invasive species detection by combining environmental DNA with light transmission spectroscopy.Conservation Letters 6: 402-409.
  • Polando R, Dixit UG, Carter CR, Jones B, Whitcomb JP, Wibke Ballhorn W, Harintho M, Jerde CL, Wilson ME, McDowell MA. 2013. The roles of complement receptor 3 and FcΥ_ receptors during Leishmania phagosome maturation. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 93: 921-932.
  • Jerde CL, Chadderton WL, Mahon AR, Renshaw MR, Corush J, Budny ML, Mysorekar S, Lodge DM. 2013. Detection of Asian carp DNA as part of a Great Lakes basin-wide surveillance program. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70: 522-526.
  • Morse JW, Baldridge AK, Sargent LW. 2013. Invasive crayfish Orconectes rusticus (Decapoda, Cambaridae) is a more effective predator of substrate nesting fish eggs than native crayfish (O. virilis). Crustaceana 86: 387-402.
  • Barnes MA, Jerde CL, Keller D, Chadderton WL, Howeth JG, Lodge DM. 2013. Viability of aquatic plant fragments following desiccativasive Plant Science and Management 6: 320-325.
  • Mahon AR, Jerde CL, Galaska M, Bergner JL, Chadderton WL, Lodge DM, Hunter ME, Nico LG. 2013. Validation of eDNA surveillance sensitivity for detection of Asian carps in controlled and field experiments. PLoS ONE 8: e58316.
  • Deines AM, Bee CA, Jensen R, Lodge DM. 2013. The potential tradeoff between artisanal fisheries and hydroelectricity generation on the Kafue River, Zambia. Freshwater Biology 58: 640-654.