Cornell has a long and distinguished history in the fields of biogeochemistry and ecosystem science. These fields of science strive to understand basic mechanistic processes at scales from within ecosystems to the entire globe and provide a framework for investigating aspects of human-accelerated environmental change, including climate change, acid deposition, eutrophication, land-use change, the impacts of invasive species, and loss of native biodiversity.
Areas of Research
Biology Education Research
Cornell is a leader in the emerging field of Discipline-Based Education Research that explores teaching and learning from the perspective of a particular discipline, such as biology. This interdisciplinary field draws on knowledge and methodologies from social science, psychology, education, and cognitive science research, with the goal of enhancing student learning and instructor teaching.
Community Ecology and Population Biology
Community ecology and population biology are particular areas of strength, covering the nature of species interactions, the composition of species assemblages over space and time, evolutionary ecology, and population dynamics.
Evolutionary Patterns and Processes
Research in our department spans the micro- to macroevolution continuum and includes the evolution of genes and genomes; the developmental basis of evolutionary change; the interplay between ecology, behavior and evolution; and the origin, maintenance, and classification of diversity.
Organismal biology, the study of structure, function, ecology and evolution at the level of the organism, provides a rich arena for investigation on its own, but also plays a central role in answering conceptual questions about both ecology and evolution.
Plant-animal Interactions and Chemical Ecology
The study of chemically mediated organismal interactions has a long and successful history at Cornell. Within the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB), current research covers two major priority areas: plant-animal interactions and coral disease ecology.