The Environmental Change Initiative continues to grow in several key areas
The Environmental Change Initiative continues to grow in several key areas
Fall 2020 Newsletter
Science Serving Society

Saving the Great Lakes

Saving the Great Lakes cover
ND-ECI recently hosted Tim Fogler, a contributing writer for National Geographic, as he was researching the impact that the Great Lakes have on the cities that sit on their shores and how it may be possible to solve the problems they face—from climate change and invasive species to pollution. His work has been released as a special cover story titled, "Saving the Great Lakes," which included quotes from Jennifer Tank (BIOS). To read the story from National Geographic, please click here (subscription required). 
Fogler's story is also being featured as part of a series on Chicago's ABC 7 called, "So Great, So Fragile." Tank and Alan Hamlet (CEEES) were both included in the kickoff of the series, which can be viewed by clicking here.

World Food Day

A collection of papers was recently published in Nature to celebrate World Food Day on October 16, 2020. This was part of the Ceres2030 project where eight teams worked on different agricultural interventions to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 2: Zero Hunger by 2030.
Sisi Meng (ECON) was part of the Climate-resilient plants team and spent 18 months looking for evidence to help small-scale farmers adopt climate-resilient crops to achieve steady production, even in the face of climate change. Read more


The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initative (ND-ECI) hosted seven virtual seminars throughout the fall semester. The presentations were given by esteemed internal and external faculty that were nominated by ND-ECI faculty and postdocs. The seminars covered diverse topics related to environmental change.
Please be on the lookout for an upcoming email to submit your nominations for our spring 2021 seminar series!

Research News from the ND-ECI Community

Notre Dame finalizes new watershed construction at ND-LEEF

Notre Dame has finished the construction of two new watersheds at the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF), which expanded the capacity of the research facility. Read More

Annual Country Index with New Food Dependency Data Reflects Vulnerability to Climate Change

In the annual update of the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative Country Index, data sources for some vulnerability indicators have changed, including food dependency and urban concentration. Read More

Lamberti to serve as program director for National Science Foundation

Gary Lamberti (BIOS) has been named a rotating program director for the Division of Environmental Biology of the National Science Foundation. Read More

COVID-19 Lockdowns in China, Europe averted thousands of premature deaths related to air pollution

A study co-authored by Paola Crippa (CEEES) and Stefano Castruccio (ACMS) found that lockdowns initiated to curb the spread of the coronavirus in China and Europe at the beginning of the pandemic improved air quality, averting tens of thousands of deaths in regions where air pollution has a significant impact on mortality, a new study shows. Read More

Researchers developing accurate storm models as climate changes affect Alaska's coastline and residents

Joannes Westerink (CEEES) and a team of researchers at Notre Dame are developing an integrated wave-surge-ice forecast model to more accurately predict coastal water levels, currents, waves, ice, and related flood hazards on Alaska’s coastal floodplains. This work will help communities assess threats, determine the potential impact of a flood, and evaluate safe evacuation routes. Read More

Gear Treated with 'Forever Chemicals' Poses Risk to Firefighters

Firefighters face occupational hazards on a daily basis. Now, new research led by Graham Peaslee (PHY) and published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters shows they face additional risk just by gearing up. Read More

Strong Relationships in Adulthood Won't 'Fix' Effects of Early Childhood Adversity

Elizabeth Archie (BIOS) co-authored a study that found that harsh conditions in early life are a fundamental cause of adult stress in wild baboons. This effect is not explained by a lack of social support in adulthood. The study is the first to present a comprehensive analysis of relationships between early life experiences, adult social bonds, and adult stress responses within a single biological system. Read More

Nathan Swenson, tree ecologist, to join biology department and lead UNDERC

Nathan Swenson, a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland, has been named a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Gillen Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC). Read More

New Research Grants

ND-ECI affiliated faculty received a total of 10 new awards since July 1, 2020 for a total of $2,924,280!
  • Melissa Berke (CEEES) - NSF-EAR: Collaborative Research: Neotropical climate and environmental change over 400ka of glacial-interglacial from Lake Peten Itza
  • Kyle Bibby (CEEES) and Alex Perkins (BIOS) - 120 Water: SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Surveillance Program
  • Kyle Bibby (CEEES) - NSF-CBET: EAGER: RCN Wastewater Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2
  • Kyle Bibby (CEEES) - Sloan Foundation: Building capacity and communication networks in SARS-CoV-2 sewage surveillance programs for a public health response
  • Kyle Bibby (CEEES), Diogo Bolster (CEEES) and Jennifer Tank (BIOS) - USDA: Antimicrobial Resistance Fate and Transport in Flowing Waters
  • Diogo Bolster (CEEES) - NSF-EAR: Collaborative Proposal: Predicting colloid distribution in subsurface granular media by resolving nanoscale heterogeneity and continuum-scale flow field topological impacts
  • Vijay Gupta (EE) - NSF-IIS: AI Institute: Planning AI-enabled secure and responsive smart manufacturing
  • Jason Rohr (BIOS) - NSF-Macrosystems: Collaborative Proposal MRA: Using NEON data to elucidate the ecological effects of global climate change on phenology across time and space
  • Jennifer Tank (BIOS) - Great Lakes Protection Fund: Nutrient Reduction through Real-Time Optimization and Control
  • Jennifer Tank (BIOS) - Indiana Soybean Alliance: Indiana Watershed Initiative: Documenting the persistence of water quality and soil health benefits after conservation incentives end

RECENT Publications

The ND-ECI Community has been quite productive with over 80 publications since July 1, 2020. Below is a subset, please click here to view the full list.
  • Acevedo, M., K. Pixley, N. Zinyengere, S. S. Meng, H. Tufan, K. Cichy, L. Bizikova, K. Isaacs, K. Ghezzi-Kopel, and J. Porciello. 2020. A scoping review of adoption of climate-resilient crops by small-scale producers in low- and middle-income countries. Nature Plants 6:1231-+.
  • Armitage, D. W., and S. E. Jones. Coexistence barriers confine the poleward range of a globally distributed plant. Ecology Letters:11.
  • Bivins, A., D. North, A. Ahmad, W. Ahmed, E. Alm, F. Been, P. Bhattacharya, L. Bijlsma, A. B. Boehm, J. Brown, G. Buttiglieri, V. Calabro, A. Carducci, S. Castiglioni, Z. C. Gurol, S. Chakraborty, F. Costa, S. Curcio, F. L. de los Reyes, J. D. Vela, K. Farkas, X. Fernandez-Casi, C. Gerba, D. Gerrity, R. Girones, R. Gonzalez, E. Haramoto, A. Harris, P. A. Holden, M. T. Islam, D. L. Jones, B. Kasprzyk-Hordern, M. Kitajima, N. Kotlarz, M. Kumar, K. Kuroda, G. La Rosa, F. Malpei, M. Mautus, S. L. McLellan, G. Medema, J. S. Meschke, J. Mueller, R. J. Newton, D. Nilsson, R. T. Noble, A. van Nuijs, J. Peccia, T. A. Perkins, A. J. Pickering, J. Rose, G. Sanchez, A. Smith, L. Stadler, C. Stauber, K. Thomas, T. van der Voorn, K. Wigginton, K. Zhu, and K. Bibby. 2020. Wastewater-Based Epidemiology: Global Collaborative to Maximize Contributions in the Fight Against COVID-19. Environmental Science & Technology 54:7754-7757.
  • Halliday, F. W., J. R. Rohr, and A. L. Laine. 2020. Biodiversity loss underlies the dilution effect of biodiversity. Ecology Letters 23:1611-1622.
  • Harris, L. M., C. Staddon, A. Wutich, J. Budds, W. Jepson, A. L. Pearson, and E. A. Adams. 2020. Water sharing and the right to water: Refusal, rebellion and everyday resistance. Political Geography 82:3.
  • Kelly, J. F., and P. M. Stepanian. 2020. Radar Aeroecology. Remote Sensing 12:2.
  • Penny, G., C. Mullen, D. Bolster, B. Huber, and M. F. Muller. anem: A Simple Web-Based Platform to Build Stakeholder Understanding of Groundwater Behavior. Groundwater:8.
  • Siraj, A. S., A. Sorichetta, G. Espana, A. J. Tatem, and T. A. Perkins. 2020. Modeling human migration across spatial scales in Colombia. Plus One 15:20.
  • Trentman, M. T., J. L. Tank, S. E. Jones, S. K. McMillan, and T. V. Royer. 2020. Seasonal evaluation of biotic and abiotic factors suggests phosphorus retention in constructed floodplains in three agricultural streams. Science of the Total Environment 729:12.
  • Villoutreix, R., C. F. de Carvalho, V. Soria-Carrasco, D. Lindtke, M. De-la-Mora, M. Muschick, J. L. Feder, T. L. Parchman, Z. Gompert, and P. Nosil. 2020. Large-scale mutation in the evolution of a gene complex for cryptic coloration. Science 369:460-+.
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