We are studying the patterns of attack by a community of insect herbivores on plants; the work involves field biology, chemical ecology, genetics, and entomology. Our basic research involves milkweed plants, nearly 120 species from North America (and 20 from South America), which grow in various habitats and are attacked by a specialized community of insects. Some of the work is evolutionary in terms of quantifying phylogenetic patterns associated with the evolution of specialization (in insects parasites) and other work is more ecological, based on community interactions.
This project seeks to engage a wide variety of community residents and organizations in an effort to reverse the rising the trends in childhood obesity. The project uses a community organizing model to increase awareness, stimulate participation, and support these organizations.
Through the integrated research/extension Military Families Civic Ecology Project we implement and evaluate community gardening, community forestry and other civic ecology practices designed to assist military families and communities in navigating the deployment cycle. Together with Cornell Cooperative Extension-Jefferson County, we implemented community gardening projects at Fort Drum and other military communities in New York. We also developed measures to evaluate the outcomes of these projects on youth sense of place and social capital, and on ecosystem services.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City (CUCE-NYC) is strengthening the capacity of other youth-serving organizations to carry out youth development/ engagement work so that young people can contribute to improving the quality of life in their communities and enhance their leadership and other life skills.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC), in collaboration with Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, is working with residents and community organizations to develop, implement and evaluate a 3-year social science research and education project that will result in development of an urban forestry community engagement model, toolkit and resources that will be used by organizations to reach and empower people to be active stewards of their community’s trees and natural resources.
The HerpNET community project will enable knowledge networking of biodiversity information about the world's amphibians and reptiles for science and society. Access to and use of these data are fundamental if we are to understand our biological diversity and its functional role in environmental system. The project is designed to create a network of distributed herpetological databases that builds on proven technologies and scales well.
Research in my lab is focused on the evolutionary genetics of insect-pathogen interactions. We use population genetic, quantitative genetic and genomic approaches to study how insects defend themselves against infection. We are particularly interested in understanding the genetic and environmental reasons why individuals vary in their susceptibility to infection, how interactions with pathogens shape the evolution of host immunity, and how immune defense is intertwined with other components of host physiology.
In field experiments, we are investigating the conditions that alter the consumptive and nonconsumptive effects of predators. We have selected plant resistance, predator density, and predator ontogeny as likely important factors. We will elucidate the mechanisms generating these effects using plants with genetically modified resistance responses, an examination of herbivore and predator behavior, and chemical assays of plant resistance. These mechanisms will include effects of the predator on herbivores and effects of the predator directly on plants.
PROJECT 1: "We`re bringing together a select group of faculty from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, biology, demography, economics, human development, policy analysis, psychology, sociology, and women`s studies. The aim of the working group will be to put Cornell at the forefront of research on the family." (Quote from Elizabeth Peters, project leader, professor, Policy Analysis and Management, College of Human Ecology.)\n\nPROJECT 2: This project seeks to understand patterns of cooperation and conflict within family groups.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC), in collaboration with Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, worked with residents and community organizations to develop, implement and evaluate a 3-year social science research and education project that will result in development of an urban forestry community engagement model, toolkit and resources that will be used by organizations to reach and empower people to be active stewards of their community’s trees and natural resources.