Research Interests:

I consider myself as a broadly trained plant biologist whose research interest ranges from plant population biology to community ecology. At present, I am working on three major areas:

1. Invasion ecology: Exotic species have been colonizing native habitats in an unprecedented rate as human activities are becoming more and more globalized. Often these exotic species form extensive monocultures eliminating native species from the habitats. The net result is the loss of native biodiversity.

2. Urban ecology: Urban ecology is a relatively new discipline, but one that is clearly increasing in importance throughout the United States as more and more people find themselves living in large metropolitan areas. Urban ecosystems are highly dynamic and heavily impacted by humans. Therefore, we need to understand the effects of urbanization, disturbance, and habitat fragmentation on natural resources in the highly populated urban areas. 3. Phytoremediation and the development of ecological indicators: Much of the Cuyahoga River watershed in northeast Ohio is environmentally impaired and has been identified as an area of concern. Moreover, brownfield sites, polluted with many chemicals, are strewn across northeast Ohio, and the nation is crying for a faster remedy. In order to meet the challenge we are developing rapid assessment tool to assess the environmental health of an ecosystem and developing technology for pollution remediation using the native plant species.