Research Teams

Our faculty and staff know two heads are better than one. It’s why they build teams dedicated to tackling specific, scientific questions related to the natural resources in Nebraska, North American and beyond.

Applied Wildlife Spatial Ecology Lab

Applied Wildlife Spatial Ecology Lab

Our lab focuses on developing innovative solutions to the growing wildlife conservation and management needs in multi-functional landscapes where there are competing interests for agricultural production, wildlife conservation, and ecosystem services.

Lab Website

Benson Lab of Predator-Prey Ecology

The Benson Lab studys wildlife population dynamics, behavior, and predator-prey interactions around the world. Current research investigates

  • Wolf-coyote hybridization dynamics
  • Ecology of mountain lions in a major metropolitan area
  • Wolf-caribou predator prey dynamics
  • Mule deer population ecology
  • Bighorn sheep spatial ecology
  • Ecology of mountain lions in California

Benson Lab Website

Carbon Science and Modeling Program

Long-term greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration study AmeriFlux Network, Mead sites (US-Ne1, US-Ne2, and US-Ne3) has been in continuous operation since 2001 and currently lead by Dr. Andrew Suyker to determine how much carbon can be stored in dryland and irrigated cropping systems, and what soil, plant, and atmospheric factors regulate C sequestration. Recently, the sites joined the AmeriFlux Core Site Network and will be funded on a long-term basis.

Ameriflux Website

Ecohydrology and Hydrogeophysics Science Lab

Our goal is to monitor and model the flow of water through natural and human dominated ecosystems in order to understand how ecosystems function and how to utilize water more efficiently for food production. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and works at the interfaces of ecology, hydrology, agronomy, and geophysics.

Lab Website

Lab Silver Tanks

Fish Conservation Behavior and Physiology Lab

Our lab uses investigations of physiology and behavior to address conservation and management issues in fishes. We primarily focus on how changes in important environmental variables, such as temperature, affect individuals and populations.

Feature Story

Lab Website

Gamon Lab

Exploring Ecosystem Function at Multiple Scales -Dr. John Gamon studies the "breathing of the planet" – the exchanges of carbon and water vapour between the biosphere and the atmosphere that affect ecosystem productivity and help regulate our atmosphere and climate. Of particular interest are the effects of disturbance (fires, succession, weather events and climate change) on these basic processes. Additional research questions involve the detection of plant physiology, ecosystem function, species composition, and biodiversity using non-contact sampling methods. Much of this work is done with optical monitoring (remote sensing and automated field methods), and entails the development of new monitoring methods and related informatics tools.

Lab Website

Hydroinformatics and Integrated Hydroclimate Research Group

The Hydroinformatics and Integrated Hydroclimate Research Group (HIH) studies how naturally driven and anthropogenically modified processes affect the hydrological cycle and the biogeochemical cycle of elements, particularly those processes and their scales in relation to the sustainability of human activities and ecosystems in a changing environment. We integrate modeling, field and remote sensing observations, and laboratory analyzes to engineer solutions aimed to predict the temporal variability and spatial distribution of water availability in response to Extreme Hydrometeorological and Climate Events (EHCEs).

Group Website

Messer Research Group

Messer Research Group

The Messer Research Group, interests are at the often-ignored intersection of agricultural engineering, ecology, and chemistry of emerging contaminants. The research interests include:

  • Emerging Sensor Technologies
  • Hydrologic and Stable Isotope Tracer Techniques
  • Nutrient and Pesticide Cycling, Fate, and Transport
  • Agricultural Systems
  • Surface Water Hydrology Modeling​
  • Ecosystem Restoration
  • Engineering Education
  • Environmental Impacts in Developing Countries
  • Groundwater Hydrology Modeling
  • Restoration Assessments of Ecosystem Services
  • Environmental Policy

Lab Website

Mark Pegg with Fish

Pegg Lab

The Pegg Lab conducts research centered on the ecology of flowing systems, fisheries management, the impacts of aquatic nuisance species, and restoration ecology.

Lab Website

Qi Lab

The Qi Lab asks:

  • How does the ecosystem change at different scales and over time under the changing climate?
  • What are the drivers and consequences of the ecosystem change?

Yi Qi studies the emerging challenge of answering these questions, the method to observe, store and analyze massive earth observatory data, and ultimately extract the spatio-temporal pattern of the ecosystem change and integrate this knowledge to the decision-making process.

Lab Website