Affiliates: Humans

Humans are inextricably tied to invasive species and are primarily responsible for their introduction to new geographic areas. Once introduced and established, invasive species have a negative impact on good quality of life in 85% of cases.

Dr. Shannon Bell

Professor
Department of Sociology

Dr. Bell is an environmental sociologist whose research has primarily focused on environmental and climate (in)justice in fossil-fuel extraction communities; however, her emerging areas of interest are focused on community-based restoration strategies on public and community-owned forest lands in Appalachia, including both invasive exotic plant species removal and the cultivation of native forest medicinal herbs and forest foods.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Restoration ecology
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Dr. Edward Fox

Professor
Department of Computer Science

Dr. Fox is interested in assisting with any effort that makes use of technologies in the computing area, including artificial intelligence, digital libraries, information retrieval (e.g., search systems), websites, and human-computer interactions.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Data & artificial intelligence

Jamie King

Urban Forest Manager and University Arborist
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities

King leads urban forest and arboricultural best management practices on the Virginia Tech campus.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Restoration ecology

Mikel Manchester

Associate Specialist
Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education

Manchester works with Native American Tribes to promote traditional ecological knowledge.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Restoration ecology

Dr. Ron Meyers

Associate Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Meyers utilizes socio-ecological research to identify and test best practices in the development of utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Social science, economics, & policy

Mitch Miller

Adjunct Drawing Professor
School of Visual Arts

Miller believes art and science work well together, when they work together, which is not often enough. He has interests in all drawing, sustainable design and systems, international art fairs, bugs, and art/science collaborations.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Arts and humanities

Dr. Elizabeth Nyboer

Assistant Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Nyboer is a freshwater ecologist and conservation scientist exploring how anthropogenic stressors affect freshwater ecosystems and the fish, fisheries, and fishing communities they support.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Michelle Prysby

Master Naturalist Program Director
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Prysby directs the Virginia Master Naturalist (VMN) program, a statewide corps of volunteers engaged in natural resource education, science, and stewardship. Invasive species are a focus of VMN volunteer work.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Community engagement & science communication

Dr. Leighton Reid

Assistant Professor
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Reid studies ecological restoration and community assembly in tropical and temperate terrestrial ecosystems. 

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Restoration ecology
  • Social science, economics, & policy
Haldre Rogers

Dr. Haldre Rogers

Associate Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Rogers’ research focuses on population and community ecology, plant-animal interactions, seed dispersal, pollination, food web dynamics, tropical biology, ​ecosystem services, and conservation. A majority of the research is conducted on the Mariana Islands, where due to the introduction of the brown tree snake, Guam’s forests are now functionally without birds.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamic
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure

Todd Schenk

Dr. Todd Schenk

Associate Professor
School of Public and International Affairs

Dr. Schenk’s research interests include collaborative governance at the science-policy interface, wicked sustainability challenges, and civil discourse to better build empathy and understanding. 

Thematic Area(s):

  • Community engagement & science communication
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Michael Sorice

Dr. Michael Sorice

Associate Professor
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Dr. Sorice’s research interests focus on individual and group behavior as it relates to environmental stewardship with an emphasis on the role of natural resource users and landowners in protecting biodiversity and imperiled ecosystems.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Community engagement & science communication
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Paige Van de Vuurst

Ph.D. Student
Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health

Through vampire bats, Van de Vuurst studies the impacts of climate and landscape on the distribution and transmission of zoonotic diseases in Latin America. 

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication