Students working in our lab design projects based on their own interests. That being said, historically our expertise has centered broadly around the intersections of biogeochemistry, agricultural land use, and disease. Current work in the lab includes:
- Metabolic experiments on schistosome parasites and their snail hosts. Schistosomiasis is the 2nd most economically damaging parasitic disease in the world. These lab-based experiments investigate the effects of various snail forages on parasite emergence and infectivity. We are now linking these experiments with field-based investigations on the Nakambala Sugar Estates in Zambia
- Nutrient runoff in tributaries of the Susquehanna River. While it has been established that the Susquehanna is a major source of harmful nutrients to the Chesapeake bay, it is not well known which tributaries are providing the bulk of these nutrients. We are beginning a systematic investigation into the nutrient fluxes of major tributaries along the Susquehanna in our area.
- Citizen Science Project investigating water quality around a heavily built-up recreational lake (Harveys Lake). Harveys Lake has undergone drastic changes in water quality over the last few decades. Recently diversion of sewage away from the lake has resulted in decreased nutrient loads to the lake. Additional improvements to lake water quality can be made by identifying and mitigating nutrient runoff into the lake through high temporal and spatial resolution water collections by residents along the lake.
- Trematodes as biodiversity indicators in the Susquehanna. Much like aquatic invertebrates, the biodiversity of trematodes can indicate water quality. We are investigating the effects of mine drainage and sewage effluent on trematode biodiversity in the river.
- Distribution and prevalence of Lyme Disease in Northeast Pennsylvania. We are currently working with the Game Commission to pick ticks off of bears to determine tick diversity in the area as well as the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterium that causes Lyme)
- The effects of the invasive Japanese Knotweed on biogeochemical cycling.
- Sociological investigation into the failure of community gardens in Wilkes-Barre, PA.