Featured Research

At any given time the Duke Forest hosts more than 50 active research projects. Below is a sample of recent research conducted on the Forest:

Researchers from the CENTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY have established a research facility in the Forest to study nanomaterials, specifically silver nanoparticles. Twenty-six constructed wetlands, or mesocosms, feature open water to upland habitat complete with fish and plants. Each wetland is used to explore the fate and effects of nanomaterials in an ecosystem. For more information, visit the Duke Mesocosm web page >

KAYLEIGH SOMERS, graduate student in Duke’s University Program in Ecology, is furthering studies on Mud Creek in the Durham Division initiated by Emily Bernhardt’s lab. Currently focused on studying the effect of urbanization on the temperature of stream water, she has installed fiber optic cable in the creek, seen on the right. For more information, visit the project’s web page >

At the FACTS-1 RESEARCH SITE in the Blackwood Division, researchers are examining the effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on forest ecosystems. Now in its decommissioning phase, researchers are destructively sampling the trees to more accurately understand the effects of the increased CO2. For more information, click here >

JUSTIN WRIGHT of Duke’s biology department and his lab began a series of projects on the invasive grass Microstegium vimineum(packing grass). With the help of Duke Engage undergraduate interns, the lab began mapping occurrences of the grass and building models to determine its spread in the Forest.

The lab’s work continues with plots established in the Durham and Korstian Divisions of the Forest by graduate student MARISSA LEE, to learn more about the viability of its seeds and how thatches of the plant may prevent tree regeneration.

CHRIS OISHI, graduate student at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, is studying transpiration in a mature hardwood stand in the Blackwood Division to assess interannual variability in the water budget and how different species respond to varying degrees of water stress.

At the nearby FACTS-1 Research Site, Oishi is also using equipment developed by the U.S. Forest Service to compare soil CO2 efflux in elevated and ambient plots, which include fertilized and non-fertilized treatments.

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