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Research Project Descriptions for Summer 2023

Projects will be located at different field locations. All students will be based at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, but will travel to field sites often for extended stays. Some projects will be conducted at Lilley Cornett Woods Appalachian Research Station, a remote field station and old-growth forest. The forest is a long-term ecological research site with >40 years of sampling. Other projects will require extensive travel throughout the region to additional sites, including in Daniel Boone National Forest. Individual project descriptions are numbered in sequence. In your application you will have to select three specific projects in which you prefer to conduct research.

The forests and waterways of central Appalachia have experienced anthropogenic and natural disturbances including mining, logging, landslides, disease, and invasive species. Students will conduct research on one of several projects that have direct applications to managing habitat. (1) Investigate songbird, woodcock, and ruffed grouse populations in managed forest habitats. (2) Camera trapping of small mammals and mesopredators in early successional and secondary forest habitats. (3) Study rare plant populations in Appalachia using field, lab, and herbarium techniques. (4) Research the physiology of American chestnut trees as part of ongoing forest restoration efforts. (5) Compare the vegetative, bat, and insect populations of natural and constructed ridgetop wetlands. (6) Use hydrogeological techniques to study contaminants and microplastics in waterways.

Mentors: Drs. David Brown, Sally Chambers, Luke Dodd, Jen Koslow, Kelly Watson

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