Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Professor Research Topics

David Schuyler 

American Studies

Some of my reasearch looks at the American attitudes towards the natural environment from a historical perspective.  

Alex Nading III


My research examines medical anthropology, environmental anthropology, human-nonhuman relations, science and technology studies, Nicaragua, Latin America.

Kostis Kourelis

Art and Art History

My research examines historic preservation, conservation, urban economies, and natural resources in Lancaster County as well as the role of natural resources in premodern rural settlements of the Peloponnese, Greece. 

Janet Fischer


My research focuses on the ecological impact of climate change on alpine lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

Timothy W. Sipe


My research examines plant ecology; environmental plant physiology; interfaces among physiological, community, and ecosystem processes in temperate forests; forests and culture; nature writing.

Jorge I. Mena-Ali


My research examines the biology of Invasive Species, Conservation Biology, and Tropical Biology.

Dan Ardia

Biology/Biological Foundations of Behavior

My research examines interactions between organisms and the environment with a focus on understanding how global change affects the distribution, behavior and physiology of animals. The work is both local and international.

Mark Olsen

Biology/Biological Foundations of Behavior

My research examines the effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Aquatic Organisms.

Nancy Kurland

Business, Organization, and Society

My research examines organizational change and sustainability, greening business and academia, social network analysis, organizational storytelling; water issues, including deprivatization and regulated utilities.

W. Trexler Proffitt

Business, Organization, and Society

My research examines sustainability, particularly through decentralization (Lancaster Sustainable Enterprise Stock Exchange, 2008 in partnership with the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network. KIZ Seed Assistance Grant for feasibility analysis.)

Bryan Stinchfield

Business, Organization, and Society

My research examines sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Performance

Kate Plass


My research examines the synthesis of earth-abundant nanoparticles for use in photovoltaics.

Suzanna Richter

Earth and Environment

My research focuses on developing strategies to decrease water and electricity consumption at F&M. Through competitions, creative signage, workshops, facebook publicity, and word-of-mouth advertising, I work with students to inspire the campus community to make more sustainable choices. I also quantify the success of environmental initiatives (if possible) to determine even better ways to decrease F&M's water, natural gas, and electricity use.

James Strick

Earth and Environment

My research focuses on the history of astrobiology (THE LIVING UNIVERSE, Rutgers, 2004) documents scientists who try to understand how the earliest life evolved on Earth and other planets, what the nature of life really is (as distinct from nonliving physical and chemical processes), how life changes planets once it emerges and spreads, etc.  This especially involved interviewing James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis to document the history of the Gaia hypothesis and controversy surrounding its early reception by the scientific community.  That research is ongoing, including a talk at an upcoming conference at Texas Tech U. in Sept. 2012 honoring the work of Lovelock and Margulis and exploring the importance of the Gaia idea in many different realms of thought.  It would be safe to say the Gaia hypothesis since its earliest publication in the late 1960s has been a key inspiration to the emerging global environmental consciousness.  And all the work of astrobiology has been crucial in the development of modern climate science, including global warming studies, nuclear winter studies, etc.

Robert Walter and Dorothy Merritts

Earth and Environment

Our research has been working on various issues regarding environmental sustainability since ca 2003.  Our work has focused on understanding and reinterpreting the geologic history of valley bottoms in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, including stream and watershed evolution, environmental restoration, and research related to processes of soil erosion and nutrient transport, especially in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Our research has generated nearly $2 million in funding, garnered from F&M College, the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the National Science Foundation. Since 2003, we have sponsored over 20 F&M undergraduate research projects on topics ranging from sources of sediment and nutrient loads in streams, to the paleoecology of buried Holocene wetlands, to the geochemistry of soils, surface waters and groundwater, and to the impact of stream restoration on ecosystem response and water quality.

Carol de Wet

Earth and Environment

I teach a course on Coral Reefs: Microcosm of a complex system.  The course emphasizes global change and environmental issues as they relate to the world's tropical oceansystems.  This course draws on my own research into coarl growth dynamics and diagenesis of carbonate material as it lithifies into limestone.  I use geochemistry to understand ancient ocean chemical changes, and how climate impacts limestone formation and degradation.

Andrew de Wet

Earth and Environment

One aspect of my research examines environmental Geology: Water Rescourse and Ground Water  on Vinalhaven, Maine

Chirs Williams

Earth and Environment

I am particularly interested in using archives of environmental information (soils, sediments and the fossils they contain) to understand how and why vegetation and climate vary through time. I research the interrelationships among the ecology, biomass and distribution of vegetation and the chemistry of soil organic matter. This allows me to better understand the role of ancient and modern high-latitude wetland forests and peat forming environments in carbon cycling. 

Keely Maxwell

Earth and Environment

My research examines Environmental anthropology, Andes, Peru, conservation politics, and tourism.

Sarah Dawson

Earth and Environment/Biological Foundations of Behavior

I conduct research on urban wildlife.  Currently, three research students are monitoring the resident red-tailed hawk population and trying to individually identify and get baseline behavioral data for the birds on campus.  In addition, two students are piloting an urban coyote project - attempting to figure out how many coyotes are in the area, and developing a predator education program for local city residents.  Two additional students are studying Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees, and training bees to only forage on organic plants.  A final student developed a "green" architectural blueprint for a redesign of our environmental center.  Suggestions have already been incorporated into the building.  

Evelyn L. Wright


My research examines econonmics and the Climate change

Judith C. Mueller


My research examines Blake & eighteenth-century radical Christian conceptions of the natural world. Theology & views of nature.  

Linda Aleci

Local Economy

My research centers on food systems, and the characteristics of the County's foodshed.  

Nola Semczyszyn


My research examines environmental philosophy.

J. Kenneth Krebs

Physics and Astronomy

My research examines the physical properties of high surface area metal oxides and the mechanisms that lead to photovoltaic effects involving these interfaces including interface structure, charge carrier concentration, and carrier mobility.

Linda Fritz

Physics and Astronomy

My research examines renewable energy and photovoltaic materials.



** More detailed information can be found on each professor's personal webpage.