SDG 15. Life on Land - Faculty Activities and Centers


Karina Schäfer
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Rutgers–Newark College of Arts and Sciences
Karina Schäfer specializes in ecosystem ecology, looking at global climate change and its effects on terrestrial ecosystems.   

Genese Sodikoff
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Rutgers–Newark College of Arts and Sciences
Genese Sodikoff is a cultural anthropologist, and her current research examines the problem of land degradation and diseases that spread from animal species to humans. The current project is a multispecies epidemiology of the plague in villages of the Moramanga district in eastern Madagascar, where an outbreak of pneumonic plague occurred in 2015 and risks recurring.



David Ehrenfeld
Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources  
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

David Ehrenfeld’s areas of focus are conservation biology; the environment, civilization, and technology; marine turtles; environment-related writing; post-petroleum society; the university in the 21st century. He has written books about wildlife and forest conservation.   

Steven Handel
Director, Hutcheson Memorial Forest Center
School for Environmental and Biological Sciences

Steven Handel studies the potential to restore native plant communities, adding sustainable ecological services, biodiversity, and amenities to the landscape.  

Eric Lam
Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Biology
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

Eric Lam’s research interests include the study of mechanisms that control programmed cell death and stress tolerance in plants, the regulation of global gene expression via chromatin organization, and more recently, the establishment and promotion of an aquatic agriculture platform with duckweed for sustainable biomass production.  

Rick Schroeder
Dean, Social and Behavioral Sciences   
School of Arts and Sciences

Rick Schroeder’s research interests include political ecology, environmental justice, wildlife conservation, forestry, and more. His book, Shady Practices, examines the gendered political ecology brought about by conflicting local interests and changing developmental initiatives in a West African village. Schroeder combines the "success story" of the market gardens with a cautionary tale about the aggressive pursuit of natural resource management objectives, however well intentioned.   

Erin Vogel
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Center for Human Evolutionary Studies
School of Arts and Sciences

Erin Vogel’s research interests cover a broad array of topics that revolve around the central theme of how primates are able to acquire the food resources they need for survival. Current research projects include:  digestive efficiency, protein balance, and energetics in non-human primates; understanding the factors that affect geographic variation in orangutan diet selection; diet selection and foraging efficiency in non-human primates; functional ecology and the evolution of hominoid craniodental morphology; and coalitions and the evolution of cooperation.

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosytems, sustainable manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Research Institutes

Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, caterpillar on a branch

The Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences advances research, education, and engagement that (1) progresses and expands the scientific understanding of the past, present, and future of the Earth system and (2) builds the knowledge and perspective needed for state, national, and global stewardship of a healthy, sustainable, and resilient planetary environment.