Dr. Loren B. Byrne


Professor of Biology

   & Env. Science

Member, Sustainability &

     Urban Studies Programs

401-254-3890
MNS 227

lbyrne"at"rwu.edu         Full C.V.

 

 

Education

          Ph.D. in Ecology - Penn State University, 2006

          Dissertation: Effects of urban habitat types and landscape patterns on ecological variables at the aboveground–belowground interface.  download pdf here

 

          B.A. in Ecological Artistry - Hiram College, 2000

       My individualized major was featured in a USA Today article, here.

 

 

Courses Taught

 

  • BIO 104 - Intro to Evolution and Ecology - syllabus

  • BIO 104L - Intro to Evolution and Ecology Lab

  • BIO 235 - Biological Illustration - syllabus

  • BIO 310 - Tropical Ecology (Jan. study abroad in Belize)

  • BIO 312 - Conservation Biology - syllabus

  • BIO/ENVS 375 - Soil Ecology with Lab - syllabus

  • BIO 376 - Urban Ecosystems - syllabus

  • BIO 377 - Environmental Health & Management - syllabus

  • ENVS 203 - Humans, Environmental Change & Sustainability -syllabus 

  • SUST 101 - Introduction to Sustainability Studies - syllabus

  • SUST 401 - Working toward Sustainability

   Links to RWU stories about my courses: BIO 104 lab and illustration

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Urban soil ecology - biodiversity patterns, ecosystem services, pollution, restoration & management

  • Soil ecology - arthropods, earthworms, C and N cycling

  • Urban ecology - lawns & gardens, effects of landscape design & management on biodiversity and ecosystem services, relationships among sociocultural variables (e.g., aesthetic preferences) and ecological variables

  • Conservation biology - philosophical and educational dimensions of biodiversity conservation

  • Relationships between art & science - scientific illustration, visual arts in science education

  • Hands-on learner-centered pedagogical methods for ecology, environmental & sustainability education 

                          See news-y articles about my scholarly work here, here and here.

    Selected Publications

This isn't a traditional publication, but my letter to the editor was published in the NY Times, here.

            Ellwanger, J.H., Byrne, L.B. and Chies, J.A.B. 2022. Examining the paradox of urban disease ecology by linking the perspectives of Urban One Health and Ecology with Cities. Urban Ecosystems: doi.org/10.1007/s11252-022-01260-5

            Byrne, L.B. 2022. The essence of soil biodiversity. Conservation Letters: doi.org/10.1111/conl.12900

            Byrne, L.B. and Szlavecz, K. Multidimensionality of Biodiversity in Urban Social-Ecological Soil Systems. Routledge Handbook of Urban Biodiversity. Forthcoming.

            Byrne, L.B. 2022. Using the prepositional framework for urban environmental education: Teaching and learning about ecology in, of, for, and with cities. In D. Mutnick et al. eds. The City is an Ecosystem. Routledge Press.

           Byrne, L.B. 2022. Afterword: Transdisciplinary Urban Ecosystem Research, Education and Stewardship. In D. Mutnick et al. eds. The City is an Ecosystem. Routledge Press.

            Byrne, L.B. 2022. Ecology with cities. Urban Ecosystems 25: 835–837. pdf.     (See here for the journal's associated topical collection for which I am the editor.)

            Goddard, M.A., Davies, Z.G., ... Byrne, L.B., et al. 2021. A global horizon scan of the future impacts of robotics and autonomous systems on urban ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution 5: 219–230. abstract, view only pdf.

            Byrne, L.B. 2021. Socioecological Soil Restoration in Urban Cultural Landscapes. Pp. 373-410 in: J.A. Stanturf and M.A. Callaham, eds. Soils and Landscape Restoration. Wiley Publishers. pdf  

            Byrne, L.B. 2020. Urbanization. Pp. 200-202, in: UN-FAO: State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity. Rome, Italy. pdf. RWU news story here. 

            Bennett, A. E., Preedy, K., Golubski, A., Umbanhowar, J., Borrett, S. R., Byrne, L., et al. 2019. Beyond the black box: promoting mathematical collaborations for elucidating interactions in soil ecology. Ecosphere 10(7): e02799. (open access available online)

            Byrne, L.B., R.K. Thiet, V.B. Chaudhary. 2016. Pedagogy for the Pedosphere. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14: 238-240. pdf

             Byrne, L.B. 2016. Learner-Centered Teaching Activities for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Springer, New York. website

 

           Byrne, L.B. 2016. Learner-Centered Teaching for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. In: LB Byrne, ed. Learner-Centered Teaching Activities for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Springer, New York. pdf

 

           Byrne, L.B. 2016. An Introductory Examination of Worldviews and Why They Matter For Environmental and Sustainability Studies. In: LB Byrne, ed. Learner-Centered Teaching Activities for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Springer, New York. pdf

 

           Byrne, L.B. 2016. Conservation Triage: Debating Which Species to Save and Why. In: LB Byrne, ed. Learner-Centered Teaching Activities for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Springer, New York. pdf

 

            Byrne, L.B. 2015. Exploring lawns and gardens as complex socio-ecological systems: Teaching Case study for AAC&U STIRS Project. Website. Student Case File. Please send me an email to obtain the Instructor Guide.

 

             H. Setälä, R. D. Bardgett, K. Birkhofer, M. Brady, L. Byrne, et al. 2014. Urban and agricultural soils: conflicts and trade-offs in the optimization of ecosystem services. Urban Ecosystems 17: 239-253. pdf        

 

            Possinger, A.*, L.B. Byrne, N. Breen. 2013. Effect of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) on soil phosphorus availability and organic acids. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 176: 16-18.   pdf

            *undergraduate author

 

            Byrne, L.B. 2013. An in-class role-playing activity to foster discussion and deeper understanding of biodiversity and ecological webs. EcoEd Digital Library. pdf

 

            Byrne, L.B. 2012. Complexity in Conservation: The Legal and Ethical Case of a Bird-Eating Cat and its Human Killer. Online Resource with the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Available online here.

 

            Pavao-Zuckerman, M.A., L.B. Byrne. 2009. Scratching the surface and digging deeper: Exploring ecological theories in urban soils. Urban Ecosystems 12: 9-20. pdf

 

            Byrne, L.B., M.A. Bruns, K.C. Kim. 2008. Ecosystem properties of urban land covers at the aboveground-belowground interface. Ecosystems 11: 1065-1077. pdf

 

            Byrne, L.B., P. Grewal. 2008.Introduction to Ecological Landscaping: A holistic description and framework to guide the study and management of urban landscape parcels. Cities and the Environment 1(2): article 3, 20 pp. pdf

 

            Byrne, L.B. 2007. Habitat structure: a fundamental concept and framework for urban soil ecology. Urban Ecosystems 10: 255-274. pdf

          

            Kim, K.C., L.B. Byrne. 2006. Biodiversity loss and the taxonomic bottleneck: Emerging biodiversity science. Ecological Research 21: 794-810. pdf

 

           Byrne, L.B. 2005. Of looks, laws and lawns: How human aesthetic preferences influence landscape management, public policies and urban ecosystems. In D. Laband, ed., Emerging Issues Along Urban-Rural Interfaces: Linking Science and Society, pp. 42-46. Auburn University, Auburn, GA. pdf

          

           Byrne, L.B., M.A. Bruns. 2004. The effects of lawn management on soil microarthropods. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology 21: 150-156. pdf

 

               Bruns, M.A, L.B. Byrne. 2004. Scale model of a soil aggregate and associated organisms: A teaching tool for soil ecology. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Science Education 33: 85-91. pdf

 

    

    Activities with the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

         

        2011. Organized a teaching oral presentation session at the first GSBI conference, Dijon, France.

        2016. Overcoming Challenges of the Soil Education Gap: Part 1 and Part 2.

        2021. Panelist for discussion, First Global Soil Biodiversity Assessment: From science to policy - Part II (recording here)

        2022. Moderator of panel discussion, Soil Biodiversity in the City (recording here)

        Helped collect resources for the GSBI education webpage

    Representative Presentations

            2022. Is the 4DEE framework a sufficient “hook” to cultivate ecological literacy for all? Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Montreal, Canada.

 

            2022. Urban soil ecology research and education for improving people’s environmental literacy and stewardship. Biennial meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Richland, WA.

 

            2021. Expanding Education about Soil Biodiversity. Inspire talk for the virtual Ecological Society of America meeting.
 

            2020. Invited talk. Restoring Urban Soil Biodiversity Helps Improve Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being. Soil Science Society of America, virtual meeting.

           

            2019. Conceptual Diagramming as Learner-Centered Pedagogy for the Soil Ecology Classroom. Biennial meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Toledo, OH.

 

            2017. Integrating soil biodiversity and soil ecology into non-soil-focused undergraduate courses. Biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society, Fort Collins, CO.

 

            2015. Invited talk. Pedagogy for the pedosphere: Soil organisms and the ecosystem service of education. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.      abstract

 

            2015. Invited talk. Urban Soil Ecology: Progress and Future Potential for Science and Sustainability. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.     abstract

           

            2015. Teaching activities that foster soil ecology knowledge and “rooted-in-the-soil” environmental citizenship. Biennial meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Colorado Springs, CO.            

 

            2014. Can soil organisms become our best teachers? Exploring soil biodiversity as an ecosystem service provider of excellent environmental education. First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference. Dijon, France.      abstract

 

            2013. Designing soil biodiversity zoo exhibits enhances student learning about soil ecology and biodiversity. Biennial meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Camden, NJ.

 

            2012. Urban landscape ecology and management for conservation biological control in lawns and gardens. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.   abstract

             

            2011. What does it mean to be environmentally literate? With Meg Lowman and Teresa Mourad. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.  abstract

           

            2010. "This I believe": Pedagogical approaches for exploring environmental worldviews and controversies in ecology classrooms. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. abstract

 

            2009. Ecosystem services in urban soils: What do they do and what do we want them to do? Biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society.

              

            2008. Creating ecological dynamics in the classroom through the use of learner-centered teaching activities. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.     abstract           

 

            2007. Learning to see and drawing to learn: On the value of integrating art in ecological education. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.  abstract

 

            2006. The ecology of mowing and mulching: communities and ecosystem properties in urban habitats. With Mary Ann Bruns and K.C. Kim. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. abstract

 

 

   

      (Co)Organized Meeting Symposia or Sessions

 

            2022. Co-organizer with Viki Rodgers of an Organized Oral Session: Non-majors, 4DEE and Teaching Ecology for All. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Montreal, Canada

 

            2022. Teaching workshop: Soils, Spirituality & Environmental Education: Connecting students to the earth
in times of societal & ecological stress. Biennial meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Richland, WA.

 

            2019. Teaching workshop: Case Studies and Data Sets for Soil Ecology Education. Biennial meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Toledo, OH.

 

           2017. Co-organizer with Emily Rauschert of an Ignite Session: Try this to help students learn ecology better. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Portland, OR.

 

           2016. Co-organizer with Emily Rauschert of a teaching workshop: Strategies and Challenges of Learner-Centered Ecology Education. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

 

           2015. Teaching workshop: Backward design of learner-centered soil ecology education teaching activities. Biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society.         

 

            2014. Soil ecology education session. Global Soil Biodiversity Conference. Dijon, France.              

           

            2013. Organizer of a "teaching soil ecology" oral presentation session. Biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Rutgers, NJ.

           

            2011. Teaching workshop: How does soil ecology fit within environmental literacy and citizenship? Biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Kelowna, BC, Canada.

 

            2009. Urban soil ecology and ecosystem services. Biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society. Burlington, VT.

           

          2009. Your big backyard ecosystem: Lawns and gardens as foci for understanding urban ecology and sustainability. With co-organizer Chris Martin. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Albuquerque, NM

 

            2007. Effects of human choice on ecosystem properties. With co-organizers Larry Baker and Jason Walker. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. San Jose, CA

 

          2004. Applied taxonomy and biodiversity: Assessment of natural and agricultural ecosystems. With co-organizers K.C. Kim and David J. Biddinger. Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Salt Lake City, UT

 

            2004. Digging deeper or scratching the surface? Exploring ecological theories in urban soils. With co-organizer Mitch Pavao-Zuckerman. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Portland, OR

 

       

     Co-organized Conference

 

            Ecological Landscaping: From Scientific Principles to Public Practices and Policies. October 28-31, 2007. See the special issue of Cities and the Environment with papers from this conference that I edited.

 

       

    Scholarly Award

            2022. Soil Ecology Society Service Award

 

    Scholarly Service

            Member (2020) and Chair (2021-2024), Odum Award Committee, Ecological Society of America        

 

            Member, 4DEE for teaching non-majors committee, Ecological Society of America

          

            Associate Editor, Urban Ecosystems (2016-present)

 

            Review Editor, Urban Ecology Section, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2015-present)

 

            Board member, Soil Ecology Society                                                        

(as communications director 2016-present, at-large member, 2011-2015)             

Image: When receiving the 2022 Soil Ecology Society Service Award, Dr.B. holds the shirt from his first SES meeting in 2001. He attended every meeting from 2001-2022.

                                                                                                                     

             Member, Board of Directors, Save Bristol Harbor (2009-2015)                

                                                                                                                  

            Task Force Member (education focus), Save the Frogs (2016-2017)       

                                                            

            Member, Board of Directors, Audubon Society of Rhode Island (2011-2017)

 

 

Last updated: July 18, 2022