Featured Research


Understanding  plant community’s responses to grazing after fire in rangeland recovery and cheatgrass management.

Tamzen Stringham
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences
Start Date: 7-01-2013

running models on landscape

This study represents a unique opportunity to understand different outcomes of grazing by livestock versus horses as it pertains to sage grouse and will inform management of grazing on public lands.
Jim Sedinger
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 7-01-2013

Sage grouse

While it is well known that expanding conifer canopies result in substantial decreases in local plant species richness and abundance and that removing or thinning pinyon and juniper often results in reversing those decreases, less is known about the broader regional effects of PJ removal on wildlife communities.

Kevin Shoemaker
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 11-01-2016

One of the species of shrew found in the Great Basin

This project characterizes the olfactory mechanisms that determine how the mosquito (Anopheles stephensi) specifically targets humans for blood feeding versus other animals.

Andrew Nuss
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences
Start Date: 7-01-2017

Anopheles stephensi mosquito

Providing beneficial information on demographic parameters that determine population growth or decline as well as providing detailed information on high quality habitats that are selected by ewes to enhance lamb survival.

Kelley Stewart
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 9-01-2015

Bighorn lamb with collar

 This research will inform rangeland managers and ranchers about burn sites recovery rates and some of the associated factors that would influence those rates.

Sherman Swanson
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences
Start Date: 7-01-2013

Cattle in a riparian

Arthropod pests are numerous and result in billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. Traditionally, control of these pests has relied on insecticidal chemical applications or genetically modified crops. However, insecticide resistance has emerged in response to these strategies and new control measures are needed.

Andrew Nuss
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences
Start Date: 7-01-2016

Manduca sexta, Tobacco Hornworm catipillar

Genome to phenome studies by generating first-ever transgenic ticks.

Monika Gulia-Nuss
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Start Date: 1-01-2018

removing tick from jar

This project investigates the regulation of adding and removing chemical marks (epigenetics) to the molecular packages that hold the blueprints (genes) that might be effecting heart enlargement and stiffness, with emphasis on controlling obesity-induced heart dysfunction. In addition, this project focuses on dietary food components that block these chemical marks and therefore would protect against heart enlargement and stiffness.

Brad Ferguson
Department of Nutrition
Start Date: 7-01-2016

Obesity in children

In order to develop policy to reduce ozone and mercury pollution to the State of Nevada specific sources need to be parsed out. This can be done by trace metal fingerprinting which is the objective of this project. This trace metal fingerprinting also allows for us to understand inputs of other heavy metals such as zinc, copper, and lead.

Mae Gustin
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 7-01-2015

sampling equipment

This project investigates how changing snowpacks are modulated by landscape hydrological processes through a multi-scale approach that integrates field observations, remote sensing of snow and vegetation, and physically-based modeling. 

Adrian Harpold
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 7-01-2015

Harpold lab taking measurements

Water and nutrient deficits decrease a tomato root hydraulic conductivity (i.e., increase resistance) and can affect water uptake, resulting in daily transient plant water deficits and reduced carbon assimilation capacity. The goal is to understand how the interaction of plant nutritional status and water availability affects young root development and physiology under drying soil and upon re-watering.

Felipe Barrios Masias
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences
Start Date: 7-01-2016

Tomato bloom

This project evaluates critical components of hoophouse versus field-grown vegetable production in Nevada’s high desert environments and then provide agricultural researchers, educators, and producers with information needed to improve the sustainability and quality of hoophouse vegetable production. 

Robert Nowak
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 9-01-2013

hoophouse on VRFL

Quantifing how PJ woodland removal alters vegetation community structure and how such shifts potentially cascade through insect and small vertebrate communities at small to large spatial scales.

Kevin Shoemaker
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 9-01-2016

Hoary Bat clinging to Cottonwood tree

This research has the potential to make transformational improvements in our understanding of Sierra Nevada biogeochemistry while also connecting citizens to regional meadows and forests that supply water, forest products, and cattle. Improving our understanding of the amount of carbon contained in different ecosystem pools, and the rates of greenhouse gas emissions from the soil, will assist in future management and restoration of meadows.

Benjamin Sullivan
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Start Date: 6-01-2016

citizen scientist helping with research

Wine grow well in arid and semi-arid environments. This is particularly relevant in a dry state like Nevada. A long-term goal of our research is to develop improved strategies for enhancing drought resistance mechanisms in wine grapes.

Grant Cramer
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Start Date: 7-01-2009

Wine grapes grown in Nevada