A Strategic Research Initiative. What is SRI?


eci_templateND-ECI Overview Video


climate_adaptationClimate Change Adaptation

dead_zoneLand Use & Water Quality

invasive_speciesInvasive Species


Dr. David Lodge speaks at the 2013 Shamrock Series Event in Dallas

University of Notre Dame professor David Lodge discusses invasive species on a special segment of CBS Sunday Morning

Dr. Jessica Hellmann on NBC's Changing Planet series discusses adaptation of butterflies.


The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) is tackling the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources. The goal of ND-ECI is to provide solutions that minimize the trade-offs between human welfare and environmental health where trade-offs are unavoidable, and to discover win-win solutions where they are possible.



"When Nature Bites Back: Solving the Budget-Busting Invasive Species Epidemic"

Dr. David Lodge speaks at the 2013 Shamrock Series Event in Dallas.


Notre Dame faculty share research discoveries on NPR's 'Science Friday'

October 10, 2014 • Author: Marissa Gebhard, ND Newswire • Categories: Transportation Networks, Climate Change, and the Spread of Invasive Species


Three University of Notre Dame faculty in the College of Science will speak about their research at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 15) in the Leighton Concert Hall at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. They will appear on the national radio show “Science Friday” to be broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the country.

Ira Flatow, host and executive producer of “Science Friday,” will interview Notre Dame faculty Jeanne Romero-Severson, David Lodge and Philippe Collon. “We’re excited to make the trip to South Bend,” said Flatow. “The scientists at Notre Dame are doing some interesting work, examining everything from nuclear accelerators to plant microbiomes. It’s going to be a great show.”

During the first segment of the show, Romero-Severson, a plant geneticist and professor of biological sciences, will speak about her work on plant microbiomes. Romero-Severson and Shaun Lee, a microbiologist, have discovered a unique, highly motile gram-positive bacterium packaged inside mung bean seeds (Vigna radiata), the source of bean sprouts. This bacterium can colonize V. radiata during seed imbibition and germination without causing any harm to the plant. The recent outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to contaminated seed sprouts may be prevented by naturally occurring protective commensual bacteria like the one they have recently discovered. These bacteria, in defending the seedling against plant bacterial pathogens, may also defend against human pathogens that can persist on seedling surfaces.

Director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, Lodge is a world-renowned expert on invasive species. He is the Ludmilla F., Stephen J. and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences, served as the first chair of the national Invasive Species Advisory Committee and was the lead author of the Ecological Society of America’s paper calling for a stronger government response to the problem of invasive species. His research has identified global hot spots for biological invasions from ballast water and examined the best options for managing these invasions. His research has produced guidance used internationally to help reduce the introduction and spread of invasive species by commercial vendors in the nursery, pet and fish market trades.

ND LEEF prepares for Science Sunday at St. Pat's

September 28, 2014 • Author: Gene Stowe, South Bend Tribune • Categories: ND-LEEF


ND LEEF, a unique environmental research collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and St. Patrick’s County Park, will hold its second annual public Science Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 5. Construction has also started on an outdoor education and outreach pavilion that will enhance year-round community engagement at ND LEEF.

The Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility, with an initial investment of $1 million on six acres in the park, includes two state-of-the art experimental watersheds designed to bridge the controlled environment of a laboratory with the uncontrolled environment found in nature.

Each watershed replicates the complex natural system of ponds, streams and wetlands while allowing scientists to manage such factors as water temperature and flow for their research. ND LEEF is part of the university’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), aimed at applying cutting-edge research to improve environmental management and provide innovative policy solutions.

Science Sunday, which attracted more than 150 visitors last year, includes tours of the facility, descriptions of research by 10 to 15 scientists from the Colleges of Science and Engineering, and hands-on activities especially for children.


Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index honors unique climate-linked projects

September 27, 2014 • Author: William G. Gilroy • Categories: Climate Change Adaptation


In Senegal, efforts to counter the effects of rising sea levels and ocean storms have produced a dike that reclaims hundreds of acres of land for rice. A seawall protects homes, and beach restoration is saving thousands of tourist-related jobs. In India, Indonesia, Kenya and Vietnam, a unique social venture called “Healthy Family” helps address barriers to health care access such as the limited distribution of medicines.

These two separate and unique projects have won the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index’s coveted 2014 Corporate Adaptation Prize. The annual award reflects contributions to awareness, science or action in creating resilience to climate change and applies to multinational and local corporations working on projects in countries ranked below 60 on the ND-GAIN climate adaptation index.

The 2014 winners, honored at a New York City event at Baker & McKenzie in connection with Climate Week NYC and the United Nations Climate Summit, are:

  • The Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE), based in Senegal, for its projects in three urban coastal areas with economic importance for fisheries and tourism and affected by coastal erosion. The project is a partnership between the Centre, the Senegalese government and Dynamique Femmes, among others, and is financed by the Adaptation Fund.
  • Novartis International AG for creating Social Ventures — shared-value business models that complement philanthropic and zero-profit initiatives — and its Healthy Family initiative that uses both social and business components working together to create sustainable solutions.