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.


NPR’s Science Friday featured two Eck Institute for Global Health Faculty

October 21, 2014 • Author: University of Notre Dame • Categories: Transportation Networks, Climate Change, and the Spread of Invasive Species

Two University of Notre Dame faculty who are members of the Eck Institute for Global Health were featured on National Public Radio’s Science Friday.

Listen to Jeanne Romero-Severson, PhD, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, as she explains the important role of bacteria in seed growth and development. The EIGH supported her research, which is in collaboration with Shaun Lee, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, titled: The Role of Commensal Bacteria in Host Plant Susceptibility to Foodborne Pathogens. Funding of this two-year project helped support postdoctoral scholar Susan Pandey Joshi, PhD.

Also featured was David Lodge, PhD, Galla Professor of Biological Sciences, who is the founder and Director of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative. He addressed the threat of invasive species to our Great Lakes as a result of globalization.  Tracking the invaders via their DNA and developing preventions is key to protecting our environment. This has a direct economic impact on all of us. Lodge is currently serving as a Jefferson Science Scholar in the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, DC.

NPR’s Science Friday traveled to Notre Dame for a live show on October 15, 2014. The auditorium in DeBartolo Performing Arts Center was packed. The October 17, 2014, broadcast can be seen and/or heard here: http://www.sciencefriday.com/blogs/10/17/2014/live-from-south-bend-indiana.html

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.