David Lodge


Professor David Lodge is the founder and Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI). One of the world’s leading experts on aquatic invasive species, Lodge has extensive research experience on a wide variety of vectors of invasive species, including ships, boats, canals, and commerce in life food, pets and plants. He and his numerous collaborators have studied Eurasian watermilfoil, rusty crayfish, zebra and quagga mussels, and Asian carp and many other species. Lodge has published more than 180 scientific papers, and has edited two books.  

His research focuses on ecological forecasting to better inform environmental risk assessment, policy development, and natural resource management.  On numerous occasions Lodge has testified before the U.S. Congress, and has also served as an expert witness in federal court. He served as the first chair of the U.S. government’s national Invasive Species Advisory Committee in 2000-01, led research on freshwater biodiversity as part of the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2000-05, and led an expert subcommittee providing advice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on reducing invasions from the ballast water of ships in 2010-11.

He is a member of the scientific advisory boards of NOAA and the International Joint Commission. Professor Lodge has a long history of collaborating with economists, historians, theologians, and philosophers, and has extensive experience partnering with outside organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to help translate and transfer his scientific work to the public policy arena.  He is a Jefferson Science Fellow (2014/15) in the US Department of State.  As a Rhodes Scholar, Lodge received his doctoral degree from the University of Oxford, and has been on the faculty at Notre Dame for over 28 years. 

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Jennifer Tank


Jennifer Tank leads the Land Use Program as part of the Environmental Change Initiative, and was ECI's 2014 Interim Director. Tank is the the Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. Tank studies nutrient and carbon cycling in streams and rivers and the influence of human activities on water quality and stream health. Her goal is to better understand the role that small streams play in removing nitrogen from the water and to prevent it from polluting downstream ecosystems. An international authority on the cycling of nutrients in freshwater ecosystems, Tank has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles on nitrogen and carbon cycling in streams and rivers.

Tank received her doctoral degree from Virginia Tech and she is a 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow.

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Joanna McNulty


Joanna McNulty serves as Business Manager of the Environmental Change Initiative. She plays a crucial role at the organization in helping coordinate ECI’s activities on a wide variety of portfolios including grant writing, grant management, budgeting, and personnel. When she’s not busy running the day-to-day operations of the Initiative, she also develops and coordinates many of the ECI’s outreach activities and workshops, as well as participating in research.

A 1990 graduate of Notre Dame, Joanna holds a BS in biology and was a secondary science teacher for several years before returning to the University in 2002.

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Alex Gumm


As program associate, Alex Gumm provides marketing and communications support for the Environmental Change Initiative. In addition to activity development and management, Alex is responsible for the development, implementation and creative direction of all marketing and communications strategies designed to reach both internal and external audiences.  She also provides administrative assistance to ECI management staff and affiliated researchers.  

A recent graduate of Ball State University, Alex holds a BS in public relations. She has prior experience in graphic design and event planning. 

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Affiliated Faculty

A number of faculty from a wide variety of fields of study work with the Environmental Change Initiative.

See the complete list of affiliated faculty