The Ward Lab has three broadly defined research interests. Dr. Ward partners his interests in ecology, education, and social equity by tackling research questions in 1) conservation biology, 2) urban ecology, and 3) science education. The portfolio generated by these research foci is therefore dynamic and opportunistic. Students interested in topics or questions related to these broad themes are encouraged to reach out and kick around ideas.
Having gained training in population modeling and spatial analyses Dane tends to be drawn towards questions that are more problem based instead of taxa based. While drawn initially to herpetofauna, our lab has spent more time investigating arthropods than the former.
Our urban ecology investigations primarly focus on the interaction between anthropogenic landscapes and biodiversity; testing classic ecological and evolutionary theories in our backyards.
Dane’s interest in education and diversity have led to investigations focused on identifying effective methodologies in the classroom, in research mentorship, and at the undergraduate programmatic level. This research seeks to increasingly diversity student and public participation in the ecology related academic disciplines by ensuring equitable access to opportunity, empathetic mentorship, and shared community success.