Current Research

  • Semi-Automated Mushroom Production

    In 2017 alone, mushroom sales accounted for more than $1.2 billion in U.S. economic impact with over 929 million pounds produced according to the American Mushroom Institute. Yet these spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi, known for their nutritional and medicinal properties, are still underutilized. 

    Dr. Chris Cornelison and Dr. Kyle Gabriel of KSU's BioInnovation Laboratory are trying to change that trend by leveraging technology to optimize high growth yields and varieties of this crop in Georgia.

    They recently were awarded a Georgia Research Alliance venture development grant to study the commercialization of growing mushrooms on regional agricultural waste substrates. 

     

    • Forensic Anthropology Field Lab (FAFL)

      The mission of FAFL is to provide opportunities in research, training, and service related to forensic anthropology and related disciplines. Our field lab includes a variety of open, wooded, and underground environments to facilitate cutting-edge research and training in clandestine grave recovery.

      The FAFL is part of KSU’s Skeletal Variation Research Group, which also includes the Bone Biomechanics Lab. These resources are available to students, researchers, and law enforcement agencies. Training courses for law enforcement and medicolegal professionals will begin in fall 2020. 

      Please contact FAFL Director, Dr. Alice Gooding if you are interested in research collaboration or professional development opportunities. Click here to read more on how Dr. Gooding connects her profession as a state forensic anthropologist with academics at KSU.  

       
      • Urbanization and the Impact on Starlings

        Urban environments can offer increased opportunities for wildlife—such as new types of food or shelter—but also new dangers. Building sustainable cities will require understanding how urban living influences animals, including both the benefits and costs that come with life in these novel environments. At the Kennesaw State University Field Station, the Guindre-Parker lab is exploring how urbanization shapes the behavior and physiological health of birds.

        Dr. Sarah Guindre-Parker and students from the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology have established a colony of nest boxes, which will allow the team to monitor behavior and reproductive success in an urban agricultural setting relative to purely urban or purely agricultural sites. 

        European Starlings
        • American Chestnut Tree Restoration

          The surprising discovery of two wild American chestnut trees at the KSU Field Station was the catalyst for a new area of research in conservation. Field Station Operations Manager Michael Blackwell and Dr. Kyle Gabriel received a grant from The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF), which originally confirmed the identification of the trees through genetic testing. 

          Their grant is to explore innovative biotechnologies to improve the survival of laboratory-propagated American chestnut plantlets developed for disease resistance. They have also just started a collaboration with TACF to plant a blight-resistant American chestnut orchard at the Field Station for future restoration efforts.

          American Chestnut Tree
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