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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Research Horizons: SDSU Ecologist Works to Save Disappearing American Prairie

Nick Barber studies how the prairie can once again support biodiversity.
By Kellie Woodhouse

SDSU’s Research Horizons series highlights early career faculty and their burgeoning research projects.

San Diego State University biology professor Nick Barber is working to save one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet: America’s tallgrass prairie.

Ninety-five percent of tallgrass prairie has been eliminated in the conversion to crops and cities. In research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Barber studies how to restore the prairie and support the biodiversity of the plants, animals, and microorganisms that live there.

One of Barber’s favorite things about his research is working in tandem with students.

“The university’s commitment to training and teaching means students have opportunities to participate in hands-on research, becoming the next generation of leaders who will find solutions that benefit nature,” he said.

Barber came to SDSU in 2018. Previously, he was a biology professor at Northern Illinois University. He received his doctoral degree in ecology from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

Follow biology professor Nick Barber on Twitter.