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Research

T.Wayne Schwertner

T. Wayne Schwertner is an Assistant Professor and Head for WSES at Tarleton and is a research wildlife biologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Research. He has extensive experience conducting research related to the management of game bird populations, including doves. Prior to coming to Tarleton, Dr. Schwertner had a twelve-year career with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, including duties as the Statewide White-winged Dove Program Leader. During this time, he played a key role in implementing Texas's first statewide white-winged dove survey, as well as the ongoing white-winged dove banding project. Dr. Schwertner has experience in modeling population dynamics and habitat relationships for a number of vertebrate species. schwertner@tarleton.edu

Barry Lambert

Barry Lambert serves as Professor, Dean for the College of Graduate Studies, Associate Vice President of Research, and as a principle investigator through Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Dr. Lambert's research interests include animal nutrition, nutrient management, and condensed tannins in forage or browse plants. He also collaborates with researchers from various disciplines to refine and implement strategies to reduce nutrient pollution from animal feeding operations. blambert@tarleton.edu

Jeff Breeden

Jeff Breeden is an Associate Professor in WSES at Tarleton. While an undergraduate, he was an intern in the Lower Rio Grande Valley at the Las Palomas Wildlife Management area for three summers assisting with management of white-winged dove. In addition, both his masters and doctoral research focused on Columbids. He has experience in habitat evaluation, abundance estimation, productivity, behavior, trapping, and radio tracking doves and pigeons. His current research focus includes the evaluation of habitat quality for threatened ungulate populations at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. He teaches the introductory GIS course at Tarleton. breeden@tarleton.edu

David Kattes

David Kattes is a Professor of Entomology and Crop Science in the Department of Wildlife, Sustainability, and Ecosystem Sciences at Tarleton. Dr. Kattes and his students are currently studying flies associated with dairy wastes, ear tick management at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and cover crops as a way to enhance native bee diversity. Kattes@tarleton.edu

Donald McGahan

Donald McGahan, Assistant Professor and Research Scientist with Tarleton and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, is a soil scientist/biogeochemist interested in identifying systematic variation in soils and their impacts on management. His research examines the slowly renewable natural resource, soil, on which the majority of life planet depend. He uses multiple low and high technology tools to investigate hows and whys to further understanding this diverse ecosystem. Knowledge of soil "in the environment and 'of the environment' is applicable to site-specific soil management(s) including both land use for agriculture and non-agricultural land use. Currently under investigation are phosphorus forms and contents on agricultural lands and the impacts and fates thereof as a result of both natural erosion and accelerated erosion. mcgahan@tarleton.edu

Hennen Cummings

Hennen Cummings is Associate Professor at Tarleton. Dr. Cummings has evaluated experimental herbicides, insecticides, nematicides, plant growth regulators, turfgrass paints and pigments, gypsum formulations, soil wetting agents, biostimulants, microbials, traffic injury abatement systems, new turfgrass cultivars and other plant varieties, and fertilizers using estimates of quality, injury, density, and control. He has access to regional golf courses with nesting blue herons, deer, wild hogs, armadillo, and numerous passerine species for studies of urban wildlife. The Tarleton State University Turfgrass Field Laboratory has 12 species of irrigated cool and warm-season turfgrasses maintained at various mowing heights. Dr. Cummings also has experience in environmental site assessment and environmental impact mitigation. The Hydrotron is a greenhouse that has an aquaponics system and several hydroponics systems. The aquaponics system has a 1750 gallon tank with Mozambique tilapia, a 350 gallon tank with channel catfish, and a 50 gallon brood tank. The fish water is recirculated under three 4 ft x 8 ft rafts. Solid waste filtered from the fish tanks is used to nourish freshwater tiger prawns in a 950 gallon tank. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries are grown in coco fiber (without soil) in hydroponics systems. Strawberries are grown in vertical towers. Herbs in hanging baskets are fertilized with fish water. Outside the Hydrotron are several composters and a media-based aquaponics system built using an IBC tote. hcummings@tarleton.edu

Roger Wittie

Roger Wittie is Professor and Executive Director of Faculty Research at Tarleton. He is an ecologist focusing on reclamation and restoration ecology, process diversity, and plant-herbivore interaction. His current research includes studies of plant-insect interactions, watershed protection, native plant development, and invasive species. Dr. Wittie also serves the program as a statistician and assists students with research design and data analyses. As Executive Director, he assist faculty with development of external funding requests. wittie@tarleton.edu

James P. Muir

James P. Muir is RegentsProfessor with Tarleton and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. He is a grasslandecologist focusing on the plant/animal interface. He has on-going research inPernambuco Brazil and throughout Texas. His students have undertaken researchor presented their data in many countries, including Argentina, Senegal, SouthAfrica, Brazil and the USA. His long-term focus has been legumes, bothcultivated and natural, and their myriad roles in pastures, rangeland, prairies,and savannahs. His multi-national team looks at the many facets of legumecondensed tannins as they affect plant survival, herbivory, and carbonsequestration, as well as animal and environment health. His students currentlyfocus on domesticating native Texas legume ecotypes for many uses, includingprairie restoration and roadside revegetation. j-muir@tamu.edu

Jeff Brady

Jeff Brady is Assistant Professor and Research Scientist with Tarleton and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. His research interests focus on genomics. He currently works with next-generation sequencing to characterize microbial communities. Example studies include changing rumen microbiota following dietary modifications, characterization and tracking of fecal pollution in watersheds, effects of differing agricultural practices on microbial diversity, and microbial/pathogenic contents of tick species. Other research projects are also diverse, including the characterization of genes to improve cereal crops for use as biofuels and characterization/exploitation of pathogenic protozoa for use as biocontrol agents for imported fire ants. j-brady@tamu.edu

Paula McKeehan

Paula McKeehan is an Assistant Professor in WSES at Tarleton. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Mrs. McKeehan has experience as an FCS AgriLife Extension agent, a clinical dietitian, and in community nutrition with Texas WIC program. Her interests include general Medical Nutrition Therapy, Community Nutrition and Nutrition Education. Her role within the department focuses on sustainable nutrition and consumer behaviors. She is passionate about food consumer education. pmckeehan@tarleton.edu

Heather Mathewson

Heather Mathewson is an Assistant Professor for WSES at Tarleton. She also serves as the Coordinator for Undergraduate Advising in WSES. Her research focuses on population biology, wildlife-habitat relationships, and avian ecology. She has experience researching doves and songbirds in Texas, Arizona, California, and Argentina. She has worked on management strategies for both game birds and endangered species, including willow flycatchers, golden-cheeked warblers and black-capped vireos. Before coming to Tarleton, she was a Research Scientist for Texas A&M AgriLife Research. She is currently researching white-tipped, white-winged, and mourning doves, and Northern bobwhite populations in Texas. She also is working on a foraging study on bison in Texas. She teaches population dynamics, avian ecology, and research design and analysis.