Women in prairie with wildflowers

Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research

Our vision: To lead scientific discovery that fosters broad appreciation of the vital interactions between humans and the environment.

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Research programs and services

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Terrestrial ecosystems

Our group of labs focusing on terrestrial ecosystems research
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Aquatic ecosystems

Our group of labs focusing on aquatic ecosystems research
Portion of map of eastern Kansas

Geospatial research

Environmental and ag applications of remote sensing technology, with interactive maps

Research programs and services line 2

Five people on boat on lake

Aquatic assessment

Our group of labs focusing on the health of our region's streams and reservoirs
Meadow flowers with woman in distance

Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory

The Kansas representative for NatureServe, which tracks North American biodiversity
Monarch butterflies on shrub

Monarch Watch

KU's internationally known research, education and monarch butterfly tracking program
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The KU Field Station

Founded in 1947, the Field Station has grown to 3,700 acres across three sites and is open to researchers everywhere. Just 20 minutes from main campus, our 1,800-acre core research area is open to the entire KU community for study in any subject.

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Two monarch butterflies on green shrubs

Help us take Monarch Watch into the future

We're excited to announce the new position of the Monarch Watch Endowed Directorship & Professorship at the University of Kansas. This will be a split appointment between the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research and the Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Please share this information as part of our broad search. Review of applications begins Dec. 1.

Complete position description
Wildflowers in meadow

2021 Annual Report

Our resilient research community began to meet again, with more creative ways to connect, a higher proposal success rate, and an increase in funding for new awards. Through our report, we share statistics, stories and photos.

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Research highlights

99
We're a busy and diverse group of 24 faculty scientists, research faculty and other researchers serving as principal investigators in ongoing grant-funded projects—along with six postdoctoral researchers, 22 research staff and KU Field Station staff members, three Monarch Watch staff members, an administrative staff of four, and about 40 students working in our labs each semester.
72
That's the average number of sponsored research projects conducted by our scientists each year. The National Science Foundation is consistently our largest grantor. State funding is used to study many issues related to water quality and quantity, as well as mapping and quantifying habitats across Kansas. Other notable funding sources are industry and nonprofit foundations.
3,700
That's the total acreage of the KU Field Station across three sites here in the prairie-forest ecotone. Our core research and operations area contains diverse natural and managed habitats and a wealth of centralized research facilities and support. It's also a research and teaching resource for the entire KU community across the sciences, arts, humanities and professional schools.
70
That's the average number of peer-reviewed publications we produce each year. Postdoctoral researchers and graduate students are involved in much of the research reported in these publications. In addition, we have published a total of more than 200 Kansas Biological Survey reports on research of interest to the state of Kansas, and we give many interviews to local and national media.



News

Close-up of lake water with plants

There's a temporary free-for-all at Ellis City Lake, where the same hideous drought that's killing western Kansas crops is poised to kill the fish. So many of the usual limits on fishing have been lifted to harvest fish before they die.

Ted Harris in red cap crouching at lake edge with green water during algae bloom

Ted Harris and a team of faculty, students and staff are examining long-term water quality changes in large Kansas lakes, especially changes related to blue-green algae, which can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Woman walking in meadow with flowers

Be a part of artist Janine Antoni’s environmentally embedded