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Research

Biodiversity and Resource Competition:
How do species coexist? How does biodiversity impact ecosystem functioning? The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is the University of Minnesota’s Long-Term Ecological Research Site and explores the mechanisms of biodiversity, succession, productivity, climate impacts, nutrient dynamics, and other foundational questions of ecology.

Global Agriculture and Food Demand: 
As nations become wealthier, there is greater demand for animal proteins, like beef, dairy, pork, and poultry. Meeting this increased demand for animal products has profound consequences for human health and the environment. Feeding 9 billion people without destroying the planet’s ecosystems is one of the grand challenges facing humanity. 

Land Use Change and Biodiversity:
Earth is undergoing a mass extinction. Agriculture is the primary driver of this biodiversity loss that threatens long-term ecosystem functioning. Using data from the IUCN Red List, and other sources, the Tilman Lab is exploring where biodiversity loss is highest, and how mitigating agricultural pressures might slow species loss.