Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor of Biological Sciences David Lodge is a world-renowned expert on invasive species. An ecologist, Lodge’s interest in the natural environment grew from his childhood fascination with the fish, crayfish, insects and other freshwater life of his native Georgia and Alabama. In his current research, Lodge examines the impacts of global environmental changes on drinking water, recreation, fisheries, biodiversity, and other ecosystem goods and services. Much of Lodge’s research has a strong focus on ecological forecasting to better inform environmental risk assessment, policy, and management.
Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Aquatic Conservation, Lodge served as the first chair of the national Invasive Species Advisory Committee and was the lead author of the Ecological Society of America’s paper calling for a stronger government response to the problem of invasive species. Nationally, Lodge has taken a lead role in the response to the threat of Asian carp establishing in the Great Lakes by showing with environmental DNA evidence that the carp are much closer to the Lake Michigan than previously thought. He has testified in federal court about his group’s discoveries using advancements in genomics.
Related to his role on the national stage, at Notre Dame, Lodge is the principal investigator in one of nine strategic research investments (SRI)—together, given an $ 80 million infusion of research funds—as part of Notre Dame’s ongoing expansion of research. Lodge’s SRI, the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), will tackle the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources. The goal of ND-ECI is to provide policy and technology solutions that minimize the trade-offs between human welfare and environmental health where trade-offs are unavoidable, and to discover win-win solutions where they are possible.