Research at the Center for Environmental Research and Education

Murphy's Bottom Ecological ProjectMurphy's Bottom

The Murphy's Bottom Ecological Project is a habitat restoration project that Duquesne University has undertaken in South Buffalo Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.

Duquesne University's initiative is to effectively restore the property to its full environmental potential. Plan objectives include:

  • Maximizing biodiversity at the Murphy’s Bottom site
  • Preserving and enhancing the habitat for species of special concern
  • Focusing on enhancing aquatic habitat
  • Managing / extirpating invasive species
  • Removing debris and structures from past mining / processing activity
  • Reflecting the input of a wide array of stakeholders
  • Serving as a model for future habitat enhancement projects
  • Facilitating further study at the site

Undergraduate Research Program

Undergraduate Research ProgramThe Undergraduate Research Program provides students with essential research experience fora career in the sciences or science-related fields.

This program offers students the opportunity to experience science through the successes and failures of scientific research.

Students are encouraged to start research as early as their freshman year, allowing them to gain as much experience as possible.

3 Rivers QUEST

3 Rivers Quest

3 Rivers QUEST (Quality Useful Environmental Study Teams) is a comprehensive water quality monitoring and reporting program, sampling all three of Pittsburgh's rivers, their headwaters, and their tributaries. The Program was started by the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University in 2009 sampling the Monongahela and has since expanded. Sampling has taken place over the past few years, with Duquesne joining the program in 2013. Read more about the 3 Rivers QUEST Program.

Faculty Research Initiatives

Our faculty members are active researchers in many areas, from scientific laboratory work to behavioral studies. If you are interested in participating in any of our ongoing research projects and have already reviewed our faculty interests, feel free to contact us!

John F. Stolz, Ph.D.
Director and Professor
Specializing in environmental microbiology, particularly the physiology and biochemistry of bacteria that respire oxyanions of nitrogen, arsenic and selenium, and the microbial sedimentation and lithification of modern marine carbonate stromatolites.

Dr. Plaxedes ChitiyoPlaxedes Chitiyo, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Research interests are in the areas of sustainable agriculture in developed and developing regions, sustainability, and community development.

Dr. Jan JaneckaJan Janecka, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Genomics and conservation biology. 

Stanley J. Kabala, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Formerly the associate director of CERE, Dr. Kabala continues to teach courses as an adjunct professor while serving as a consultant for the 3RQ Water Quality Project through the West Virginia Water Research Institute.

Dr. David KahlerDavid Kahler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research areas include water quality, water resources management and technology to enhance groundwater remediation.

H. M. 'Skip' Kingston. Ph.D.
Fundamental research in separation science, chromatography, microwave energy application, instrument development, standard reference materials development and certification, analytical and environmental test method development, and laboratory automation including expert systems and robotics.

Brady Porter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Molecular markers to study phylogenetic relationships, phylogeography, hybridization, conservation genetics, evolution of mating systems and alternate reproductive tactics (ARTs) in natural populations of fishes and other aquatic organisms.

Kyle W. Selcer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor 
Comparative endocrinology; investigating environmental toxicants that disrupt the endocrine system, the role of steroids in reproduction of reptiles and amphibians and new drugs for the treatment of estrogen-dependent breast cancer.

Dr. Nancy TrunNancy Trun, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Chromosome folding in bacteria and application-based service learning (ABSL) as an educational model. 

Dr. Sarah Woodley
Associate Professor
Effects of Environmental Stressors on Amphibian Reproduction and Health; Neuroendocrinology of Chemical Communication.