Research Opportunities

Are you an IU faculty member, IU student, or non-IU affiliated researcher wanting to do research in the environment? Look no further than the IU Research & Teaching Preserve (RTP)! First learn more about our available properties to determine which one will best suit your needs and fill out our research acitivity form. If you are an IU student you can fill out a research grant application found below in order to receive funding for your project!  If you have questions, contact us as at!

Ecological effects of deer populations on wildflower and woody plant diversity

Jessica Wellman, Undergraduate Student

Jessica Wellman is a senior pursuing her B.S. in Human Biology with a concentration in Human Health & Disease. Her research project aims to understand the ecological effects of deer populations. Deer are primarily browsers, feeding heavily on the stems of woody plants and wildflowers. When deer are in overabundance, many plant species can become scarce. Her hypothesis is that the deer density at Griffy Lake is greater than that at Lake Monroe, and has decreased woody stem density, increased browse pressure, and reduced wildflower diversity at the former when compared to the latter. The importance of these two locations is that Lake Monroe is an area with a hunted white-tailed deer population, while hunting at Griffy Lake is prohibited. Jessica collected her data by observing the areas around Lake Monroe and Griffy Lake and counting the number of deer present using trail cameras, the density of woody plants, and the variety of wildflower and plant species within a set amount of space.

Deer spotted using Jessica Wellman's trail camera.