GSS fosters transdisciplinary study of the dynamic interplay between natural and social systems.  Faculty in this area collaborate to discover creative solutions to critical social problems emergent from human activity and environmental change, in areas such as freshwater and coastal water systems, rural environments, infectious disease, and food production and safety. Work in this area also embraces equity in the human condition by seeking the equitable distribution and availability of physical safety and well-being, psychological well-being, respect for human dignity, and access to crucial material and social resources throughout the world’s diverse communities.  

Recent Submissions

  • Supporting cost-effective watershed management strategies for Chesapeake Bay using a modeling and optimization framework 

    Kaufman, Daniel E.; Shenk, Gary W.; Bhatt, Gopal; Asplen, Kevin W.; Devereux, Olivia H.; Rigelman, Jessica R.; Ellis, J. Hugh; Hobbs, Benjamin F.; Bosch, Darrell J.; Van Houtven, George L.; McGarity, Arthur E.; Linker, Lewis C.; Ball, William P. (2021-10)
    Extensive efforts to adaptively manage nutrient pollution rely on Chesapeake Bay Program's (Phase 6) Watershed Model, called Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST), which helps decision-makers plan and track implementation ...
  • A minimally managed switchgrass ecosystem in a humid subtropical climate is a source of carbon to the atmosphere 

    Ahlswede, Benjamin J.; O'Halloran, Thomas L.; Forsythe, Jeremy D.; Thomas, R. Quinn (Wiley, 2021-11-06)
    Bioenergy has been identified as a key component of climate change mitigation. Therefore, quantifying the net carbon balance of bioenergy feedstocks is crucial for accurate projections of climate mitigation benefits. ...
  • The unusual cell wall of the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi is shaped by a tick sugar 

    DeHart, Tanner G.; Kushelman, Mara R.; Hildreth, Sherry B.; Helm, Richard F.; Jutras, Brandon L. (Springer Nature, 2021-11-24)
    Peptidoglycan—a mesh sac of glycans that are linked by peptides—is the main component of bacterial cell walls. Peptidoglycan provides structural strength, protects cells from osmotic pressure and contributes to shape. All ...
  • Modeling the effects of Aedes aegypti’s larval environment on adult body mass at emergence 

    Walker, Melody; Chandrasegaran, Karthikeyan; Vinauger, Clément; Robert, Michael A.; Childs, Lauren M. (PLoS, 2021-11-22)
    Mosquitoes vector harmful pathogens that infect millions of people every year, and developing approaches to effectively control mosquitoes is a topic of great interest. However, the success of many control measures is ...
  • West Nile Virus Vaccination Protects against Usutu Virus Disease in Mice 

    Salgado, Rebecca; Hawks, Seth A.; Frere, Francesca; Vázquez, Ana; Huang, Claire Y.-H.; Duggal, Nisha K. (MDPI, 2021-11-23)
    West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are mosquito-borne flaviviruses that can cause neuroinvasive disease in humans. WNV and USUV circulate in both Africa and Europe and are closely related. Due to antigenic ...
  • Connectivity: insights from the US Long Term Ecological Research Network 

    Iwaniec, David M.; Gooseff, Michael; Suding, Katharine N.; Samuel Johnson, David; Reed, Daniel C.; Peters, Debra P. C.; Adams, Byron; Barrett, John E.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Castorani, Max C. N.; Cook, Elizabeth M.; Davidson, Melissa J.; Groffman, Peter M.; Hanan, Niall P.; Huenneke, Laura F.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; McKnight, Diane M.; Miller, Robert J.; Okin, Gregory S.; Preston, Daniel L.; Rassweiler, Andrew; Ray, Chris; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Schooley, Robert L.; Seastedt, Timothy; Spasojevic, Marko J.; Vivoni, Enrique R. (2021-05)
    Ecosystems across the United States are changing in complex and surprising ways. Ongoing demand for critical ecosystem services requires an understanding of the populations and communities in these ecosystems in the future. ...
  • Integrated assessment modeling reveals near-channel management as cost-effective to improve water in watersheds 

    Hansen, Amy T.; Campbell, Todd; Cho, Se Jong; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Dalzell, Brent J.; Dolph, Christine L.; Hawthorne, Peter L.; Rabotyagov, Sergey; Lang, Zhengxin; Kumarasamy, Karthik; Belmont, Patrick; Finlay, Jacques C.; Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi; Gran, Karen B.; Kling, Catherine L.; Wilcock, Peter (2021-07-13)
    Despite decades of policy that strives to reduce nutrient and sediment export from agricultural fields, surface water quality in intensively managed agricultural landscapes remains highly degraded. Recent analyses show ...
  • Multi-Species Genomics-Enabled Selection for Improving Agroecosystems Across Space and Time 

    Wolfe, Marnin D.; Jannink, Jean-Luc; Kantar, Michael B.; Santantonio, Nicholas (2021-06-23)
    Plant breeding has been central to global increases in crop yields. Breeding deserves praise for helping to establish better food security, but also shares the responsibility of unintended consequences. Much work has been ...
  • Leveraging the NEON Airborne Observation Platform for socio-environmental systems research 

    Ordway, Elsa M.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Kolstoe, Sonja; Quinn, John E.; Swanwick, Rachel; Cattau, Megan; Taillie, Dylan; Guinn, Steven M.; Chadwick, K. Dana; Atkins, Jeff W.; Blake, Rachael E.; Chapman, Melissa; Cobourn, Kelly; Goulden, Tristan; Helmus, Matthew R.; Hondula, Kelly; Hritz, Carrie; Jensen, Jennifer; Julian, Jason P.; Kuwayama, Yusuke; Lulla, Vijay; O'Leary, Donal; Nelson, Donald R.; Ocon, Jonathan P.; Pau, Stephanie; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Portillo-Quintero, Carlos; Pricope, Narcisa G.; Rivero, Rosanna G.; Schneider, Laura; Steele, Meredith; Tulbure, Mirela G.; Williamson, Matthew A.; Wilson, Cyril (2021-06)
    During the 21st century, human-environment interactions will increasingly expose both systems to risks, but also yield opportunities for improvement as we gain insight into these complex, coupled systems. Human-environment ...
  • Gradients of Anthropogenic Nutrient Enrichment Alter N Composition and DOM Stoichiometry in Freshwater Ecosystems 

    Wymore, Adam S.; Johnes, Penny J.; Bernal, Susana; Brookshire, E. N. Jack; Fazekas, Hannah M.; Helton, Ashley M.; Argerich, Alba; Barnes, Rebecca T.; Coble, Ashley A.; Dodds, Walter K.; Haq, Shahan; Johnson, Sherri L.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Lopez-Lloreda, Carla; Rodriguez-Cardona, Bianca M.; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Sullivan, Pamela L.; Yates, Christopher A.; McDowell, William H. (2021-08)
    A comprehensive cross-biome assessment of major nitrogen (N) species that includes dissolved organic N (DON) is central to understanding interactions between inorganic nutrients and organic matter in running waters. Here, ...
  • The Influence of Southwestern Virginia Environmental Conditions on the Potential Ability of Haemaphysalis longicornis, Amblyomma americanum, and Amblyomma maculatum to Overwinter in the Region 

    Whitlow, Amanda Marie; Schürch, Roger; Mullins, Donald; Eastwood, Gillian (MDPI, 2021-11-06)
    Ticks are susceptible to environmental conditions and, to ensure survival during winter conditions, they adopt a wide variety of physiological and behavioral adaptations including utilization of a suitable niche with ...
  • Transcriptional Changes in Pearl Millet Leaves under Heat Stress 

    Huang, Dejun; Sun, Min; Zhang, Ailing; Chen, Jishan; Zhang, Jian; Lin, Chuang; Zhang, Huan; Lu, Xiaowen; Wang, Xiaoshan; Yan, Haidong; Tang, Jianan; Huang, Linkai (MDPI, 2021-10-28)
    High-temperature stress negatively affects the growth and development of plants, and therefore threatens global agricultural safety. Cultivating stress-tolerant plants is the current objective of plant breeding programs. ...
  • Tracking a Surrogate Hazardous Agent (Rhodamine Dye) in a Coastal Ocean Environment Using In Situ Measurements and Concentration Estimates Derived from Drone Images 

    Filippi, Margaux; Hanlon, Regina; Rypina, Irina I.; Hodges, Benjamin A.; Peacock, Thomas; Schmale, David G. (MDPI, 2021-11-02)
    New tools and technology are needed to track hazardous agents such as oil and red tides in our oceans. Rhodamine dye (a surrogate hazardous agent) was released into the Atlantic ocean in August 2018, and experiments were ...
  • Ecology of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria 

    Falkinham, Joseph O. (MDPI, 2021-10-30)
    Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic human pathogens that are widespread in the human environment. In fact, NTM surround humans. The basis for their widespread presence in soils and natural and human-engineered ...
  • The Chesapeake Bay program modeling system: Overview and recommendations for future development 

    Hood, Raleigh R.; Shenk, Gary W.; Dixon, Rachel L.; Smith, Sean M. C.; Ball, William P.; Bash, Jesse O.; Batiuk, Rich; Boomer, Kathy; Brady, Damian C.; Cerco, Carl; Claggett, Peter; de Mutsert, Kim; Easton, Zachary M.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M.; Harris, Lora A.; Ihde, Thomas F.; Lacher, Lara; Li, Li; Linker, Lewis C.; Miller, Andrew; Moriarty, Julia; Noe, Gregory B.; Onyullo, George E.; Rose, Kenneth; Skalak, Katie; Tian, Richard; Veith, Tamie L.; Wainger, Lisa; Weller, Donald; Zhang, Yinglong Joseph (2021-09-15)
    The Chesapeake Bay is the largest, most productive, and most biologically diverse estuary in the continental United States providing crucial habitat and natural resources for culturally and economically important species. ...
  • Conservation agriculture can help the South American Andean region achieve food security 

    Barrera, Victor H.; Delgado, Jorge A.; Alwang, Jeffrey R. (2021-09-15)
    The Andean region of Ecuador is dominated by small-scale agriculture on steep slopes vulnerable to erosion, soil degradation, and subsequent productivity loss. Soil erosion rates exceed the average rate of soil formation ...
  • Social distancing and epidemic resurgence in agent-based susceptible-infectious-recovered models 

    Mukhamadiarov, Ruslan; Deng, Shengfeng; Serrao, Shannon R.; Priyanka; Nandi, Riya; Yao, Louie Hong; Tauber, Uwe C. (Nature Research, 2021-01-08)
    Once an epidemic outbreak has been effectively contained through non-pharmaceutical interventions, a safe protocol is required for the subsequent release of social distancing restrictions to prevent a disastrous resurgence ...
  • Anticipating and adapting to the future impacts of climate change on the health, security and welfare of low elevation coastal zone (LECZ) communities in Southeastern USA 

    Allen, Thomas; Behr, Joshua; Bukvic, Anamaria; Calder, Ryan S. D.; Caruson, Kiki; Connor, Charles; D'Elia, Christopher; Dismukes, David; Ersing, Robin; Franklin, Rima; Goldstein, Jesse; Goodall, Jonathon; Hemmerling, Scott; Irish, Jennifer; Lazarus, Steven; Loftis, Derek; Luther, Mark; McCallister, Leigh; McGlathery, Karen; Mitchell, Molly; Moore, William; Nichols, C. Reid; Nunez, Karinna; Reidenbach, Matthew; Shortridge, Julie; Weisberg, Robert; Weiss, Robert; Donelson Wright, Lynn; Xia, Meng; Xu, Kehui; Young, Donald; Zarillo, Gary; Zinnert, Julie C. (MDPI, 2021-10-29)
    Low elevation coastal zones (LECZ) are extensive throughout the southeastern United States. LECZ communities are threatened by inundation from sea level rise, storm surge, wetland degradation, land subsidence, and hydrological ...
  • EMBRACE-WATERS statement: Recommendations for reporting of studies on antimicrobial resistance in wastewater and related aquatic environments 

    Hassoun-Kheir, Nasreen; Stabholz, Yoav; Kreft, Jan-Ulrich; de la Cruz, Roberto; Dechesne, Arnaud; Smets, Barth F.; Romalde, Jesus L.; Lema, Alberto; Balboa, Sabela; Garcia-Riestra, Carlos; Torres-Sangiao, Eva; Neuberger, Ami; Graham, David; Quintela-Baluja, Marcos; Stekel, Dov J.; Graham, Jay; Pruden, Amy; Nesme, Joseph; Sorenson, Soren Johannes; Hough, Rupert; Paul, Mical (Elsevier, 2021-12)
    Background: A One Health approach requires integrative research to elucidate antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment and the risks it poses to human health. Research on this topic involves experts from diverse ...
  • Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Is Emitted in Aerosol Particles 

    Hawks, Seth A.; Prussin, Aaron J., II; Kuchinsky, Sarah C.; Pan, Jin; Marr, Linsey C.; Duggal, Nisha K. (American Society for Microbiology, 2021-10-19)
    Respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are transmitted in respiratory droplets and aerosol particles, which are released during talking, breathing, coughing, and sneezing. Noncontact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been ...

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