Welcome Doris Duke Conservation Scholars


Sydney (L) and Ami take a break from fieldwork and enjoy fresh garlic scapes at Dyer Family Organic Farm

This summer we are joined by Aminata Fofana and Sydney Fuller, two undergraduates in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UM-SEAS. Ami and Sydney are already enjoying some of the perks of doing research on local vegetable farms!


Ongoing Research


A farmer participating in our lab’s legume cover crop study incorporates the cereal rye-hairy vetch biculture in his experimental field.



Two new articles identify integrated social-ecological strategies that are necessary for transforming food systems toward resilience and sustainability:

Wittman, H., Chappell, M.J., Abson, D., Bezner-Kerr, R., Blesh, J., Hanspach, J., Perfecto, I., and J. Fischer. 2016. A social-ecological perspective on harmonizing food security and biodiversity conservation. Regional Environmental Change. doi:10.1007/s10113-016-1045-9.

Schipanski, M.E., MacDonald, G.K., Rosenzweig, S., Chappell, M.J., Bennett, E.M., Bezner-Kerr, R., Blesh, J., Crews, T., Drinkwater, L.E., Lundgren, J., and C. Schnarr. 2016. Realizing resilient food systems. BioScience. doi:10.1093/biosci/biw052.


Ryan presents at Diversity Symposium


Ryan explains the benefits of legume cover crops

Ryan Nelson, our very own Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, presented a poster today entitled “Out of Thin Air: Assessing Legume Nitrogen Fixation Inputs on Organic Farms” at the Diversity in Environmental Programs Symposium (Ann Arbor). This symposium capped off the 8 week DDCS Program, which brought undergraduates from around the country to the University of Michigan. Best wishes, Ryan, as you head back to Wesleyan University for another semester!

Welcome new lab members


Elliot collecting soil cores from a study site

This summer two new undergraduates received scholarships to conduct research in the Blesh Lab.  Elliot Nichols, a UM undergraduate in LSA, received a Michigan Research Community Cromer Fellowship, and Ryan Nelson from Wesleyan University is joining us through the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.