Our main focus is research — specifically on rivers and their watersheds. At the heart of this work is the broad and scenic James River.
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Research at the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Rivers Center fosters and advances environmental sciences and is key to addressing the mission of the center. We provide a home for VCU and partner scientists to conduct studies and innovative conservation methods.
Much of our research focuses on large river ecosystems, their riparian habitats and associated wetlands. Our unique location on a tidal freshwater section of the James River helps us specialize in multiple areas of study: wetlands restoration, anadromous fishes, nutrient dynamics and plankton in river food chains, the ecology of freshwater tidal creeks and public health issues concerning waterborne disease.
We study terrestrial plant and animal communities, too. This includes landscape ecology and related land management issues. Our Center for Conservation Biology has a mission focused on avian conservation and is the premier avian research unit in the mid-Atlantic region.