Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology

Nancy C. Tuchman

Founding Dean, School of Environmental Sustainability
Ph.D. 1988, University of Louisville
Phone: 773.508.2475


Specialty Area: Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystem Function, Impacts of Climate Change, Invasive Species, Human Impacts on Nature and Impacts of Environmental Degradation on Humans


Dean Tuchman's vision for SES is to raise public awareness of the unsustainable consumption of Earth's natural resources and production of pollution waste with the goal of transforming behavior, developing policy, and inspiring and preparing the next generation of science-based environmental leaders. To that end, SES engages students, faculty, staff, and administrators in activities designed to lower our campus consumption of energy and natural resources and reduce our waste production. Under Tuchman's direction, SES has developed seven interdisciplinary undergraduate programs, launched a master's degree program in environmental science and sustainability, doubled the full-time faculty, and expanded student enrollment in these programs to over 500. In addition, with Tuchman's leadership, SES faculty and staff promote a problem-solving, experiential learning pedagogy through several flagship co-curricular programs. For example, the SES biodiesel program engages students in converting waste vegetable oil into fuel that powers Loyola's intercampus shuttle buses. Glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production, is used to produce soap used in campus bathrooms. In addition, the SES urban agriculture program offers students hands-on experience with sustainable food systems.

Tuchman's 21-year leadership in environmental sustainability has put Loyola in the top 5 percent of greenest colleges in the nation. Building sustainability at Loyola earned Tuchman the Chicago Magazine Green Award (2013), Chicago EcoChampion (2018), and the St. Canisius Medal for Extraordinary Service to Jesuit Higher Education (2022).

Tuchman's research focuses on human impacts on aquatic ecosystem structure and function. Her work has spanned from investigating the effects of greenhouse gases on stream ecosystem food webs to exploring the impacts of invasive plant and animal species on Great Lakes coastal wetland ecosystems. Working with students in research is one of the most rewarding aspects of Tuchman's career. Throughout her 35-year career at Loyola, she has mentored or co-mentored 87 undergraduates and 45 graduate students in individual research projects. In 2023 she was selected as a Society for Freshwater Sciences Fellow for her lifetime contributions to lake, stream, and wetland research and her accomplishments in environmental sustainability in higher education.


· PhD Aquatic Ecology, 1988. University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky. Dissertation title: Effects of different intensities and frequencies of disturbance by snail herbivory on periphyton succession. Advisor: Dr. R. Jan Stevenson (now at Michigan State Univ.).

· MS Aquatic Ecology, 1983. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Thesis title: Effects of agricultural land use on leaf litter processing rates in central Michigan streams. Advisor: Dr. Robert H. King.

· BS Biology with Ecology emphasis, 1980 (cum laude). Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant, Michiga


2023 Society for Freshwater Science Fellows Award

2022 St. Peter Canisius Medal for Extraordinary Service, Int’l Assoc’n of Jesuit Universities

2020 Madonna della Strada Awardee from the Ignatian Volunteer Corps

2020 Leadership in Science and Education Awardee, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2018 Chicago Eco-Champion, Make It Better Magazine Chicago.

2017 Expanded Reason Award, Pope Benedict XVI Foundation, Vatican City, Rome. 2014 Honorary PhD recipient, Central Michigan University.

2013 Chicago Green Award recipient, Chicago Magazine.

2013 Named 1 of the 24 Green Women Powerhouses Making a Difference in Chicago, The Wren.

2009 - 2010 President, Society for Freshwater Science 2002 - life University Faculty Scholar Award, Loyola University Chicago


Keyport S, Carson BD, Johnson O, Lawrence BA, Lishawa SC, Tuchman NC, Kelly JJ. 2019. Effects of harvesting an invasive hybrid cattail on abiotic and biotic wetland properties. Restoration Ecology. 27 (2) 389-398. DOI:10.1111/rec.12859

Lishawa, S. C., Lawrence, B. A., Albert, D. A., Larkin, D. J., & Tuchman, N. C. (2019). Invasive species removal increases species and phylogenetic diversity of wetland plant communities. Ecology and Evolution. 9 (11) 6231-6244. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5188

Carson, BD, Lishawa SC, Tuchman NC, Monks AM, Lawrence BA, Albert DA. 2018. Harvesting invasive plants to reduce nutrient loads and produce bioenergy: an assessment of Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Ecosphere. 9 (6): e02320. 10.1002/ecs2.2320.


Schuck, M.J. and N.C. Tuchman. 2022. 7 Years After Laudato Si’: How Catholic Universities are Amplifying Pope Francis’ Call to Heal our Common Home. America: The Jesuit Review. May 2022.

Tuchman, N.C. 2020. Where Science and Humanities Meet Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. Connections: The Online Magazine of the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities. April 2020.

Tuchman, N.C. 2016. Why Jesuit Colleges and Universities are Uniquely Suited to Tackle the Environmental Crisis. Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, Issue 50:10-13