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Nancy C. Tuchman, PhD

Title/s:  Founding Dean, School of Environmental Sustainability

Specialty Area: Biology, Aquatic Ecosystem Function, Global Climate Change, Invasive Species, Human Impacts

Office #:  BVM Hall 307

Phone: 773.508.2475


CV Link: Tuchman, Nancy CV July 2023


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, Michigan


  • Society for Freshwater Science Fellows Award, 2023
  • St. Peter Canisius Medal for Extraordinary Service, Int’l Assoc’n of Jesuit Universities, 2022
  • Madonna della Strada Awardee from the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, 2020
  • Leadership in Science and Education Awardee,  Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2020
  • Chicago Eco-Champion, Make It Better Magazine Chicago, 2018
  • Expanded Reason Award, Pope Benedict XVI Foundation, Vatican City, Rome, 2017
  • Honorary PhD recipient, Central Michigan University, 2014
  • Chicago Green Award recipient, Chicago Magazine, 2013
  • Named 1 of the 24 Green Women Powerhouses Making a Difference in Chicago, The Wren, 2013
  • President, Society for Freshwater Science, 2009 - 2010
  • University Faculty Scholar Award, Loyola University Chicago, 2002 - life

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • 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. 

Popular Media Articles

For a complete list of publications, grants and awards, see Dean Tuchman's CV.