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Brian Ohsowski, PhD

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Specialty Area: Wetland Restoration and Invasive Species Management, Applied Great Lakes Ecology, Biochar Application to Improve Water Quality, Multi-variate Statistics

Office #:  BVM 211

Phone: 773.508.8920


CV Link: Ohsowski_CV

External Webpage: http://www.ohsowski-ecology.com/


Ohsowski teaches courses focused on restoration ecology and conservation biology at SES. He delivers course content necessary to understand the current state of human impacted systems by emphasizing approaches and challenges in applied ecology. He is interested in contemporary threats to biodiversity, including habitat fragmentation, the spread of invasive species, and global climate change. Students will understand how the science of ecological systems can be used to address issues in habitat conservation and restoration. In addition, he is actively engaged in the future career success of his students. He spends time working with students on skills necessary to compose cover letters/resumes and relay the importance of ecological internships.


  • PhD in Biology at University of British Columbia
  • MSc in Ecology and Organismal Biology at Eastern Michigan University
  • BSc in Biology at Eastern Michigan University

Program Areas

  • Restoring endemic aquatic and terrestrial communities in human impacted ecosystems
  • Understanding the role of soil communities in impacted landscape recovery
  • Emphasizing experimental design and statistical methodology in restoration ecology
  • Strengthening partnerships among academics, industry, and local communities to emphasize the importance of ecosystem services

Research Interests

As a research scientist, Ohsowski is invested in the preservation and, when necessary, restoration of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. His research strives to counteract human-induced impacts on the landscape that range from localized disturbances (i.e. deforestation/resource extraction) to global climate change. Ohsowski's research interests investigate practical, ecologically-based methods to assist the recovery of plant, animal, and soil communities after habitat disturbance. In his research he integrates remediation tools that reduce human waste and sequester greenhouse gases in addition to creating quality native habitat. Such amendments can include soil additions (i.e municipal compost, biochar, biosolids) or biotic inoculation (i.e. arbuscular mycorrhizae, n-fixing bacteria, earthworms). With the addition of these amendments, human waste streams can be reduced, biofuels produced, and habitat recovery can be accelerated.

Ohsowski's current research focus is two-fold: (1) He investigates soil biogeochemical cycles, soil food webs, and native plant community recovery in severely disturbed mine areas. (2) He is part of a wetland ecology team at Loyola University Chicago which investigates Typha x glauca invasion dynamics in coastal Great Lakes marshes. For more information, please visit his website.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • LUC Restoration Club (Fall 2014-Present)

Courses Taught

  • UCSF 137: The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues
  • ENVS 137: Foundations of Environmental Science
  • ENVS 223: Intro to Soils
  • ENVS 286: Principles of Ecology Lab
  • ENVS 320: Conservation Biology
  • ENVS 321: Conservation Biology Lab
  • ENVS 330: Restoration Ecology
  • ENVS 331: Restoration Ecology Lab



  • Carbon Fellowship Student Awards: Leann Ngo and Kristina Tsakos at Loyola University Chicago Award Amount: $35,000 Total
  • LUROP Student Awards: Fourteen Students at Loyola University Chicago (Fall 2014-Present) Award Amount: $28,000 Total 
  • McNair Scholars Program Faculty Mentorship at Loyola University Chicago (Fall 2016) Award Amount: $2,500

Internal Grants:

  • Assessing the Potential of Biochar Filtration to Mitigate Road Salt andNutrient Pollution in Midwestern Freshwater Streams and Rivers: A Stream Lab Mesocosm Experiment. (2020) Award Amount: $10,000
  • Biochar Production from Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Invasive Plant Monocultures: Biochar Quality Assessment and Wetland Plant Growth Response. (2020) $5,000.00

External Grants:

  • Enhancing Tollway Bioswale Capacity with Biochar Application and Cattail Harvesting. Agency: Illinois Tollway, (2022-2024) Award Amount: $297,500


Selected Publications

  • Landrum, N. and B. Ohsowski. 2017. Identifying worldviews on corporate sustainability: A content analysis of corporate sustainability reports. Business Strategy and the Environment. Accepted: July 31, 2017.
  • Ohsowski, B.M., Dun eld, K.E., Klironomos, J.N., and M.M. Hart. 2017. Plant response to biochar, compost, and mycorrhizal fungal amendments in post{mine sandpits. Restoration Ecology doi:10.1111/rec.12528
  • Landrum, N. and B.M. Ohsowski. 2017. Content trends in sustainable business education: An analysis of introductory courses in the U.S. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 18(3): 385{414)

For a complete list of publications, awards, grants and affiliations, please see his CV.