Research activities have centered on both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Projects have involved numerous investigators who have focused on many areas of science (e.g. Wildlife Ecology, Conservation, Aquaculture, Physiological Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, Reproductive Biology, Ecological Genetics, Biogeography, and Systematics).
Investigators have contributed regionally and nationally to the understanding and solution of ecological issues. Regional contributions have included works that focus on understanding the biodiversity of the area and the impact of proposed activities on the quality of life within the area.
Examples include research in aquaculture (hormonal/environmental control of reproduction, stress physiology, and water quality), assessments of rare and endangered plants and animals at several sites, assessment of plants and vertebrate animals on a proposed coal gasification site in southwestern Memphis, survey of significant biota within the surroundings of a sewage treatment plant in Memphis, development of a checklist for mammals, streams surveys at a national park in the region, and a survey of mammals within the Cumberland River Drainage Basin of Tennessee.
Contributions at the national and international level are demonstrated by the publication of work in prestigious scientific journals, such as Journal of Wildlife Management, Wildlife Society Bulletin, Journal of Mammalogy, Ecology, Animal Behavior, Genetica, Systematic Zoology, Journal of Parasitology, Copeia, Aquaculture, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, General and Comparative Endocrinology, Physiological Zoology, Auk, Ethology, and Heredity. Additionally, information derived from these works have been presented at scientific meetings in many different parts of the world as well as discussed in numerous newspaper articles, magazines, and other popular media.
Ongoing research programs of the ERC can be divided into three main categories: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology, Physiological Ecology, and Theoretical Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology. These programs draw from numerous faculty in Biology and other departments.