Research in our Lands

Hojun Song Lab

Song Lab CollectingThe Song Lab of Insect Systematics and Evolution, part of UCF’s Biology Department, is highly interested in searching UCF’s protected areas for any and all members of the insect order Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids) because our lab is focused on studying these fascinating creatures in a phylogenetic and evolutionary context.

The Song lab is primarily searching for Melanoplus puer, so far only a single male and female have been found. The lab is also looking for Aptenopedes spp. and so far a single male has been collected. Find out more at

Ecology Lab

Ecology_LabEcology Lab students conduct field studies in the Arboretum Natural Areas for four weeks where they learn to identify Pine Flatwoods plants and conduct a fire ecology field study. The students asses the differences in vegetation composition and structure between burned and long not burned areas in the Arboretum and later make recommendations for management of the natural areas in a write up of their lab experience. This project in the natural areas prepares students for ecological field work, the collection of large data sets, and subsequently analysis and write up of field studies.


Former graduate student collecting grave data with the ground penetrating radar.

Dr. John Schultz and his students in the Anthropology Department have been conducting a number of research projects involving forensic archaeology and taphonomy.  The projects occur at the Deep Foundations and Geotechnical Research Site with permission from the Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Departments. Examples of the forensic research include an NIJ funded project focused on the application of ground penetrating radar 9GPR) for detection of controlled graves containing euthanized pig carcasses that were used as proxies for human bodies.  Another project involved mapping of simulated skeletal dispersal in an obstructed environment using a portable differential global positioning system.  More recently, we are looking at degradation of textiles to understand how degradation of clothing at a crime scene may provide information about the postmortem interval of a body. For more information, please visit the Anthropology homepage at