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Research & Innovation

Faculty Research

Jack Donnelly, Pioneer in Human Rights Studies

DU professors are breaking new ground across the disciplines. They're hunting down viruses, finding the genes behind learning disabilities and creating video games with a conscience.

One hallmark ties together all of this work, regardless of what field it's in. Ultimately, all research at DU has one common purpose-to have a real impact on people's lives.

Meet just a few of the professors whose work is changing the world.

Anna Sher

Protecting Colorado's riverbanks

Anna Sher, assistant professor of biology

For all its winter snow, Colorado is essentially arid, and water is precious here. So when an foreign species of plant like the tamarisk tree invades the state and sucks up more water than it should, it can devastate the landscape.

Anna Sher, an assistant professor of biology, discovered that the thirsty tamarisk, which has taken over many of Colorado's riverbanks, can't compete with other plants when it's a seedling. Sher's discovery led to an a new technique that eradicates the invading trees. Now she's now studying a beneficial fungus that can rejuvenate depleted soil after tamarisks are removed.

Larry Conyers and Jennie Sturm do research in Peru

Uncovering history

Larry Conyers, associate professor of anthropology

It turns out RADAR can help us with more than navigation and speeding tickets. Larry Conyers, an associate professor of anthropology, is a pioneer in using ground-penetrating RADAR to find and map things buried underground. Conyers has traveled the world and looked into the depths of human history in Scotland, Peru, Jordan and Israel. Stateside, he's mapped tortoise burrows in Florida, searched for a murder victim in California and looked into 5,000-year-old pit-house villages in Oregon-and that's only the beginning.