Beth Lynch joined the Biology Department in 2001. She regularly teaches courses in Botany, Ecology, and the introductory biology course, Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity. During J-term, she enjoys teaching Winter Biology in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota. In addition to these regular course offerings, Lynch regularly teaches informal directed readings courses and works with students on collaborative research projects.
Her research in plant ecology focuses on the paleoecology of fire-dominated ecosystems and on the conservation of native plant communities in northeastern Iowa. These projects are described in greater detail here.
As the 2017-2019 Research Fellow in the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement at Luther College, she studied the links between human-caused environmental changes and the rapid emergence of zoonoses (diseases of humans with an animal host) and is using this background in teaching students with diverse interests in biology to understand the connections among human health, environmental stewardship, and social justice.
Lynch serves on the Board of Directors for Seed Savers Exchange and is engaged in land stewardship projects at Luther College and on public and privates lands in northeast Iowa. You can read more about her thoughts in Ecological Restoration: Making Space for the Wild.