Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Our People

Brian Ohsowski, PhD

Title/s: Advanced Lecturer

Office #: BVM 211

Phone: 773.508.8920

E-mail: bohsowski@luc.edu

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


Ohsowski teaches courses focused on restoration ecology and conservation biology at IES. 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)
  • LUC Mycological Club (Fall 2015-Present)

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Ecology Lecture / Lab (ENVS 280/286)
  • Loyola Seminar (FYRE) (UNIV 102)
  • Scienti c Basis of Environmental Issues (UCSF 137)
  • Directed Readings (Supervision) (ENVS 399)
  • Restoration Ecology Lecture/Lab (ENVS 330/331)
  • Conservation Biology Lab (ENVS 321)
  • Conservation Biology Lecture (ENVS 320)



  • Alice Bourke Hayes Award (Mentorship Recognition) Loyola University Chicago
    Nomination Chicago, IL (Mar 2017)
  • Student Oral Presentation Award Can. Land Reclamation Assoc.
    Award Amount: $250 Sydney, NS, Canada (Sep 2012)
  • Teaching Excellence Award University of British Columbia
    Award Amount: $500 Kelowna, BC, Canada (May 2012)


  • Carbon Fellowship Student Award: Leann Ngo Loyola University Chicago Award Amount: $15,000 Total Chicago, IL (Fall 2014-Spring 2016)
  • LUROP Student Awards: Eight Students Loyola University Chicago Award Amount: $16,000 Total Chicago, IL (Fall 2014-Present)
  • McNair Scholars Program Faculty Mentorship Loyola University Chicago Award Amount: $2,500 Chicago, IL (Fall 2016)
  • SER Travel Stipend Society for Ecological Restoration Award Amount: $1,275 Madison, WI (Oct 2013)
  • UBC Graduate Student Travel Grant University of British Columbia Award Amount: $1,000 Kelowna, BC, Canada (Oct 2013)
  • University Graduate Fellowship Award University of British Columbia Award Amount: $6,000 Kelowna, BC, Canada (Sep 2013)
  • CSEE Conference Honorarium Can. Soc. for Ecology & Evolution Award Amount: $1,000 Kelowna, BC, Canada (May 2013)
  • Special UBC Okanagan Award University of British Columbia Award Amount: $1,500 Kelowna, BC, Canada (May 2013)
  • University Graduate Fellowship Award University of British Columbia Award Amount: $6,000 Kelowna, BC, Canada (Sep 2012)

Selected Publications


  • Bon to, M., Keyport, S., Tamaka, C., Bajor, M., and B.M. Ohsowski. 2015. Sullivan rain garden native vegetation restoration proposal. Funding Agency: The Green Initiative Fund at Loyola University Chicago. Funding Amount: $4,640
  • Landrum, N. and B.M. Ohsowski. 2015. Content trends in global sustainable business education. Funding Agency: Center for International Business and the Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility at Loyola University Chicago. Funding Amount: $6,000
  • Lishawa, S.C., Ohsowski, B.M. and N.C. Tuchman. 2015. Increasing the resilience of Great Lakes coastal wetlands to invasive species through indigenous community{researcher collaboration. Funding Agency: Provost's Summer Research Fellowship Program at Loyola University Chicago. Funding Amount: $60,000
  • Ngo, L., Carson, B., Hoang, T.C., and B.M. Ohsowski. 2015. Invasive plant biomass {phytoremediation of contaminated sediments in the Grand Calumet river. Funding Agency:Carbon Fellowship Program under the Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Funding Amount: $15,000


  • 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
  • van der Heyde, M., Ohsowski, B.M., Abbot, L.K., and M.M. Hart. 2017. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal responses to disturbance are context{dependent. Mycorrhiza 27(5):431{440
  • Ohsowski, B.M., Dun eld, K.E., Klironomos, J.N., and M.M. Hart. 2016. Improving plant biomass estimation in the eld using partial least squares regression and ridge regression. Botany 94(7):501{508
  • Landrum, N., Dybzinski, R., Smajlovic, A., and B.M. Ohsowski. 2016. Managing for Resilience: Lessons from Ecology Journal of Management for Global Sustainability 3(1):75{99
  • Ohsowski, B.M., Zaitso P.D., Opik, M., and M.M. Hart. 2014. Where the wild things are: looking for uncultured Glomeromycota New Phytologist 204(1):171{179
  • Ohsowski, B.M., Klironomos, J.N., Dun eld, K.E., and M.M. Hart. 2012. The potential of soil amendments for restoring severely disturbed grasslands. Applied Soil Ecology 60:77{83
  • Hart, M.M., Forsythe, J., Ohsowski, B., Bucking, H., Jansa, J., and T. Kiers. 2012. Hiding in a crowd{does diversity facilitate persistence of a low{quality fungal partner in the mycorrhizal symbiosis? Symbiosis 59:47{56