Mark Burnham

Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science

Hello! I come from far northeast along the Appalachian Mountain range in rural western Massachusetts, where I grew up climbing trees, hiking, and playing in the dirt. Over time, I managed to turn this into a career studying and teaching about ecosystem ecology in forests and agriculture. My teaching and research revolve around how humans interact with our surroundings, with a focus on plants and soil. 


See my Google Scholar profile for publications and presentations


Ph.D. in Biology, West Virginia University, 2017

M.S. in Agronomy, Penn State University, 2011

B.S. in Biology, St. Lawrence University, 2009


I teach courses in biology and environmental science.

ENVS 100: Introduction to Environmental Studies

BIOL 117: General Biology

BIOL 350: Introduction to Ecology and Field Biology

BIOL 415: Biogeography


My training is in ecosystem ecology, and my broad research questions are twofold:

1. How do plants influence the flow of carbon and nitrogen through the ecosystem?

I study the first question in forest ecosystems throughout central and southern Appalachia, and much of my published research comes from the Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County, WV.

2. How can we improve our interactions with plants and soil to maximize the ecosystem services they provide?

I am particularly interested in agricultural ecosystems and how our agronomic decisions affect the cycling and losses of nitrogen from farms and gardens.

Contact Info

P.O. Box 947
Emory, Virginia 24327



McGlothlin-Street Hall