Our main focus is research — specifically on rivers and their watersheds. At the heart of this work is the broad and scenic James River.

Explore our research

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Interested in conducting research or collaborating?

Consult our Rice Rivers "Research Data and Tools" page.

Research at the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Rivers Center fosters and advances environmental sciences and is key to addressing the mission of the center. We provide a home for VCU and partner scientists to conduct studies and innovative conservation methods.

Much of our research focuses on large river ecosystems, their riparian habitats and associated wetlands. Our unique location on a tidal freshwater section of the James River helps us specialize in multiple areas of study: wetlands restoration, anadromous fishes, nutrient dynamics and plankton in river food chains, the ecology of freshwater tidal creeks and public health issues concerning waterborne disease.

We study terrestrial plant and animal communities, too. This includes landscape ecology and related land management issues. Our Center for Conservation Biology has a mission focused on avian conservation and is the premier avian research unit in the mid-Atlantic region.

Greg Garman
“Through the Rice Rivers Center, VCU has established a nationally recognized academic program focused on large river ecology, conservation and management. This has been achieved because of the exceptional qualities of the center, effective regional and national partnerships and VCU's academic assets in the environmental sciences.” — Greg Garman, Ph.D., director, VCU Rice Rivers Center

Annual research symposium

Every year, scientists, students, laypeople and press gather at the VCU Rice Rivers Center to discuss the latest findings of the center’s many research projects. At this annual research symposium, presentations are made by research faculty and students, covering subjects from all four major research foci: conservation biology, wetlands, water quality and technology.

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Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU Life Sciences | VCU Rice Rivers Center | Box 842030 | Richmond, Virginia 23284-2030
(804) 827-5600 |