Guiding Statement

The Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface (CESURI) engages students, researchers and stakeholders in interdisciplinary efforts to clarify the influence of urbanization across rural landscapes. For more information about the goals and research philosophies of the CESURI please click here.

Featured Research

Rasika Ramesh

Rasika Ramesh just graduated her PhD in Water Resources Management from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University (AU SFWS). Her dissertation research was supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface (CESURI) and the Mississippi-Alabama SeaGrant Consortium.

  1. Name: Rasika Ramesh
  2. Status: PhD
  3. Previous Degrees:

          Bachelor’s (B.Tech) in Biotechnology & Biochemical Engineering, Sree Chitra   Thirunal College of Engineering (SCTCE) under the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India

Master’s (MS) in Wildlife Sciences with minor is Statistics, Texas Tech University (TTU), Lubbock, USA

     4. Titles and Honors:

         Ducks Unlimited Graduate Student Award (AU SFWS)

         Dukes Graduate Student Award in Biological Sciences (AU SFWS)

         Secretary of the Wetland Hydrology Technical Committee (Environmental and        Water Resources Institute) from 2015-2017

Helen DeVitt Jones Graduate Scholarship for graduate study (TTU)


   5. Research Interests: Water resources restoration and ecology

Rasika received her B.Tech degree in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering from SCTCE in Thiruvananthapuram, India. She then moved to Lubbock, Texas for her MS in Wildlife Sciences from the Department of Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University where she conducted research examining urban amphibian communities during a period of intense drought. Her research there focused on developing baseline data for amphibian presence and species richness in Lubbock city, the influence of habitat quality and landscape on observed patterns of amphibian occurrence in the city and swabbing amphibians for presence of chytrid fungus (causes fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, in amphibians).

Rasika joined the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University as a doctoral student in January 2013 and began working with Drs. Latif Kalin and Chris Anderson on characterizing hydrological and water quality of headwater slope wetlands in Alabama’s coastal plain region. Under the guidance of Dr. Latif Kalin, she worked on using various modeling approaches to further understanding of this wetland type. In addition, Rasika worked on developing a large dataset of published literature to improve quantitative relationships describing sediment removal by vegetated buffers, as well as worked with using Bayesian risk-based approaches to better improve estimation of Total Maximum Daily Load (the maximum pollutant load a water body can receive without endangering water quality criteria for specific use).

Through CESURI, Rasika has had opportunities for diverse scientific engagements and community outreach. Rasika sees herself working in a capacity that will further understanding and communication of water resources ecology and management to address sociohydrological problems at the community level for improved land and water stewardship.

Select Publications

Ramesh, R., L. Kalin, M. Hantush, and C. Anderson. Challenges calibrating hydrology for groundwater-fed wetlands: a headwater wetland case study (submitted to Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies).

Ramesh, R., C. Anderson, and L. Kalin. Characterizing hydrology and nitrogen trends in coastal plain headwater slope wetlands (in prep).

Ramesh, R., L. Kalin, M. Hantush, and C. Anderson. Evaluating sensitivity of Nitrate-N export to Organic-N and Ammonia-N inputs in headwater slope wetlands (in prep).

Ramesh, R., L. Kalin, and M. Hantush. A secondary assessment of sediment trapping effectiveness by vegetated buffers (in prep).

Ramesh, R., G. Perry, K. Griffis-Kyle, and M. Farmer. 2017. Limited data used to make valid inference about targeting sites for conservation: a case study in urban amphibian ecology. Herpetological Review 48(1):1-5.

Ramesh, R., A. Lord, K. Griffis-Kyle, G. Perry, D. Hamilton and S. Silva. 2013. Amphibian populations in Brazos River Basin, Texas, show no evidence of Bd infection. Herpetological Review 44 (3): 461-464.








The Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface (CESURI) seeks to enhance and facilitate linkages among research and education activities that focus on comparability between natural resources and urban expansion at regional, national, or international scales.

The Center fosters interdisciplinary efforts that integrate biological and socioeconomic issues. The CESURI functions as a primary interface between society and natural resources issues which directly influence our quality of life.