Dr. Richard Lowrance

Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center Director Dr. Richard Lowrance poses for a photo at the facility Thursday, March 12, 2015.

A research ecologist with the federal government will be taking the reins at the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center next month.

Dr. Richard Lowrance has been named the new director of Kerr Lab, which studies the movement and transformation of contaminants from municipal, agricultural and industrial waste in soil and groundwater. Lowrance will start his new job on June 16, 2014, according to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement. Lowrance holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Alabama and a doctorate in ecology from the University of Georgia, according to a copy of his resume on the University of Georgia-Tifton’s website. He served as a graduate research assistant at the University of Georgia Institute of Ecology from 1975 until 1978 and in the university’s agronomy department from 1978 until 1980. He worked as a staff ecologist for the Meadowcreek Project, a nature reserve and training center for sustainable agriculture in Fox, Arkansas, from 1980 until 1981. He later returned to the university as a post-doctoral associate in 1981 and 1982.

In 1982, Lowrance took a job as an ecologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Tifton, Georgia. He was working for the USDA when he accepted the job at Kerr Lab. Lowrance has led the past 30 years, according to the EPA’s statement. In 2005, he served on a subcommittee of EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board and reviewed an ecosystem research program for the agency’s Office of Research and Development.