Dr. Daneshgar, often known as “Dr. D.,” concentrates his
teaching in ecology, botany, and global sustainability, but his teaching
stretches outside the walls of his Edison Hall classrooms. To foster more
research and hands-on education, he along with some undergraduates also runs
the Monmouth University Greenhouse, a project associated with his Terrestrial
Ecology Lab that encourages student involvement and helps to support the Monmouth
University Community Garden by housing some New Jersey native species.
Dr. Daneshgar’s obvious enthusiasm for learning, both inside
and outside the classroom, is contagious.
“Research in my plant ecology lab currently aims to better
understand the role of plants in our global world,” said Daneshgar. “We ask
questions like, how do plants affect the global carbon cycle, or how do invasive
species affect ecosystems?”
Also part of his Terrestrial Ecology Lab is the “MU
Vineyard,” a project he created in 2012 in an effort to encourage campus-wide
involvement across multiple fields of study. Students planted rows of grape vines
on the lawn of the University president’s house. The living laboratory for
science students also created opportunities for art majors who can design the bottle
labels, and for marketing students who can help sell the bottles.
Outside of the classroom, Daneshgar spends much of his time
researching endangered and invasive plant species, as well as their impact on
coastal ecosystems and the New Jersey Pine Barrens. When he’s not researching
plants, he is acting as the advisor for the student-run Capella group, the Sea
Sharps, which was formed in 2013.
His hands-on, dedicated approach has been inspiring students
to succeed since he began teaching at Monmouth in 2010. Before coming to the
University, he received a PhD in forest resources and conservation from the
University of Florida, a master’s degree in biology from St. Joseph’s
University, and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University