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Charles Mohler

Charles Mohler

Senior Research Associate

907 Bradfield Hall
(607) 255-0199

Charles (Chuck) Mohler joined the Section of Soil and Crop Sciences in 2001 as a Senior Research Associate after 21 years in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell. His research focuses on the ecology of weeds, mechanical and ecologically based weed management and biology of organic cropping systems. He was founder and former Project Coordinator of the Cornell Organic Cropping systems Project, a large multi-experiment, interdisciplinary investigation into the ecology of organic farming (for more information, see He is coauthor with Matt Liebman and Charles Staver of the book "Ecological Management of Agricultural Weeds" (Cambridge University Press, 2001). His long-standing interest in the forests of New York State led to the publication in 2006 of the "Guide to the Plant Communities of the Central Finger Lakes Region", co-authored with Peter L. Marks and Sana Gardescu. This book, lavishly illustrated with color photographs, is intended to satisfy the curiosity of both professionals and lay persons interested in where and why different sorts of forests and wetlands occur in central NY. To order copies, see Publication of another book "Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: a Planning Manual" (co-edited with Sue Ellen Johnson) was published in 2009. He is an active member of the Weed Science Society of America and several other professional organizations and has taken a leadership role in collaborative multi-state weed projects since 1985. For more information on Charles Mohler, see the Cornell University Weed Ecology Research Laboratory HomePage:

Research Focus

My research interests lie primarily in the areas of weed ecology and sustainable agriculture. Most of my work focuses on the management of organic cropping systems and on the ecology and non-chemical management of agricultural weeds. In addition, I have long standing interests in the biology and management of invasive plants and the composition and management of New York forests.

Outreach and Extension Focus

My extension work is focused on improving organic cropping systems and especially on improving weed management on organic farms. My extension activities fall into four categories: (i) writing books, articles, and websites for farmers, gardeners, extension personnel, and the general public; (ii) presenting field research at farm field days; (iii) speaking at grower conferences and extension workshops; and (iv) answering questions from extension personnel and growers. The nature of the activity varies from year-to-year depending on the current research and writing projects and the interests of stakeholders. Most of my research is directed toward supporting extension activities. Over 150 copies of the draft of a book on ecological weed management have been distributed to extension educators. Nearly all have indicated that they are likely to use information from the book in their extension work. Post-delivery surveys of field days indicate that growers are using the information conveyed on their farms. Impact of talks and workshops has been evaluated by evaluation sheets and pos-delivery surveys, and the responses have been uniformly favorable. Audiences find the information presented useful and applicable to their situations.

Teaching Focus

My appointment does not include a teaching component but I regularly contribute to several courses. .

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Researcher (2014) Northeastern Weed Science Society
  • 100 Influential Papers Published in 100 Years of BES (2013) Britisih Ecological Society
  • 2010 Excellence in IPM Award (2011) Cornell University Cooperative Extension, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Harry A. MacDonald Award for Excellence in Agronomy (2010) Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University

Selected Publications

Journal Publications


  • Mohler, C. L., & Johnson, S. E. (2009). Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual. p. 156 NRAES, Ithaca, NY.

Book Sections

  • Mohler, C. L. (2009). Crop rotation on organic farms. p. p. 123 Building Soils for Better Crops Fred Magdoff and Harold van Es (ed.), Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)., Waldorf, MD U.S.A.


  • Mohler, C. L., Marks, P. L., & Gardescu, S. (2006). A Guide to the Plant Communities of the Central Finger Lakes Region. p. 127 pages New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY.