- Biology Assistant Professor
I am an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether and to what extent current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions. My current research projects are:
1) Consequences of saltwater intrusion on biogeochemical cycles in a coastal plain wetland: In collaboration with Drs. Emily Bernhardt (Duke), Geoff Poole and Robert Payn (University of Montana), and Amy Burgin (University of Nebraska), we are examining the consequences of drought-induced saltwater intrusion on the coupled cycling of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the Timberlake Wetland Restoration project. Our work combines long-term field measurements, laboratory experiments of soil anaerobic metabolic pathways, mesocosms and simulation modeling.
2) Long-term patterns in tropical stream biogeochemistry: In collaboration with Drs. Cathy Pringle (UGA), Alonso Ramirez (University of Puerto Rico), and Gaston Small (University of Minnesota), we are examining the consequences of changes in dry season rainfall on stream biogeochemistry in La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. This work is funded by a NSF LTREB grant.
3) Synthesizing controls on carbon processing in temperate and tropical streams. I am involved in two groups examining different aspects of carbon processing in temperate and tropical streams. The first group came out of a workshop in La Selva Biological station, and is focusing on the role of tropical streams in the global carbon cycle and how that might change due to climate change. Collaborators include Gaston Small, Emilio Mayorga, David Genereux, Catherine Pringle, and others. I am also a part of a group conducting a Meta-Analysis & SynthesiS of Leaf decomposition in StreamS (MASS-LOSS). This is in collaboration with Jennifer Shah (Utah State University), John Kominoski (UGA) and others. This group is examining the role of temperature, litter chemistry, and biota on decomposition rates of leaf litter in streams worldwide.