Research

My research looks holistically at freshwater ecosystems.  The ultimate goal of my work is to advance our understanding of these environments in order to both inform conservation and advance science.  I use field surveys to observe patterns and trends, conduct experiments to test mechanisms at work, and use ecological models to see how well we can predict what is happening.

My Ph.D. research focused on small ponds. Small ponds are abundant on the landscape, but we know little about their ecosystem dynamics, which is what my dissertation addressed.  Check out my pages on pond biogeochemistry and food web structure, which focused on how ponds function in undisturbed, forested landscapes.  Then check out my projects to assess how humans influence pond ecosystem processes, with implications for small pond conservation.

For my post-doctoral work with the Smith Fellowship, I’m studying floodplain wetlands along the Chehalis River in WA.  Specifically, I’m evaluating how floodplain species assemblages, food webs, and ecosystem dynamics (nutrients, metabolism) are affected by land use, altered hydrology, and non-native species.  I will be working with stakeholders to then integrate my results into a conservation plan for restoring the river’s floodplain. Learn more here.

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The Chehalis River in Washington State.