Search Results for: bowen

Marsh makeover

A saltmarsh near Boston, MA being restored after it was degraded by human activity.

The activities are as follows:

Salt marshes are diverse and productive ecosystems, and are found where the land meets the sea. They contain very unique plant species that are able to tolerate flooding during high tide and greater salt levels found in seawater. Healthy salt marshes are filled with many species of native grasses. These grasses provide food and nesting grounds for lots of important animals. They also help remove pollution from the land before it reaches the sea. The grass roots protect the shoreline from erosion during powerful storms. Sadly today, humans have disturbed most of the salt marshes around the world. As salt marshes are disturbed, native plant biodiversity, and the services that marshes provide to us, are lost.

A very important role of salt marshes is that they are able to store carbon, and the amount they store is called their carbon storage capacity. Carbon is stored in marshes in the form of both dead and living plant tissue, called biomass. Marsh grasses photosynthesize, taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it in plant biomass. This biomass then falls into the mud and the carbon is stored there for a very long time. Salt marshes have waterlogged muddy soils that are low in oxygen. Because of the lack of oxygen, decomposition of dead plant tissue is much slower than it is in land habitats where oxygen is plentiful. All of this stored carbon can help lower the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This means that healthy and diverse salt marshes are very important to help fight climate change.

However, as humans change the health of salt marshes, we may also change the amount of carbon being stored. As humans disturb marshes, they may lower the biodiversity and fewer plant species can grow in the area. The less plant species growing in the marsh, the less biomass there will be. Without biomass falling into the mud and getting trapped where there is little oxygen, the carbon storage capacity of disturbed marshes may go down.

Jennifer, working alongside students, to collect biomass data for a restored saltmarsh.

It is because of the important role that marshes play in climate change that Jennifer, and her students, spend a lot of time getting muddy in saltmarshes. Jennifer wants to know more about the carbon storage capacity of healthy marshes, and also those that have been disturbed by human activity. She also wants to know whether it is possible to restore degraded salt marshes to help improve their carbon storage capacity. Much of her work focuses on comparing how degraded and newly restored marshes to healthy marshes. By looking at the differences and similarities, she can document the ways that restoration can help increase carbon storage. Since Jennifer and her students work in urban areas with a lot of development along the coast, there are lots of degraded marshes that can be restored. If she can show how important restoring marshes is for increasing plant diversity and helping to combat climate change, then hopefully people in the area will spend more money and effort on marsh restoration.

Jennifer predicted that: 1) healthy marshes will have a higher diversity of native vegetation and greater biomass than degraded salt marshes, 2) restored marshes will have a lower or intermediate level of biomass depending on how long it has been since the marsh was restored, and 3) newly restored marshes will have lower biomass, while marshes that were restored further in the past will have higher biomass.

To test her predictions, Jennifer studied two different salt marshes near Boston, Massachusetts, called Oak Island and Neponset. Within each marsh she sampled several sites that had different restoration histories. She also included some degraded sites that had never been restored for a comparison. Jen measured the total number of different plant species and plant biomass at multiple locations across all study sites. These measurements would give Jen an idea of how much carbon was being stored at each of the sites.

Featured scientist: Jennifer Bowen from Northeastern University

Flesch–Kincaid Reading Grade Level = 11.0


Want to know more about the scientists behind each Data Nugget? Click on their name for a link to their professional websites, or on their Data Nugget to learn more about their research!

 NameInstitutionAbout MeData Nuggets
mbanvilleMélanie BanvilleArizona State UniversitySince she was young, Melanie has had a keen interest for wildlife which led her to pursue a B.S. in Zoology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Shortly after her graduation, she left Canada to travel and work in the United States. She has been working as a professional wildlife biologist on a wide variety of wildlife-related projects for over a decade, eight of which were in the desert southwest. Melanie truly believes that a better understanding of urban ecology is of fundamental importance for the future of all living organisms as our urban boundaries expand and put more pressure on our ecological resources.Lizards, iguanas, and snakes! Oh my!
barbasch_photoTina BarbaschBoston UniversityI first became interested in science catching frogs and snakes in my backyard in Ithaca, NY. This inspired me to major in Biology at Cornell University, located in my hometown. As an undergraduate, I studied male competition and sperm allocation in the local spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). After graduating, I joined the Peace Corps and spent 2 years in Morocco teaching environmental education and 6 months in Liberia teaching high school chemistry. As a PhD student in the Buston Lab, I study how parents negotiate over parental care in my study system the clownfish (Amphiprion percula), otherwise known as Nemo.Raising Nemo: Parental care in the clown anemonefish
hbatemanHeather BatemanArizona State UniversityI am a field ecologist and conservation biologist interested in how human land-use affects vertebrate populations and habitats. As Earth’s ecosystems move into a future of growing human influence, restoring the integrity of these ecosystems will become central to the conservation of biodiversity. Human activities tend to perturb ecosystems by suppressing natural disturbances such as flooding or fire. This can lead to a decline in native species and proliferation of non-native species. My research interests lie in exploring population responses to habitat alteration, with a particular interest in amphibians, reptiles, and birds.Lizards, iguanas, and snakes! Oh my!
4821680Harriet BoothNortheastern UniversityHarriet is interested in how species interactions drive community structure and dynamics in coastal ecosystems as well as how these interactions are altered by human influence. Her graduate research will focus on predator-prey dynamics in a subtidal oyster reef system in Apalachicola Bay, Florida. Specifically, she is examining the combined effects of intraspecific trait diversity and density of stone crabs on oyster survival and growth over time. The mystery of Plum Island Marsh
Jennifer BowenMarine Science Center, Northeastern UniversityMy work runs the gamut from modeling how changing land use on watersheds alters the geochemistry of receiving waters to understanding how climate change and nutrient enrichment alters the structure and function of microbial communities. In particular I have been focusing on both how human activities are altering the structure and function of microbial communities and in turn how microbial communities can help ameliorate pollution from human sources.Marsh makeover
Carrie BranchUniversity of Nevada RenoI have been interested in animal behavior and behavioral ecology since my second year in college at the University of Tennessee. I research how variation in ecology and environment affect communication and signaling in birds. I have also studied various types of memory and am interested in how animals learn and use information depending on how their environment varies over space and time. Once I finish my PhD I hope to become a professor at a university so that I can continue to conduct research and teach students about animal behavior. In my spare time I love hiking with my friends and dogs, and watching comedies!Finding Mr. Right
Adriana BriscoeUniversity of California, IrvineLike many scientists, I believe that communicating science to the public is becoming increasingly urgent. As a consequence, I have become very interested in how science communicated in K-12 lessons, short dispatches, blogs, podcasts and videos can be used as a tool for inviting the public to participate in science as students, citizen scientists or as consumers of scientific knowledge. My research is focused on understanding what happens to gene products underlying physiological and behavioral traits following gene duplication and functional diversification.Why are butterfly wings colorful?
robert-buchsbaum-headshot_mediumRobert BuchsbaumMass AudubonRobert enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for the natural world and is a frequent trip leader and lecturer for Mass Audubon and other environmental groups. His particular interests include marine and coastal habitats, wildflowers, birds, climate change, and alpine ecology. Robert is Mass Audubon’s Regional Scientist in the Southeast, Cape, and Islands Region and has been a staff scientist here since 1987. Make way for mummichogs & Does sea level rise harm saltmarsh sparrows?
20140702-JLH-Kristi-Bugajski-003Kristi BugajskiValparaiso UniversityKristi specializes in the area of forensic entomology. Forensic entomology looks at how insects are used in a court of law. Her specialty is medico-legal forensic entomology, or how maggots can be used to estimate the amount of time that has passed since death. She is interested in oviposition timing and factors that influence oviposition.CSI: Crime Solving Insects
Damián A. Concepción PérezWilder Middle SchoolI am a middle and high school Science and Math teacher. I have always been searching for innovative ways to get my students engaged in the science classroom and to connect their new knowledge with the real-world. In thinking of ways to help my students learn, I engaged my self with the scientific community collaborating in scientific projects and creating hands-on, interactive, and inspiring teaching lessons. It is my main interest to develop ideas that could positively contribute to any student’s STEM education.What big teeth you have! Sexual selection in rhesus macaques
Robert CoxUniversity of VirginiaBob is an evolutionary ecologist whose interests span from comparative endocrinology and physiology to behavioral ecology and evolutionary genetics. His current projects are focused on integrating quantitative genetics, endocrinology, and genomics to study intralocus sexual conflict and life-history tradeoffs.Is it better to be bigger? & Is it dangerous to be a showoff?
Smiley-150x150Hans DamUniversity of Connecticut-Avery PointI am a biological oceanographer. My research interests are in the biology, ecology and evolution of planktonic organisms, particularly pelagic copepods. Earlier in my career I investigated questions dealing with the role of planktonic organisms in biogeochemical cycles in the ocean, and the formation and fate of marine aggregates. Recently, my interests have broadened to deal with questions of the evolutionary ecology of plankton. Dangerous aquatic prey: can predators adapt to toxic algae?
603798_10152751058695133_1302343582_nSarah Davies University of Texas at Austin & Boston UniversityChanging climates and ongoing anthropogenic habitat modifications threaten natural ecosystems worldwide. Research in my lab studies the potential roles of acclimation, adaptation, and dispersal in an organism’s response to rapid climate change. Understanding how symbioses are maintained is fundamental as climate change disrupts symbiotic relationships worldwide. The coral–Symbiodinium symbiosis is essential and serves as the cornerstone for the entire reef ecosystem. Won’t you be my urchin?
deserClara DeserNational Center for Atmospheric ResearchClara Deser studies global climate variability and climate change in observations and models, with an emphasis on interactions among the atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice. Recent projects include the role of internal variability in regional climate change, the effects of projected Arctic sea ice loss on global climate, asymmetries between El Nino and La Nina, and Pacific decadal variability.The Arctic is Melting – So What?
1449132Leila DesotelleMichigan State UniversityMy research explores how food web subsidies can influence communities. I study the Kalamazoo River, which has several dams. Dams change the flow of the water and can increase the production of phytoplankton. The phytoplankton can act as a subsidy both temporally and spatially. Stream insect communities change along the river, and some of this response is to the subsidy from dams. Rivers frequently have multiple dams though many are aging and will be removed in the coming decades. Therefore, understanding how dams change food sources is important for the management of rivers.Float down the Kalamazoo River
LizDuffLiz DuffMass Audubon, Salt Marsh Science ProjectLiz coordinates environmental education in the Great Marsh Region and beyond, primarily in salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems. She provides professional development workshops and courses for teachers. She is conducting long term ecological research with middle and high school students, investigating invasive Phragmites. Liz engages students in stewardship projects, and she is passionate about her work teaching about climate change, working to raise awareness about rising sea levels, and to inspire actions and plan for the future.Make way for mummichogs & Invasive reeds in the salt marsh & Can a salt marsh recover after restoration?
everettMeredith EverettUniversity of WashingtonMy research interests are in how organisms interact with and adapt to their environments on a genomic scale, and how knowledge of these interactions can be applied to conservation and management solutions. My initial SNP discovery research transformed to now focus on developing novel genomic maps for Pacific salmonids and using these maps to discover the genomic regions associated with ecological traits through QTL and association mapping. I am also involved in a project using SNPs to track sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska.Salmon in hot water
mf_profileMichael Finiguerra University of Connecticut-Avery PointMy PhD dissertation investigated the evolution of tolerance to toxins. Today I am a professor at the University of Connecticut, Teaching is my passion. I love interacting with students and coaching them through complex problems. To me, science is more than intellectual content. It is a lens through which to teach critical thinking. Helping my students become independent critical thinkers is my goal. I use my research as a tool for teaching; it connects the real-world to classroom lectures and gives student much needed hands-on experience, in both laboratory and field-settings. Dangerous aquatic prey: can predators adapt to toxic algae?
Susan FinkbeinerUniversity of California, Irvine & Boston UniversityI spent my childhood chasing butterflies and collecting insects in Illinois, with the dream of studying butterflies in the tropical rainforest. As an undergrad at Cornell I did a semester abroad in Costa Rica where I was introduced to Heliconius butterflies. For my PhD I worked with these butterflies to examine how natural and sexual selection drive the evolution of butterfly wing patterns. I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University (Mullen Lab) working with Adelpha butterflies to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape patterns of biodiversity.Why are butterfly wings colorful?
Erika FosterColorado State UniversityI strive to answer complex questions about soil productivity and to inspire the next generation of soil ecologists. I aim to work with diverse communities from farmers to students, to discover best land management practices, and to ignite curiosity and passion for science. Broadly, I hope to continue serving as an interpreter in my field of soil ecology, delving into the mechanisms that build healthy soils. I want to dig deep into the science, and connect my work to management practices for climate-smart agriculture.Can biochar improve crop yields?
Becky FullerUniversity of IllinoisI grew up in a small town riding horses in 4-H and working in a veterinary clinic. I’ve always been interested in biology, but two key experiences lead me to my career in ecology and evolution research. I took courses at Cedar Point Biological Field Station. There I met Dr. Tony Joern who hired me onto his field crew to study grasshopper community ecology. I caught the “science bug” and never looked back. After undergrad I worked with Dr. Anders Berglund on pipefish on the west coast of Sweden. There I developed my love for fish and aquatics. I feel very fortunate to have a job where I can do science and teach young, enthusiastic students.Why so blue? The determinants of color pattern in killifish Part 1 & Part 2
Iniyan GanesanIniyan GanesanMichigan State UniversityI am interested in the pore size of the chloroplast TOC and TIC protein translocons as well as the degree of folding present in proteins as they pass through chloroplast outer and inner membranes. My area of specialization is Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics.Cheaters in nature – when is a mutualism not a mutualism?
2013-02-25 18.11.57Eben GeringMichigan State UniversityOne of the most exciting things I learned as a college student was that natural populations sometimes evolve very quickly. Biologists used to think evolution was too slow to be studied “in action”, so their research focused on evolutionary changes that occurred over thousands (or even millions) of years. I study feral animal populations to learn how rapid evolutionary changes help them survive and reproduce, without direct help from us.Feral chickens fly the coop
Anne-GiblinAnne GiblinMarine Biological Laboratory & Plum Island Ecosystems LTERMy major research interest has been on the cycling of elements in the environment, especially the biogeochemistry of nitrogen, sulfur, iron, and phosphorus. Much of my work has been focused in soils and sediments where element cycling takes place under different conditions of oxidation and reduction. Much of my current research focuses on the nitrogen cycle and has been centered on understanding how ecosystems respond to high nutrient inputs from wastewater and fertilizer.Keeping up with the sea level
Cara GiordanoUniversity of VirginiaCara's research in sexual selection focuses on the dewlap, a secondary sexual trait in the brown anole lizard. She investigates if variation in the characteristics of this ornament relates to the fitness of the individual expressing it. She is interested in how ecological relationships change over time, particularly under pressures of environmental transition, as well as the physiological mechanisms that underlie conservation concerns.Is it dangerous to be a showoff?
kgKristine GraysonUniversity of RichmondI received my PhD in 2010 from the University of Virginia under the mentorship of Dr. Henry Wilbur. I got an NSF International Research Fellowship to Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand to conduct research on sex-ratio bias under climate change in tuatara, an endemic reptile. One of my claims to fame is capturing the state record holding snapping turtle for North Carolina – 52 pounds! In addition to my passion for amphibian and reptile conservation, my current work also examines the spread potential of gypsy moth, an invasive forest pest in North America.When a species can’t stand the heat
Skye GreenlerColorado College & Purdue UniversityAs a child Skye was always asking why; questioning the behavior, characteristics, and interactions of plants and animals around her. This love of discovery, observation, questioning, and experimentation led her to pursue a career in science. As a graduate student at Purdue she studies the factors influencing oak regeneration after ecologically based timber harvest and prescribed fire. While Skye’s primary focus is ecological research, she loves getting to leave the lab and bring science into classrooms to inspire the next generation of young scientists and encourage all students to be always asking why!Is chocolate for the birds?
Natasha HagemeyerOld Dominion UniversityNatasha got an early start with bird research, banding her first bird at 12 years old. Since then, she's worked with a variety of species and questions, looking at song sharing in orchard orioles, foraging behavior in black-backed woodpeckers, window strikes in migratory passerines, and social behavior in acorn woodpeckers. Her true love, however, is movement ecology, and her Ph.D. research focuses on the pre-dispersal movement patterns of the cooperatively breeding acorn woodpeckers, using a novel automated telemetry system with solar-powered radio tags.Deadly windows
dr-fowleriTravis HageyMichigan State University, BEACONEver since Travis was a kid, he was interested in animals and wanted to be a paleontologist. He even had many dinosaur names memorized to back it up! In college he discovered evolutionary biology, which drove him to apply for graduate school and become a scientist. There, he fell in love with comparative biomechanics, which combines evolutionary biology and mechanical engineering. Today Travis studies geckos and their sticky toes that allow them to scale surfaces like glass windows and tree branches.Sticky situations: big and small animals with sticky feet
hammondMark HammondMichigan State UniversityMark is the Lau lab research technician and resident natural history, lab, and greenhouse guru. He manages all projects in the lab, is a great resource for grad students, and mentors summer researchers. Research in the lab focuses on community ecology and evolutionary ecology. We study how plant populations respond to human-cased environmental change, the ecology and evolution of species interactions, and natural selection in the wild.Invasion meltdown & Springing forward
adam_under_hoodAdam HeckColorado State UniversityI am a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and Entrepreneurial Studies. Currently, I am continuing my education as a PhD graduate student at Colorado State University in Cell/Molecular Biology en route to a career in biomedical research.Gene expression in stem cells
Jennifer HellmannThe Ohio State University & University of IllinoisIt is becoming clear that past and current environmental influences can cause even genetically identical individuals to behave in very different ways. I use field and laboratory experiments, molecular tools, and modeling to understand behavioral differences among individuals and the mechanisms that permit individuals to plastically adjust their behavior given social and environmental pressures (e.g. predation risk). To do this, I study a variety of marine and freshwater fishes.Clique wars: social conflict in daffodil cichlids
Raisa Hernández PachecoUniversity of RichmondRaisa is interested in understanding the drivers shaping population dynamics. In 2013, she obtained her PhD from the University of Puerto Rico after assessing the effects of mass bleaching on Caribbean coral populations. Right after, she joined the Caribbean Primate Research Center and the Max-Planck Odense Center to study the long-term dynamics of the Cayo Santiago rhesus macaque population. At the Grayson lab, she is studying the population of red-backed salamanders in Richmond; its density, spatial arrangement, and space use.What big teeth you have! Sexual selection in rhesus macaques
richard.t.holmesRichard HolmesHubbard Brook Experimental Forest & Dartmouth CollegeRichard is a Research Professor of Biology at Dartmouth College, where he is also Harris Professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus. He lives in Grantham, NH.Bye bye birdie? Part 1 & Part 2
chopkinsonCharles HopkinsonUniversity of Georgia & Marine Biological LaboratoryI have been studying estuaries since graduate school and in collaboration with colleagues from around the world, but especially here at Georgia and in Louisiana and Massachusetts (MBL). Estuaries are the most productive natural ecosystems of the world because they receive nutrient and water subsidies from every land use upstream and because of tidal pumping. It’s their location relative to land inputs however that also makes them vulnerable to N-enrichment and eutrophication.Urbanization and estuary eutrophication
Carly KenkelUniversity of Texas at Austin & University of Southern CaliforniaEnvironmental variation is ubiquitous in natural systems. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms marine organisms use to cope with environmental variation at multiple scales, from changes in the relationship between intracellular symbionts and their host environment, to the mechanisms enabling local populations to persist in different habitats. I also have a strong interest in “translational ecology”: turning scientific findings into tools for conservation management.Coral bleaching and climate change
kinsmanLauren Kinsman-CostelloKent State University & Michigan State UniversityI am an ecosystem ecologist interested in the effects of hydrology on aquatic nutrient biogeochemistry and ecosystem function. My research aims to inform larger questions about the resilience of ecosystems faced with environmental change and the ability of humans to manage, restore, and create ecosystems. A recurring theme in my research is the role that sediments play in freshwater ecosystem function (mud matters!).Marvelous mud
IMG_3984Melissa KjelvikMichigan State University & Data NuggetsI am a postdoctoral researcher and co-founder of Data Nuggets. I completed my PhD in Zoology and EEBB at the Kellogg Biological Station as a member of Gary Mittelbach’s Lab. For my research I work with juvenile bluegill sunfish. I am interested in how fitness tradeoffs may lead to the maintenance of individual-level biodiversity, particularly in the behaviors of fish. Dangerously bold
John KominoskiFlorida International University, MiamiI opt to be outside. I am an ecosystem ecologist whose research integrates spatial and temporal scales of biogeochemical cycling and organic matter processing. My research focuses on the interface (ecotone) between ecosystems where community transitions and exchanges of materials occur. I use theory to test fundamental questions in ecology, enabling me to study diverse ecosystems ranging from the mountains to the sea. I am passionate about field-based research and teaching, and I maintain long-term research in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Gulf Coast of Texas, and the Florida Everglades.The case of the collapsing soil
Matt KustraUniversity of VirginiaMatt is a senior at the University of Virginia majoring in Biology and Computer Science. His research interests are in post-copulatory sexual selection as well as how social environment affects animal physiology and behavior. He is currently working on my distinguished major’s thesis in the Cox lab, looking at how spatial distributions of lizards change throughout the year. After graduation, He plans on pursuing a PhD in evolutionary biology. Is it better to be bigger?
alyciaAlycia LackeyMichigan State University & Murray State UniversityMy research lies at the intersection of evolution, ecology, and behavior. I am interested in how populations evolve in response to the environment, especially in cases of environmental change. I study what generates, maintains, and erodes diversity within and between populations. For my PhD I explored the evolution of reproductive isolation between species of stickleback fish. I studied how divergent sexual and natural selection maintained distinct species and how environmental change facilitated hybridization between one species pair. I am enthusiastic about teaching, mentoring, and outreach.Which guy should she choose? & Fish fights
larsonWesley LarsonUniversity of WashingtonMy graduate research is focused on the use of genotyping by sequencing to acquire data from Chinook salmon populations in western Alaska; these data will provide conservation options and new insights into local adaptation. I am also interested processes influencing variation in the genes of the major histocompatibility complex.Salmon in hot water
jen_lau_2-150Jen LauMichigan State UniversityI am an evolutionary ecologist interested in understanding the full range of ways that plant populations respond to changing environmental conditions. Much of my work focuses on how rapid environmental changes (e.g., biological invasions, rising CO2 concentrations, and global climate change) impact population dynamics, species interactions, and the evolution of plant populations.Invasion meltdown & Springing forward
michaelmartinMichael MartinUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County & University of ArizonaI started my college career as an engineer, but after taking a zoology class I was hooked on biology. I was amazed by the millions of different types of animals that have lived, and currently live, on Earth. I needed to know how so many different types of animals evolved, and so I decided to study the process of speciation. I am currently working in a group of stream fish, called darters, to try and learn how differences in mating behavior might lead to new animal species. This work has led me to a more general interest in animal behavior that I now study in fruit flies as well.Are you my species?
erinErin McCulloughUniversity of Western AustraliaI am fascinated by morphological diversity, and my research aims to understand the selective pressures that drive (and constrain) the evolution of animal form. Competition for mates is a particularly strong evolutionary force, and I study how sexual selection has contributed to the elaborate and diverse morphologies found throughout the animal kingdom. Using horned beetles as a model system, I am interested in how male-male competition has driven the evolution of diverse weapon morphologies, and how sexual selection has shaped the evolution of physical performance capabilities.Beetle battles
Remington MollMichigan State UniversityRemington is a graduate student at Michigan State. He uses cutting-edge technologies such as GPS collars and camera-traps to study predator-prey interactions between large carnivores and their prey. He is excited about evaluating how ecological theory developed in "natural" areas like national parks applies to urban contexts. Remington grew up in the city and fell in love with nature and ecology in city parks. Although it comes with challenges, Remington believes that humans and large predators can peaceably coexist, even in and around cities. It is his goal to use the lessons learned in his research to help make that belief a reality.City parks: wildlife islands in a sea of cement
MorrisJimWebJames MorrisUniversity of South CarolinaMy research spans the basic and applied aspects of the physiological ecology of plants adapted to wetland habitats and the biogeochemistry and systems ecology of wetlands, primarily salt and freshwater intertidal wetlands. We take an approach that combines field work, analytical chemistry, and numerical modeling.Is your salt marsh in the zone?
Bill MungerHarvard UniversityThe Harvard Forest Environmental Measurement Station began measurements in the fall of 1989. The objectives at this site are to make long-term measurements of net carbon exchange, canopy-atmosphere exchange of selected trace gases, and regional atmospheric chemistry. My emphasis has been on the regional atmospheric chemistry and nitrogen deposition, and long-term trends in carbon storage.Are forests helping in the fight against climate change?
novak-bioAlyssa NovakCenter for Coastal Studies, Boston UniversityI am a coastal ecologist who uses a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches to understand how coastal ecosystems experience and respond to stressors. The ultimate goal of my research is to provide information that facilitates initiatives to enhance ecosystem resilience. I have worked extensively in seagrass systems. Recently, I expanded my work to salt marsh systems and am investigating marsh-edge subsidence and its relationship to the invasive European green crab.Green Crabs: Invaders in the Great Marsh
828_Ali Mugshot 250pixAlison O’DonnellUniversity of Western AustraliaI have a broad research interest in biogeography and landscape ecology in relation to climate variability and fire regimes. I am particularly interested in utilising dendrochronology (tree ring) techniques to understand past climates and fire regimes of arid and semi-arid regions in Western Australia. I also have an ongoing interest in improving understanding of the interactions between climate and fire and vegetation, topography and ecosystem processes.What do trees know about rain?
Logan PallinOregon State University & Palmer Station LTERPopulations of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere are recovering after intense commercial whaling during the last century. Along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) this recovery is occurring in an environment that is experiencing the fastest warming of any region on the planet. For my master’s research, I will employ a suite of genetic, biochemical, and photographic techniques to assess the demography of humpback whales along the WAP and how these demographics change with the onset of climate change. Specifically, I will measure changes in sex ratios and quantify pregnancy rates.When whale I sea you again?
Robert ReedCornell University My research focuses on the question of where butterfly color patterns come from - how they originated and how they change over time. My work examines this question using multiple approaches, ranging from developmental genetics to behavioral ecology. I became interested in butterflies as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley. I later earned a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of Arizona, where I characterized several genes involved in wing patterning and pigmentation. I am currently an Associate Professor at Cornell University where my lab works on many different types of butterflies, including Heliconius.Why are butterfly wings colorful?
Aaron ReedyUniversity of VirginiaAaron leads field research in Florida, where he's conducting his PhD research on the quantitative genetics and genomics of intralocus sexual conflict in brown anoles. Before grad school, Aaron taught biology at Thomas Kelly High School in Chicago, where he pioneered the new model of teacher-scientist collaboration and classroom experimentation that is the centerpiece of our Evolution Education program.Is it better to be bigger? & Is it dangerous to be a showoff?
1368734335Gal RibakTel-Aviv University, IsraelGal’s field of research covers comparative biomechanics and ecophysiology of locomotion in animals. He studies the biomechanical, physiological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape the diversity of animal abilities to move (e.g. fly, swim jump) through their natural environment. The flight of the stalk-eyed fly
Clare RittschofUniversity of KentuckyI am broadly interested in the evolutionary consequences and mechanistic underpinnings of behavioral plasticity, particularly in the context of social interactions. I have addressed this topic to-date with studies of alternative reproductive strategies and tactics in the spider Nephila clavipes, and more recently in the context of socially-induced variation in aggression in the honey bee. My research combines perspectives from behavioral ecology, behavioral genomics, and neuroscience.To bee or not to bee aggressive
9CB91B30-155D-E635-18608A03FB74AFF6_mediumAshlee RoweUniversity of OklahomaI am interested in sensory and motor systems and their role in the evolution of adaptive behavior, particularly traits that mediate interactions between animals. My ultimate goal is to understand how animals adapt to their environment. My research program is integrative and focuses on understanding the biochemical, molecular, genetic and physiological bases of adaptive behavior. To address these questions, I study traits that are at the interface of species interactions.A tail of two scorpions
Ashlee & Matt Rowe 2Matt RoweUniversity of OklahomaMy research in behavioral ecology uses integrative approaches to study coevolution between predators and prey. These dynamic interactions show remarkable sophistication, from ground squirrels using rattling they provoke in rattlesnakes to assess the body size and temperature of their reptilian enemies, to grasshopper mice capable of feeding on highly neurotoxic scorpions because of subtle modifications in the mouse’s peripheral nerves. My conservation biology research examines habitat selection and habitat requirements in vertebrates.A tail of two scorpions
leileiLTERLeilei RuanMichigan State University & University of California, BerkeleyLeilei is studying the effects of nitrogen fertilizers on greenhouse gas emissions, a project that will help to maximize crop productivity while reducing emissions. In another research project, Ruan examines biofuel crops. “Most people think that if we use biofuel crops, what we burn doesn’t increase or decrease carbon in the atmosphere,” said Ruan. His research studies that question.Fertilizing biofuels may cause release of greenhouse gasses
gsanfordGregg SanfordGLBRC, University of Wisconsin-MadisonGregg is responsible for the management of a 40 acre intensive biofuel cropping systems trial located at the UW agricultural research station in Arlington, WI. He was involved in the design and implementation of 3 new bioenergy cropping systems trials in WI. Gregg conducts independent research related to the sustainable production of dedicated bioenergy crops with an emphasis on soil quality metrics such as carbon pools and dynamics.Growing energy: comparing biofuel crop biomass
schemske_dougDoug SchemskeMichigan State UniversityThe goal of my research is to characterize the mechanisms of adaptation. This requires information on both the ecological significance of putative adaptive traits as well as an understanding of their genetic basis. Such comprehensive studies are extremely difficult to accomplish; thus it is perhaps not surprising that our current knowledge of adaptation is inadequate. A central theme of my work is the link between temporal and spatial variation in ecological conditions and the adaptive differentiation of populations and species. I rely on ecological and genetic approaches to investigate the origin and maintenance of biological diversity. Winter is coming! Can you handle the freeze?
Elizabeth SchultheisMichigan State University & Data NuggetsI am a postdoctoral researcher and co-founder of Data Nuggets. For my PhD I studied the role of biotic interactions during invasion and how release from enemies could drive the success of invasive plants. My work on Data Nuggets includes science education research, curriculum development, running training workshops for scientists looking to improve their science communication, and running professional development for teachers. My research will help to determine whether Data Nuggets increase student quantitative reasoning abilities and interest and engagement in science.Do insects prefer local or foreign foods? & Do invasive species escape their enemies? & Springing forward
screenJames ScreenUniversity of ExeterMy research examines climate varaibility and change in the polar regions, and the effects these changes on the global climate system. My research utilises a combination of observational analyses and numerical modeling to elucidate the physical drivers of climate variability on seasonal and longer timescales, and the two-way interactions between polar and lower-latitude regions. Currently, my research focusses on exploring how the inexorable retreat of Arctic sea ice effects extreme weather in Europe and the U.S.The Arctic is Melting – So What?
Jim-Seeb1-528x528Jim SeebUniversity of WashingtonMy research focuses on identifying genetic differences that distinguish one Pacific salmon population from another. My current work uses genetic markers to track the migration of adult salmon in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. My wife, Lisa Seeb, and I run the program which provides an important intersection between the Alaska Salmon Program and the SAFS Molecular Ecology Research Laboratory to conduct both basic and applied research. We want to better understand the genetic mechanisms underlying how salmon respond to environmental change.Salmon in hot water
Shelby ServaisFlorida International University, MiamiMy current research is focused on how soil microbes are affected by environmental stresses and subsidies. I work in the Everglades ecosystem where carbon-rich soils are threatened by climate change and land management practices. Microbial communities influence biochemical cycles, and microbial function is controlled by environmental conditions. Specifically, I am testing how soil microbial function is affected by changes in salinity, inundation, and phosphorus. I am also passionate about science communication and outreach. I actively communicate my research to the public, stakeholders, students, and educators.The case of the collapsing soil
msuresearchjpg-8020ab42df67cf3cIurii ShcherbakMichigan State UniversityNitrogen-based fertilizers spur greenhouse gas emissions by stimulating microbes in the soil to produce more nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is the third most important greenhouse gas, behind only carbon dioxide and methane, and also destroys stratospheric ozone. Agriculture accounts for around 80 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions worldwide, which have increased substantially in recent years, primarily due to increased nitrogen fertilizer use.The ground has gas!
scientistsPaula StollerValparaiso UniversityI am a hardworking and dedicated person who is personable and enjoys interacting with others. I am also a public speaker. My biggest academic goal is to graduate from Valparaiso University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science. I would like to go onto graduate school and pursue a Master's in Entomology. I am very passionate about the environment as well.CSI: Crime Solving Insects
Nora StraquadineMichigan State UniversityNora is currently an undergraduate getting her B.S. in Zoology with a concentration in Zoo and Aquarium as well as a minor in Marine Ecosystem Management from Michigan State University. Although aquatic life is her main interest, she think it’s important to appreciate other animal groups and take a break to play and explore the nature around you. That curiosity was how she was able to volunteer in labs on campus from entomology to genetics, and how she came to spend a summer at the Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan. Which would a woodlouse prefer?
Lantao_SunLantao SunUniversity of Colorado at Boulder & National Center for Atmospheric ResearchI am currently a research scientist at Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL).The arctic is melting – so what?
img_0287Tomomi SuwaMichigan State UniversityI am broadly interested in population, community, and evolutionary ecology in agricultural and natural systems. I work on topics including plant-insect interactions, biological invasions, and plant-microbe symbiosis. I completed my PhD in Plant Biology and EEBB at the Kellogg Biological Station as a member of Jen Lau’s Lab. My dissertation research examined the role of resource mutualisms in plant adaptation to abiotic environments.Does a partner in crime make it easier to invade?
johnswallowJohn SwallowUniversity of Colorado, DenverMy research fits into the context of evolutionary physiology, focusing largely on how morphology, physiology, and behavior evolve together as an integrated phenotype. I use stalk-eyed flies as a model system to investigate how evolution, driven by sexual selection (e.g. ornamentation that serves as secondary sexual signals), conflicts with locomotor performance and, ultimately, fitness. Sexual selection provides a selective engine with the ability to drive large changes in suites of behavioral, physiological and morphological characters with the potential for rapid speciation. Research in my lab includes ecological, organismal, biomechanical and behavioral approaches.How to escape a predator & The flight of the stalk-eyed fly & How do brain chemicals influence who wins a fight?
robinRobin TinghitellaUniversity of DenverWork in our lab centers on the roles of ecology and behavior in rapid evolutionary change. We work with real organisms in their real habitats, and also use laboratory experimentation and phylogenetic tools to understand the forces that shape diversity in animal communication and social systems. Recently, we’ve been thinking a lot about the consequences of anthropogenic change for sexual selection.How the cricket lost its song Part 1 & Part 2
turnell-headshotBiz TurnellCornell University & Dresden University of TechnologyI am interested in how sexual selection drives evolution, and in the interplay between pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection. For my PhD work at Cornell University I studied a Hawaiian cricket, quantifying the different stages of sexual selection in the field and developing a mathematical model of strategic sperm allocation. As a postdoc at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany I will investigate how sperm metabolism changes in female storage organs, and whether these changes can explain the differences in sperm use patterns we see in different species of Drosophila.Bon Appétit! Why do male crickets feed females during courtship?
Tony VorsterColorado State UniversityTony is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Colorado State University addressing natural resource management questions related to managing beetle-killed forests, forest carbon and invasive species. Tony has taught at both the elementary and undergraduate level and continues to enjoy taking science to K-12 classrooms.Tree-killing beetles
243328Martha WeissGeorgetown UniversityMy research focuses on the role of behavior, by both plants and insects, in mediating interactions among the two groups of organisms. The sensory and behavioral attributes of insects, including vision, taste, smell, and touch, as well as a capacity to learn and remember, ultimately shape the insects' ability to interact with and exert selection on plants and on other insects. Similarly, the active behavior of plants allows them to take advantage of insects' sensory and behavioral capabilities. Shooting the poop
me-at-Grand-TetonDanielle WhittakerMichigan State University, BEACONMy current work focuses on avian chemical communication, addressing the following questions: what information is present in a bird's odor, what can birds detect, and what are their preferences when it comes to choosing a mate? Sexy smells
Caroline WilliamsUniversity of California, BerkeleyAn organism’s central task is to obtain nutrients from the environment, and divide those nutrients among competing demands in the way that best enhances the passing on of its genes. This task is complicated by the fact that environments vary in concentrations of nutrients, and in abiotic factors such as temperature and oxygen that impact the acquisition and processing of those nutrients. My research combines field-based natural history and experiments with laboratory-based biochemistry and physiology. Research in my lab focuses on linking detailed biochemical and physiological measurements to life history and fitness consequences.Beetle, it’s cold outside!
img_0117Amy WorthingtonCreighton University & Washington State UniversityI strive to help my students attain a broader scientific literacy that will serve them long after their formal education is complete. Specifically, I want my students to learn how science works, why it is an ever-changing field, what the scientific method is and how to use it, how to critically evaluate science in the news, and how to effectively communicate science to both peers and laypeople. I particularly enjoy engaging with the general public about science and I frequently seek out unique opportunities to interact with people of all ages. How to escape a predator