My research examines how aquatic ecosystems, ranging from freshwater to marine, respond to environmental change and disturbance, particularly at the aquatic-terrestrial interface. I combine in situ instrumentation, experimental mesocosms, and a diversity of modeling approaches to monitor spatial and temporal change in aquatic environments.
Modeling River ReCOVERY
In collaboration with researchers at the University of Montana and the USGS, I am modeling the recovery of stream productivity (i.e., algal biomass) following flood events in 140+ sites across the U.S. I am examining macroscale controls on recovery and estimating the flow thresholds at which disturbance occurs.
Fire Impacts on Aridland Streams
As co-leader of an NCEAS working group, I am modeling the lagged effects of wildfire, precipitation, and their interaction on stream biogeochemistry in aridland ecosystems. The group is also developing a conceptual framework to guide research in aridland watersheds encountering greater fire frequency and intensity.
Predicting NEarshore Greening
Following increased reports of algal growth along the shores of Lake Tahoe in late winter/early spring, I am modeling metabolism in the nearshore and incorporating water chemistry measurements to develop better predictions of nearshore algal growth in response to nitrogen availability.
Responses to Extreme WEather
Following the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow, I examined the transport and relative degradation of terrestrial debris deposited on a local beach during emergency response efforts. Read more about our findings here.
MacroAlgal Nutritional Content
In collaboration with the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER, I examined decadal changes in giant kelp tissue nutritional content in relationship to changing seawater temperatures and oceanographic indices. Read more about our findings here.
I measured the excretion rates of beach consumers, i.e., talitrids (pictured above, credit: N. Schooler), and the impacts of this nutrient subsidy on the surrounding marine and terrestrial communities. Read more about our findings here.
Terrestrial Organic Matter Exports
As part an NSF RAPID project, I investigated the sources and transport of terrestrial organic matter along a mountains-to-ocean transect following periods of drought and winter storm events. Read more about our findings here.
SEDIMENTS AS A SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS
I used nearshore marine sediments to investigate their potential to contribute nitrogen (N) to the overlying water column, during stratified conditions when N is in high demand by nearby giant kelp forests. Read more about our findings here.
Check back for additional project information to be posted soon!