Understanding how freshwater ecosystems respond to human activities

Research in my lab is conducted mostly in human-dominated landscapes, such as intensively farmed watersheds or urban/suburban streams. The overarching goal is to understand how freshwater ecosystems respond to human activities and to identify potential solutions to mitigate the adverse impacts to water resources. Of particular interest are the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and related elements such as silicon.

Current Projects

Indiana Watershed Initiative

 Regional ConservationThis project is a collaboration with Prof. Jennifer Tank at the University of Notre Dame, and also involves numerous partners from state and federal agencies, NGO’s, and the private sector. The research involves a multi-year, watershed-scale, manipulation of land cover (winter cover crops) and stream restoration (two-stage ditch). The goal is to determine the effects of these conservation practices on water quality and biogeochemical processes when implemented on a large spatial scale.

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Hydrological and biogeochemical responses to intermittent flow in headwater streams

headwater streams

This collaboration with Prof. Adam Ward is aimed at understanding biogeochemical responses in headwater streams when surface flow ceases and when surface flow returns. Intermittent streams are common, but they are understudied relative to perennial streams.