I am an ecosystem ecologist and aquatic biogeochemist who studies the transformation and movement of matter and energy in watersheds. My research program investigates how global and regional scale stressors affect lakes and is built around two key questions: How do multi-scaled stressors alter the structure and function of lakes? And what factors mediate lake responses to environmental change?
My research program splits into two complementary themes: aquatic biogeochemistry in mountain ecosystems and data-intensive landscape limnology using both predictive and process-based models. I'm particularly interested in the ways that hydrology and landscape setting influence heterogenous patterns in lake chemistry and ecosystem metabolism.
My career path:
After leaving New Hampshire and slowly making my way out west, I landed in Colorado. I was drawn to western U.S. for my doctoral work because the sensitive, high-elevation lakes of the Rockies are natural laboratories for studying how global stressors such as pollution and climate change affect different aspects of these ecosystems. I received my Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University where I studied how atmospheric deposition of nutrients and recent climate change have altered the ecology of Colorado mountain lakes. I worked in the Loch Vale Watershed Long-Term Ecological Research & Monitoring Program. In recent years, we have seen a rise in benthic (lake bottom) algal blooms in our subalpine and alpine lakes, and we are doing ongoing work to investigate these changes, both in Loch Vale, as well as in other remote "pristine" lakes.
In Fall 2019, I started a postdoctoral research position with Dr. Chris Solomon at the Cary Institute for Ecosystems Studies. Our project will use existing datasets, including long-term, whole-lake manipulations, to test recently developed theory describing effects of terrestrial dissolved organic carbon and nutrient loads on lake food web productivity (more here!).
Presently, I am a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Sarah Collins at the University of Wyoming where I was as part of a team of scientists in the Modelscape consortium. I'm currently working on understanding patterns about lake water quality across the western U.S. and investigating how lakes are responding to disturbances in their watersheds, notably wildfire.
In August 2023 I will be starting at an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Dept. with a joint appointment at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. If you are interested in beginning a Ph.D. or M.S. program, please contact me before applying to see if my lab would be a good fit for you.