Earth’s ecosystems provide many services to mitigate the effects of global change, such as taking up half of human CO2 emissions and limiting the climate warming caused by this added CO2. Yet ecosystems do not have infinite capacity to provide these services. My research focuses changes in ecosystem services that result from human disturbances
I ask questions like:
How long can an ecosystem take up additional CO2 from the atmosphere, or additional anthropogenic nutrients from the soil?
How much of these added nutrients will they take up before they saturate and/or become limited by another nutrient or environmental factor?
How do other human disturbances, such as land use change or energy development, affect these capacities?
I was raised on a cattle ranch in southeastern Montana. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences, and minor in Biology, from Duke University in Durham, NC , graduating with distinction in May of 2004. My undergraduate thesis on environmental and species controls over N cycling in the alpine was carried out under the advice of Dr. William Bowman of the University of Colorado-Boulder and Dr. William Schlesinger at Duke University. I worked with a forestry consulting firm, Technical Forestry Services, in Wyoming before returning to Duke to pursue a PhD in Ecology with Dr. Daniel Richter. My dissertation work on secondary forest carbon sequestration and cycling was supported by James B. Duke and E. Bayard Halstead Fellowships, and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. I recently concluded postdoctoral research at the University of Wyoming in the laboratory of Dr. Ingrid Burke, studying semiarid ecosystem biogeochemistry, and the responses of these water-limited systems to excess nitrogen. I am now based in the verdant Corvallis, Oregon, where I am teaching SUS102 Intro to Environmental Science and Sustainability and SOIL205 (CSS205) Soil Science at Oregon State University.
In my free time, I enjoy baking, brewing, and fermenting foods and beverages, consuming the delicious results, and gardening, hiking, fishing, biking, and skiing, depending on the season.