I am primarily interested in how global change will affect the plants, animals and microorganisms that inhabit terrestrial ecosystems, and what the consequences are for soil carbon stores and cycling.
POST DOCTORAL ASSOCIATES
I am a plant ecologist studying biological invasions and their impacts on native plant communities and ecosystems. I research the impacts and interactions among co-occurring invasive plant species and how these impacts might differ from invasions by single invasive plants. Currently, I am studying whether trait differences among co-occurring native and nonnative species can predict the magnitude and direction of ecosystem impacts of nonnative plants. email
Doctoral Candidate, 5th year
My research interests lie at the intersection of ecosystem ecology and community ecology. Specifically, I am interested in how climate change will affect ecosystem processes by altering species distribution and function, and how this will in turn affect the community composition of forests. email
Doctoral Candidate, 5th year
My research focuses on plant-soil linkages in the terrestrial carbon cycle. I study how plant inputs go on to form stable soil organic mater (SOM), and how these SOM stocks are altered through deforestation and the spread of invasive species. email
Doctoral Candidate, 3rd year
I am interested in how soil organic matter (SOM) contributes to soil function. Specifically, my research focuses on SOM’s contribution to the productivity and resilience of agricultural landscapes.
Doctoral Student, 2nd year
My research falls broadly within the fields of applied and basic forest ecology. I am interested in understanding how the urban context can influence forest structure and function and how to best manage complex and dynamic landscapes for the future. Currently I am using forest assessment data to guide forest management and restoration targets for New York City. email
More about my work in NYC can be found here http://naturalareasnyc.org/
Doctoral Student, 1st year
My research focuses on rapid quantification of soil carbon at landscape scales, whether or not soil organic matter can be managed to mitigate the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity, and how carbon becomes stabilized in soils. Currently I am working with the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative to develop a protocol to rapidly estimate soil carbon on rangelands using VIS/NIR technology and geospatial statistical techniques.
MESc Student, 1st year
I am interested in studying the effectiveness of afforestation projects in improving ecosystem function in urban environments. I am particularly interested in plant-soil feedbacks and their impacts on the carbon cycle.
Lab members where photos and descriptions are forthcoming:
Connor Reed – undergraduate researcher (description coming soon)
Kris Covey, Ph.D. 2016: Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University.
At Yale, Kris focused on quantifying the flux of methane from living trees through a novel stem-based source. His major advisor was Prof. Chad Oliver but he collaborated closely with our group and brought a novel perspective given his focus on integration of his science into practical silvicultural solutions for the management of mixed-species forests.
Thomas Crowther, Postdoc 2012-2015: Marie Curie Fellow, Netherlands Institute of Ecology.
At Yale, Tom explored how biotic and abiotic factors governed the biogeography and functioning of microbial communities at different spatial scales. And, oh yeah, he counted the number of trees in the world (as a side project).
Madeleine Rubenstein, M.E.Sc. 2015: Biologist, USGS.
At Yale Madeleine studied how the activities of fungal decomposers responded to past and current temperature conditions, and showed that past exposure to warmer temperatures selected communities more active at higher temperatures. She is writing her work up for publication.
Ashley Keiser, Ph.D. 2014: Postdoctoral Fellow, Iowa State Univ.
At Yale Ashley studied how forest dynamics and how global change affected nutrient feedback loops between microbial and plant communities. Check out her papers on our publications page.
Avishesh Neupane, M.E.Sc. 2014: Doctoral student, UCLA
At Yale Avishesh studied how temperate forest termites influenced the decomposition of wood both above- and belowground, to begin filling in the knowledge gap about how these organisms affect ecosystem processes, especially in light of the fact their abundance may dramatically increase with warming.
Anna Wade, BSc Environmental Studies 2013.
Tara Ursell, MESc 2013: Ecologist, California State Parks
At Yale Tara studied the consequences of invasive grasses for nitrate (both a water pollutant and essential nutrient) dynamics in soils across a broad regional landscape, forming the water source for much of the southeastern U.S. In addition, she investigated how scientific synthesis could be better conducted to inform recommendations for meeting environmental policy demands.
Robert Warren II, Postdoc 2010-2012: Assistant Professor, Buffalo State College (SUNY)
Robert’s research at Yale focused on 1) the abiotic and biotic drivers behind current and predicted species distributions and 2) the correspondence between species distributions and suitable habitat as determined by species- and stage-specific niche requirements. Website
Michael Strickland Postdoc 2010-2012: Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech
Mike’s research at Yale investigated how community structure affects ecosystem function within the context of environmental change. I tackle this interest by specifically assessing how changes in the structure of soil microbial communities, either due to historical and/or contemporary environmental change, impact ecosystem biogeochemical cycles.
Bhavya Sridhar, MESc 2012: Ph.D. student, Cornell University
Wile at Yale, Bhavya studied the consequences of nitrogen fertilization and soil warming for soil carbon storage and cycling.
Taylor Gregoire-Wright, BSc Environmental Studies 2012: TERI, India
At Yale, Taylor studied the effects of different resource histories on the functioning of microbial communities.
Steve’s research at Yale involved understanding how land use and environmental change affect human well-being and ecosystem functioning, with a particular focus on West Africa.
Emily Stevenson, MESc 2011: see above
Tim Kramer, MESc 2010: Environmental Emergency Response Technician,ENTRIX, Inc.
Tim’s research at Yale was based out of the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, where he studied how Microstegium vimineum, an invasive grass, may be affecting soil fertility and carbon storage potential within different soil carbon pools in Southern Appalachian forests.
Caitlin O’Brady, MFS 2010: Rangelands Program Associate, Ecotrust Rangelands Program
While at Yale F&ES Caitlin researched potential soil carbon storage after rangeland restoration in eastern Oregon. She was awarded a Wyss Scholarship to pursue innovative western land conservation and studied watershed management and ecosystem services. Caitlin currently lives in Portland, Oregon
Yaya Tang, MESc 2010: Agroforestry Volunter, Peace Corps, Bamendjinda, Cameroon
While at Yale, Yaya’s research examined how the invasive Japanese stilt grass is being incorporated into above and below ground food webs in the Southeastern Appalachian forests. She is also interested in urban ecosystem patterns and how ecological processes can be incorporated into the urban landscape.
Brian Watts, BSc 2011: Teaching English and Environmental Volunteering, South Korea
Calley Mersmann, BSc 2011: Indiana University, Masters in Public Administration
Ken Leonard, Ph.D. 2010: Instructor, School of Science and Technology, Georgia Gwinnett College
Mike Strickland, Ph.D. 2009: See above
Dr Christian Davies, postdoc to 2009: Environmental Biotechnologist, UK Project Leader – Biodomain Technology Group, Shell Research Ltd, England
Tara Gancos, BSc 2008: PhD program in Environmental Life Sciences, Arizona State Univ.
Becky Ball, Ph.D 2007: Assistant Professor, New College Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University