biogeochemistry, wetland and coastal ecology, sea level rise, soil science, water quality
My research focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of elements in the environment that are vital for life, especially carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Many natural chemical cycles are mediated by microorganisms living in the soil, which control the exchange between the soil, water, and air. I study microbial ecology from a functional perspective, trying to better understand how environmental drivers alter biogeochemistry and subsequently affect landscape-scale ecosystem processes. Working primarily in wetlands, lakes, and coastal ecosystems, I employ a combination of field and laboratory experiments to investigate the relationship between soil microbial processes and ecosystem resilience. I am particularly interested in understanding 1) how disturbances, including sea level rise, eutrophication, hydrologic modifications, and extreme events, alter biogeochemistry, 2) the role of soils and sediments in the storage of carbon and emissions of greenhouse gases, and 3) the utility of wetlands for improving water quality.