1) How do carbon cycling (generally) and metabolic processes (specifically) in lakes and rivers vary between ecological regions, and how are they responding to climate change?
2) What role do benthic/littoral processes play in potential short- and long-term shifts in aquatic ecosystem functioning?
3) How can our understanding of regime shift dynamics assist our efforts to predict and adapt to ecosystem changes?
Within these themes, we focus on a broad spectrum of topics and ideas, ranging from microbial processes, up through food web relationships, and all the way to local, regional, or global patterns in the way lakes interact with their surrounding landscapes and the Earth’s atmosphere.
Great Salt Lake Primary Production (2020-2022, Utah State University) We are working to assess the full-year primary productivity of the Great Salt Lake, taking into account its high heterogeneity and likely prominent role of benthic production in many shallow lake areas.
Dry Flux Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2018-ongoing) As part of the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) DryFlux Network, we are working to understand how desiccation of inland waters can increase landscape emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere.
Desiccation of Great Salt Lake (2019, Utah State University) In collaboration with Drs. Janice Brahney (USU), Clark Rushing (USU), Jennifer Givens (USU) and Emily Burchfield (Emory), this project examines multiple facets of the environmental and social implications of the desiccation of Utah's Great Salt Lake.
Eutrophication and paleolimnology of Utah Lake (2018-2020, Utah State University) In collaboration with Dr. Janice Brahney (USU), this project examines the historical establishment of eutrophication in Utah Lake since the 1800s, and models primary production thresholds to provide lake managers with ecologically-derived clear-water restoration targets.
Assessing the effects of climate change on the net metabolism and carbon cycling of Arctic Lakes (2018, Utah State University) In collaboration with Dr. Trisha Atwood, Dr. Janice Brahney, and Dr. Phaedra Budy (all at USU), this project examines the long-term relationships between climate change and tundra lake metabolism, focusing on lakes at the Toolik Long-term Ecological Research Station.
Henry's Fork water quality response to Island Park management (2018 - ongoing, Utah State University) In collaboration with Dr. Phaedra Budy (USU) and the Henry's Fork Foundation, this project examines the food web and nutrient cycling dynamics of the Henry's Fork River (ID), with a particular focus on the role of long-term changes in submerged macrophyte communities.