As an ecologist, I seek to both improve our general understanding of aquatic ecosystems and to determine how material and energy pathways are influenced by human induced changes. My recent research has focused on identifying how these pathways are influenced by temperature and nutrient gradients –two important drivers of ecological dynamics that are also primary drivers of global change. My research seeks to answer two questions.
- How do nutrient supply and temperature influence the growth and nutrient balance of organisms?
- How do these individual responses sum to shape ecosystem processes?
Addressing these questions -central to both basic ecological understanding and conservation- requires work at multiple levels of organization and a diverse set of approaches. I use mathematical modeling, laboratory/field experiments, field surveys, and meta-analyses to achieve my research goals. I also use emerging frameworks such as ecological stoichiometry and the metabolic theory of ecology to build linkages between nutrient and energy cycles and scale across multiple levels of organization. An integrative approach is essential for understanding how aquatic systems respond to human activities across scales of complexity, time, and space.