Here in the Ecosystems Lab, we* test the drivers and patterns of C and nutrient cycling in ecosystems from polar to tropical, terrestrial to aquatic, and fresh to salty. We are especially interested in the insights that can be gained by looking at how ecosystems respond to chemical perturbations, whether natural or of human origin. Past and ongoing work is/has focused on:

  • anthropogenic nitrogen deposition
  • emerging contaminants such as engineered nanomaterials
  • increased salts in historically low conductivity ecosystems

 To examine the impacts of such perturbations we use approaches from microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem ecology to pursue the underlying mechanisms and broad patterns in ecosystems.

 *”We” currently just includes Ben Colman, however “we” are recruiting interested undergraduate students for independent studies in the 2016/17 school year, and a master’s or PhD student to start Spring or Fall of 2017.