Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
BA, Oberlin College
MS, PhD, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Freshwater macrophyte ecology; forest wildflower restoration
What causes compositional change in natural communities? This question motivates experimental and descriptive inquiry in my lab, our research greenhouse, and in situ at organismal, population, and community levels. We have learned that the sensitivity of underwater plants to lake acidification varies greatly with CO2 availability. Despite rapid photosynthetic down-regulation, high CO2 concentrations promote growth and reproduction at low pH, and the accumulation of mineral nutrients by plants grown on diverse natural lake sediments. High [CO2] also stimulates the development of underwater vs. floating leaves in heterophyllous water lilies. Field studies have revealed limitations to successful reproduction, and that natural aquatic vegetation is quite dynamic even in the absence of environmental change.
Current focus is on striking differences among species in their sensitivity to CO2 enrichment at low pH, and on effects of [CO2] on simple macrophyte communities.
I have also initiated a project to restore native spring wildflowers.
Last Updated: 5/8/09