Freshwater ecosystems support aquatic invertebrates that sustain
foodwebs threatened by environmental change.
Our lab aims to understand how aquatic macroinvertebrates process and transfer energy and cycle material in streams and wetlands. Our research quantifies how macroinvertebrate communities and their functions change in response to human activities to inform whole-ecosystem anthropogenic alterations. Our current research focuses on how watershed fragmentation, over-consumption of freshwater and contamination from agriculture, urbanization, and hydraulic fracturing interact to alter community structure and ecosystem functions in streams.
Our current projects include how:
- rapid land use changes, such as natural gas extraction and urbanization, alter associated freshwater ecosystems.
- low-level salt concentrations modify detrital pathways.
- interactions among common and emerging watershed activities change stream structure and functions (for example, decomposition).
- forest insect outbreak species alter stream food webs.