". . . the world is mud-luscious . . . [and] puddle wonderful" –ee cummings
My research broadly focuses on the coupled movement of water and elements (e.g., nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus) within waterbodies and through landscapes. I currently focus on this research as a postdoctoral research associate with the Critical Zone Collaboration Networks's Big Data Cluster. My aim is to develop a predictive understanding of watershed behavior to understand how disturbances, such as climate and land use changes, impact water resources. In particular, I leverage complex systems tools (e.g., machine learning) with streamflow and water quality data to understand the controls on nutrient transport from landscapes to surface waters at local and continental scales. I was formerly a postdoctoral research associate with Vermont EPSCoR's Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE) project. For my PhD, I studied (mucky) sediment-water interactions in shallow water bodies (i.e., small lakes, ponds, wetlands, and streams) at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station. Until August 2023, you can find me working from UW-Madison's Center for Limnology as an Honorary Fellow.
News & updates:
- New collaborative publication alert! Winter is changing. 40% of the US is vulnerable to water quality impacts from changing winter rain/snowmelt. Check out the news release. And the article.
- I've moved back to Madison, WI! I'll continue to work as a postdoc with the University of Vermont, but from UW-Madison's Center for Limnology as an Honorary Fellow. Extremely grateful to Emily Stanley for hosting me and for my UVM collaborators for helping me make this happen.
- Another product from our WikiProject Limnology & Oceanography work was published in Frontiers in Education: Using Wikipedia Assignments to Teach Critical Thinking and Scientific Writing in STEM Courses.
- Had a really fun time sharing our critical zone research with the Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (CREST) 2.0 Program at the University of Vermont. Teachers joined us from the Lake Champlain Basin and from the Jackson, Mississippi area!
- Our Critical Zone Collaboration Network Big Data Cluster had our first in-person (!!) All Hands Meeting in Burlington, Vermont. At long last! Great time brainstorming how to make our work more impactful for society at large.
- Had a great time at the 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Grand Rapids, MI. Presented my work on catchment controls on concentration-discharge patterns across the contiguous US. I also co-led a workshop exploring non-academic careers in aquatic sciences.
- A lot of perseverance is paying off in 2022. Another publication, "Data imputation for multivariate time series sensor data with large gaps of missing data" was just accepted in IEEE Sensors Journal. This collaboration was initiated with computer and data scientists after I gave a seminar at East Carolina University in 2020.
- A new publication, "Preparing aquatic research for an extreme future: Call for unified definitions, tools, and approaches" was just accepted for publication in Bioscience. Very proud of this early-career team and collaboration that was initiated at Eco-DAS in 2018.
- Our recent paper on drivers of nitrate and phosphorus export and stoichiometry from headwater catchments published in Water Resources Research recently received the 2020 Water Resources Research Editor's Choice Award! Thankful for my great collaborators that contributed to this work. Press release here.
- Hot off the presses! In a recent Biogeochemistry Letters paper we examined under-ice nitrogen dynamics in two eutrophic lakes in Vermont. We found that ice cover may promote nitrate loss. Our results suggest that winters with shorter ice duration and more thaw events may result in less nitrate depletion and higher peak nitrate concentrations in shallow eutrophic lakes, with potential implications for N cycling and phytoplankton ecology.
- Our recent paper, Ice cover and thaw events influence nitrogen partitioning and concentration in two shallow eutrophic lakes, in Biogeochemistry letters examines N cycling under-ice during two winters and finds that changing winter conditions may affect N cycling with potential implications for aquatic N budgets and phytoplankton ecology.
- Our paper, Hydrology on high: Assessing the effect of a ski resort expansion at the Mount Mansfield paired catchment study in Vermont USA, led by Jamie Shanley, was accepted for publication in Hydrological Processes. I learned a lot about mountain hydrology through this collaboration!
- Very fortunate to be transitioning to a new post-doc position at UVM with Drs. Julia Perdrial, Scott Hamshaw, Donna Rizzo, and Kristen Underwood on a new Critical Zone Collaboration Network project focused on Using Big Data Approaches to Assess Ecohydrological Resilience Across Scales.
- As part of our Wikimedia Foundation grant, we promised to make informational videos that could be used to motivate and teach folks how to add their (and disseminate free!) aquatic science knowledge to Wikipedia. We collaborated with an incredible filmmaker, Elizabeth Joy Herzfeldt-Kamprath, to create two fun short films: a motivational one and another that introduces you to the basics of editing Wikipedia. Check them out! And use them!
- Said farewell to VT EPSCoR's BREE summer undergraduate research interns during an awesome virtual symposium. Intern Igrena Aponte-Morrero gave an excellent presentation on her research to understand N and P cycling in a deltaic wetland complex. Looking forward to working with Igrena as we work with past intern, Ellie Sovcik, to write up a collaborative manuscript.
- Scott Hamshaw and I gave a talk for the Virtual Summit: Incorporating Data Science and Open Science in Aquatic Research titled Watershed data science at the event scale: Challenges and new approaches for defining and characterizing event concentration-discharge dynamics.
- So excited to host summer undergraduate research intern, Roujia Zhong's (in-person!) visit to UVM to tour our study watersheds and meet our research team.
- Looking forward to working (virtually) with two undergraduate research interns this summer: Igrena Aponte-Morrero from the Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Recinto de Cupey and Roujia Zhong from Colby College.
- Attended the Society for Freshwater Science's Annual Meeting virtually and shared our work on using self-organizing maps to understand how event characteristics and watershed conditions influence nutrient export patterns.
- Excited to give an invited seminar for CSU-Chico's Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences!
- I helped the Colby College Environmental Studies Program kick off their Spring 2021 seminar series by giving a virtual talk titled In situ sensors reveal the influence of land use and climate change on event-scale watershed nutrient exports.
- Julia Perdrial and I are co-facilitating PODs at UVM for the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience curriculum (URGE). URGE's primary objectives are to (1) deepen the community’s knowledge of the effects of racism on the participation and retention of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in Geoscience, (2) draw on existing literature, expert opinions, and personal experiences to develop anti-racist policies and strategies, and (3) share, discuss, and modify anti-racist policies and strategies within a dynamic community network and on a national stage.
- Our WikiProject Limnology & Oceanography team just published a provocative essay in L&O Letters. In it we argue that societies, institutions, and scientists should prioritize and incentivize contributing to Wikipedia in parallel to traditional scientific outlets to increase both equity and efficiency in transferring aquatic scientific information among our community and to the public.
- Our new paper on drivers of nitrate and phosphorus export and stoichiometry from headwater catchments was recently published in Water Resources Research! An exciting use of optical sensor technology to estimate nitrate and phosphorus concentrations in stream water.
- Our article, Ripples on the web: Spreading lake information via Wikipedia, was recently published. We give a brief overview of lake information on Wikipedia, how to contribute to it, and our vision for the broader dissemination of lake information.
- Started a reading group with Carol Adair's lab to read and discuss So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Also exploring how we can be actively anti-racist in our lives and communities!
- Exciting news for our WikiProject Limnology & Oceanography team. We were just awarded a Wikimedia grant to fund our pilot project that will foster a natural synergy among scientists, educators, and motivated learners to increase quality aquatic-related information on Wikipedia.
- Wrapped up a semester-long course on University Teaching here at UVM. I learned a lot about the neuroscience of learning and designing courses for student learning (e.g., backward design, universal design for learning, inclusive learning, sentipensante pedagogy, and much more!).
- Congratulations to University of Vermont honors college student, Ellie Sovcik! She successfully defended her honors thesis "Longitudinal and seasonal carbon and nutrient patterns in the Missisquoi River Deltaic Wetland" today. She did excellent work and we were so glad to collaborate with her. Good luck with your future endeavors, Ellie!
- Just returned from a writing retreat and giving an invited seminar to East Carolina University's Water Resources Center.
- Attended another excellent Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science training with other members of Vermont EPSCOR's BREE project. It's really important to personally connect to your audience!
- Erin, Brittany, Andrew, and I all presented posters at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco!
- Our work on decomposition in flocculent sediments was just published in Freshwater Science. Check it out here! Turns out there's a lot happening in the mucky ooze you usually avoid in your favorite body of water.
- Summer flew by! We bid farewell to another fantastic group of interns at the VT EPSCoR BREE undergraduate research symposium.
- VT EPSCoR BREE undergraduate interns are here for the summer! Looking forward to working with 5 new interns on the ecology team.
- Attended the Society for Freshwater Science's annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Presented our VT EPSCoR BREE research on storm-driven N and P export patterns. Another novel use of s::can optical sensors - predicting in-stream P concentrations!
- We completed our first longitudinal survey of the Missisquoi River deltaic wetland! Led by UVM undergraduate, Ellie Sovcik, this research focuses on how a deltaic wetland at a tributary-lake transition affects riverine nutrient loading to the lake. We're also testing the utility of high-frequency sensors to reveal longitudinal patterns in nutrient concentrations. At least 3 more sampling trips to go this year!
- Returned to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to give an invited seminar. Keeping the floc talk alive!
- Our VT EPSCoR BREE ecology team is busy sampling snowmelt and rain-on-snow events in the Lake Champlain Basin.
- Back into the classroom with aquatic macroinvertebrates! This time the outreach team from VT EPSCoR CWDD and I visited 6th graders at Hunt Middle School here in Burlington.
- Kicking the year off with a science communication workshop facilitated by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science!
- I spent 2 days at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute's Plasma Mass Spectrometry Facility analyzing stream and groundwater samples for trace metals on their ICP-MS. New skills! Thankful for the kindness and patience of the ICP-MS master, Gretchen Swarr.
- I participated in my first Policy and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) Meeting hosted by VT EPSCoR. These biannual meetings offer a space for policy makers, decision makers, researchers, federal agency representatives, town and local officials from around the state and region to convene and take an active role in interactive sessions surrounding the Lake Champlain Basin.
- Winter is coming. Time to pull our in-stream (s::can) sensors from our forested (Wade Brook), agricultural (Hungerford Brook), and urban (Potash Brook) sites. Sure wish we could find a way to keep these in all winter!
- Participated in the first WikiProject: Limnology and Oceanography edit-a-thon on Cyber Monday! The effort was spearheaded by USGS post-doc, Jake Zwart, in collaboration with a great team of recent EcoDAS XIII alum. Our mission statement:
- As a working group of aquatic scientists, we aim to improve the quality and quantity of publicly available information on Wikipedia. Our goal is to encourage scholars to bring disciplinary expertise to the public sphere in an open-source and accessible manner.
- Check out our WikiProject page and follow along on Twitter!
- I was privileged to participate in ASLO's 8th Ecological Dissertations in the Aquatic Sciences (Eco-DAS) symposium in Honolulu, HI. Spent a week collaborating with 39 other early-career aquatic scientists from freshwater and marine sciences. A truly transformative experience.
- Participated in my first K-12 outreach with VT EPSCoR CWDD at Flynn Elementary School. Brought aquatic macroinvertebrates to the classroom. Nice opportunity to get back into K-12 STEM outreach again!
- I'm officially a post-doc! Spent the first weeks of June visiting our headwater stream monitoring sites and getting out on Lake Champlain to check out our buoys in Missisquoi and St. Albans Bays. The VT EPSCoR team has quite the network of water and environmental sensors! Can't wait to work some of these data very soon!
- I successfully defended my dissertation! Officially the floc doc! Many thanks to my advisor, Steve Hamilton, my committee, and everyone at KBS for all of the support along the way. So lucky to have spent the last several years mucking around in some of the most beautiful and often overlooked water bodies in southwestern Michigan.