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Current Research

Carbonshed Study - Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA

The Rocky Mountain project focuses on the isotopic gradients of CO2 as part of the larger carbonshed study on Niwot Ridge. Niwot Ridge is the center of a large consortium of long-term rersearch projects focusing on hydrology, ecology, climatology, geology and numerous other fields. CO2 being heavier than O2 and N2 settles to the lowest points on the landscape and flows downward in the night with the cold air to lower elevations. Forest respiration measurements in valleys are much greater than the real respiration because the CO2 collected is from both locally produced CO2 from respiration and CO2 flowing downward with cold air currents from higher elevations.  CO2 moves downhill in a similar fashion as water moves down the ravines and valleys from the high elevations to the lowland valleys.  I am researching a way to accurately measure forest respiration accurately by being able to distinguish between locally respired CO2 and CO2 that originated from higher elevations. 

Florida Scrub - south-central Florida, USA

I am particularly interested in root structure and function and understanding root strategies and their implications to whole plant survival. Roots are the most understudied and poorly understood aspect of plant ecology.  Only recently has root ecology research begun to receive more focus.  Roots are difficult to study because they are situated in the soil and have numerous interactions with soil chemical and physical processes, mycorrhizas, soil microbes and invertebrates, and other roots.  I am interested in the interactions between aboveground and belowground processes and the linkage between them.  


Important Links

Archbold Biological Station

Everglades National Park

University of Miami Stable Isotope Facility