Our natural environment is continually changing in response to a complex suite of influences, such as climate forcing, resource extraction, and urbanization pressure. In a changing environment, it is important to understand how the services ecosystems provide, both directly and indirectly to humankind, will change. As an environmental scientist, and foremost as a limnologist, I study how terrestrial and atmospheric changes, such as warming air temperatures or land use patterns, alter biogeochemical fluxes and aquatic processes in inland waters.
I am particularly interested in hydrological processes at the poles, where the hydrological cycle is poised to change dramatically over the coming decades. Retreating glaciers and ice sheets, melting permafrost, and increasing precipitation have the potential to boost nutrient delivery to surface waters and stimulate groundwater flow. Questions that I am interested in can be classified as hydrological (How does groundwater interact with surface waters in permafrost environments?), biogeochemical (How will heightened primary productivity in lakes act as a carbon sink on a regional scale?), and anthropogenic (To what extent will resources extraction alter or degrade freshwater ecosystems?). I ask similar questions in temperate ecosystems, where inland waters provide critical resources and are likewise threatened by climate change and further by urbanization.
My research balances field-based programs, which rely heavily on sensor networks, with the use and development of analytical models tailored to the needs of the science. I am particularly interested in biophysical modeling to better understand time dynamics of aquatic systems and the application of geophysical and geospatial tools to address questions at a regional scale.