Carter studies daily and seasonal water and carbon fluxes of high elevation spruce-fir ecosystems in response to different climatic changes. Spruce-fir communities rely on regular cloud immersion for necessary moisture and may be particularly affected by any changes to cloud regimes as a result of climate change. This research will address how these communities will respond to changing cloud regimes as a result of climate change.
Mary Jane is broadly interested in the field of biogeochemistry, which focuses on understanding biotic controls on environmental chemistry and geochemical controls on the structure of ecosystems. Her doctoral work will occur at a coastal wetland site that is under active restoration, with a focus on understanding the impact of saltwater intrusion events on ecosystem processes, from the microscale to the macroscale. Coastal wetland systems provide key ecosystem services, emphasizing the need to better elucidate how these systems respond to variety of anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors.
Melanie Doyle, PhD Student; MS from University of North Carolina at Wilmington; BS from University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Melanie is very interested in the ecology of invading species and has been working with several species of invasive plants on the coast for years. Her current academic interest lies with the new threat of Laurel Wilt Disease as it makes its way north through our coastal plain wetland communities, posing a severe threat to redbay and other Lauraceae species, as well as dependent species
Adriana Sanchez, Postdoctoral Research, Assistant Professor; PhD from Wake Forest University, BS and MS from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
Adriana is interested in the ecophysiology of alpine plants. She is currently working in an alpine ecosystem of Colombia (the “páramo”), trying to understand how plants adapt and withstand the extreme conditions of this ecosystem. By measuring the microclimatic conditions and several functional traits in the two most common plant species, this research will provide insight into how plants adapt to fast changing microclimatic conditions and a baseline for understanding the effects of climate change on the páramo and the tropical alpine in general.
Joseph’s research examines water sources of riparian tree species and changes in uptake from these sources due to variation in environmental and meteorological factors. Riparian zones are those corridors of vegetation on the banks of streams and rivers that help protect the quality of that area’s water. It is unclear, however, how changes in rainfall or water quality may impact these species. This research should result in better understanding how to protect these buffers in stressful environments.