Research in our laboratory is focused on understanding the fate of coastal ecosystems in a changing world. We seek to understand how plant growth, microbial organic matter decomposition, and sediment deposition all interact to influence coastal tidal marsh resilience to sea-level rise and other global change factors. In particular, we have been interested in how the introduction of salt-water into tidal freshwater marshes alters these ecosystems. We further seek to understand the cycling of carbon and nitrogen between coastal marshes, the tidal water flooding them, and the atmosphere to better understand the response of these ecosystems to climate change and the contribution of these systems to atmospheric greenhouse gases. In addition, we pursue a better understanding of how land-use change in the watersheds that drain to the coast impacts the availability of nutrients and sediments in coastal wetlands, which further influences the susceptibility of these systems to current and future climate change. More recently, we have undertaken research to evaluate the impact of natural gas extraction activities (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) in the Marcellus Shale on stream and shallow groundwater quality.
More information on these projects can be found here: