I am interested in the effects of riparian gaps on algal communities in forested headwater streams, and how changes in algal communities may alter stream food web dynamics and carbon retention. My research will examine the effects of shifts in foundation riparian species on diatom communities in the southern Appalachians. Specifically, I plan to examine how widespread hemlock mortality affects algal biomass, accrual rates, and community composition. In addition, I will evaluate how various silvicultural practices for removal of a native understory shrub, Rhododendron maximum L., will affect algal biomass, productivity, community composition, and top-down control of algae. I plan to use these data to understand specific mechanisms driving changes algal communities.
Honors & Awards:
- Graduate School Assistantship