Watershed Sciences / Ecology Center
Dr. Atwood, along with the students in her lab - Aquatic Ecology and Global Change Lab - are interested in three broad research themes across all aquatic ecosystems (marine, estuarine, freshwater, and riparian zones).
- The effects of global change on aquatic food webs and species interactions.
- How food webs and species interactions influence ecosystem function.
- The role of aquatic ecosystems in climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.
By focusing on these three broad questions, her research has taken her all over the world with studies in Hawaii, Canada, Costa Rica, and Australia (including The Great Barrier Reef.
Although I grew up just around the corner from USU in Evanston, Wyoming I received my PhD in Forest and Conservation Sciences from the University of British Columbia and my Master's and Bachelor's degrees from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. For my PhD, I studied the effects of trophic cascades on CO2 dynamics of freshwater ecosystems. Prior to coming to Utah State University, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland (Australia) working with the Global Change Institute and CSIRO. For my postdoc, I worked with CSIRO to produce some of the first quantitative estimates of 'blue carbon' stocks for Australian vegetated coastal ecosystems (seagrass, saltmarsh, and mangroves) and investigated how the loss of marine predators affects carbon storage in coastal oceans.
What I'm looking for in students
The Aquatic Ecology and Global Change Lab is looking for enthusiastic students and researchers who have a passion for knowledge and want to use it to understand and conserve Earth's amazing aquatic ecosystems. It also helps to love the outdoors, getting wet, and traveling!