Dr. Charles Hawkins
Watershed Sciences / Ecology Center
Jacob Vander Laan - Researcher
My lab focuses on understanding the processes that determine patterns of biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems, the effects of environmental alteration on freshwater ecosystems, how to best apply that understanding to ecological assessment and monitoring. We are specifically interested in understanding and predicting how climate, geology, geomorphology, and hydrology interact to influence biodiversity at different spatial scales. By understanding natural patterns of biodiversity, we can more accurately assess if atmospheric, watershed, or waterway alterations have compromised the ecological condition and sustainability of freshwater ecosystems. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, and we collaborate with climate scientists, hydrologists, geologists, geomorphologists, and modelers within the Department of Watershed Sciences, across other departments at Utah State University, and at other universities and federal research labs. My lab also supports the Western Center for Monitoring and Assessment of Freshwater Ecosystems, whose primary mission is to aid state and federal agencies develop and implement scientifically sound methods for monitoring and assessing the condition of aquatic resources.
For potential graduate students:
If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree under my supervision, please email me and describe your specific interests and career goals. Include information on your academic background (GPA and GRE scores) and attach your resume. Students in my lab are funded by either graduate research assistantships (GRAs) or fellowships. The availability of GRAs is dependent on extramural funding (grants), and grant support varies over time. Students with a strong academic background should apply for fellowships funded by Utah State University or the Quinney College of Natural Resources, the National Science Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.