What does ecohydrology mean to you?
When I worked for USGS for a bit, I was part of a group that considered themselves the ‘hydroecology’ lab, where we focused more on biogeochemistry of aquatic systems. Around that time, ‘ecohydrology’ as a discipline was starting to grow, but seemed to be more focused on water-vegetation feedbacks. I personally see it as encompassing both of those things- cycling of water within ecological systems, including biologically-mediated exchange and transformation of material within this ecohydrological system.
What are your undergraduate and graduate degrees in?
BS, Science of Earth Systems and MS & PhD, Biological and Environmental Engineering … all from Cornell.
How did you arrive at working in/thinking about ecohydrology?
I think it really started at USGS when I was thinking a lot about biogeochemistry in aquatic systems, and then got amplified in grad school as I got interested in hydrologic influences on microbially-mediated processes in the landscape, like denitrification. Maybe I hang out with ecologists too much, but in general I think it’s hard to separate out hydrology from the greater ecological system of which it’s a part.
What do you see as an important emerging area of ecohydrology?
I’m biased, but I’d say ecohydrology of urban systems. There’s increasing interest in using more nature-based solutions or green infrastructure to manage stormwater and heat in cities (among providing other benefits) and so we need a better understanding more than ever of all the ecohydrological feedbacks of various designs or strategies. Related to this, there’s also opportunities to better connect to the ecological engineering community, in leveraging and applying some of this knowledge.
Do you have a favorite ecohydrology paper? Describe/explain.
It’s of course hard to pick one favorite, but I’ll just pick one paper I’ve been thinking about lately- Pataki et al., 2011. I did my postdoc work in Tempe, AZ and so have been learning about and thinking a lot about arid ecohydrology, especially in the context of urbanization. This commentary paper led by Diane Pataki provides a nice overview of the important ecohydrologic considerations and complexities in these arid urban systems and also brings in a sociohydrology element as well, thinking about feedbacks with people.
What do you do for fun (apart from ecohydrology)?
Cooking, baking, biking, and paddling (though most of my adventures lately are admittedly mostly limited to running around playgrounds with my young kids). I have actually managed to merge my loves of baking, eating, and ecohydrology by making a cake of my PhD work after I defended. It showcased the suburban landscape (complete with detention basin and grassed swales) where I investigated hydro-biogeochemical feedbacks.