I like to think of ecohydrology as an ever evolving interdisciplinary field that focuses on the complex interactions and feedbacks between hydrological and ecological systems across various temporal and spatial scales.
What are your undergraduate and graduate degrees in?
I have a B.A. in Geophysics and a minor in Math from SUNY Geneseo and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University at Buffalo.
How did you arrive at working in/thinking about ecohydrology?
I owe the beginning of my working in geology (and subsequently ecohydrology) to my older sister who encouraged me to initially pursue research in geology as an undergraduate and then to pursue research in hydrogeology as a graduate student. My undergraduate research was focused on using paleomagnetism to investigate pluton emplacement in the Henry Mountains, Utah. When applying to graduate schools, I read some intriguing papers by Dr. Chris Lowry, who ended up being my Ph.D. advisor, focused on groundwater-dependent ecosystems and I decided to switch my focus to hydrogeology. My Ph.D. research was focused on using temperature as an environmental tracer to investigate groundwater-surface water interactions in rivers and streams where I started to see the interconnection between hydrogeology and the surrounding ecosystems, which is when I started to consider myself an ecohydrologist. I pivoted slightly with my postdoctoral research where I am now researching the long-term implications of groundwater management strategies on heavily stressed aquifers.
What do you see as an important emerging area of ecohydrology?
The impact that people have on water resources and the subsequent changes to ecosystems as a result is something that I think is and will continue to be important especially as the effects of climate change intensify. Changes in the timing and volume of peak streamflow, increased groundwater depletion, and increased urbanization all have cascading effects that impact ecosystems that are sometimes overlooked or unanticipated and need to be considered moving forward.
Do you have a favorite ecohydrology paper? Describe/explain.
I really like the Boano et al. 2014 paper “Hyporheic flow and transport processes: Mechanisms, models, and biogeochemical implications”. This review covers the important and extensive role that the hyporheic zone plays in fluvial environments and its significance to stream and riparian ecology. Exchanges between groundwater and surface water are responsible for processes ranging from carbon and nutrient cycling to regulating stream temperature to supporting a vast array of organisms. This paper is what opened my eyes to how interconnected the fields of hydrology and ecology are.
What do you do for fun (apart from ecohydrology)?
I try to stay active by hiking, biking, and by playing soccer and kickball (its crazy intense in Lawrence, KS!). In normal times I also enjoy traveling to new places, going to see live music, and checking out local restaurants and breweries.