leshyk illustration big rip off pollution

A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change

Pollution scenarios and anthropogenic warming are familiar examples of human-caused stress on the environment.  But human-driven loss of biodiversity itself robs ecosystems of essential players and services, damaging ecosystem function.  Ecoss research examined the effects of various environmental stressors on plant growth and decomposition, two crucial processes in any ecosystem. Read more…

leshyk illustration rainforest temperate flux

Biophysical considerations in forestry for climate protection

Albedo, the reflectance of sunlight from earth’s surface, is an important moderator of climate because it determines whether solar energy is locally absorbed or re-radiated to space.  Ecoss-associated research characterized the albedo and other energy fluxes of various landscapes to demonstrate that human land-use decisions can alter surface energy fluxes Read more…

Quality control expert Inspecting chicken meat specimen in the laboratory

Ecosystem of Antibiotic Resistance

We study antibiotic resistance in human pathogens, genetic sampling of meat for antibiotic resistance, methods to develop a molecular database for strains of E. coli in urinary tract infections, and food safety of kosher vs non-kosher chicken.

Detail of Yellow Fremont Cottonwood Leaves in Autumn Stream

Leaf Litter Effects on Stream Ecosystems

As part of a large interdisciplinary team, with funding from the National Science Foundation, we have studied how genetic and environmental factors affect leaf litter quality in cottonwoods and other riparian species, and how these effects are manifest in aquatic ecosystems.