Graduate assistantships in coastal wetland ecology are available in the Cherry Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences beginning in May or August of 2020. Highly motivated students with experience in field ecology, environmental science or related fields are invited to apply to participate in research projects examining the structural and functional outcomes of coastal restoration and the responses of Gulf Coast tidal marshes to sea-level rise and other environmental changes. Students pursuing a Ph.D. are preferred, although opportunities are available for M.S. students as well. Click here for more information.
This past week, Dr. Lorae’ Simpson was in the field in Belize with collaborators, Steve Canty (Smithsonian Marine Conservation program), Dr. Michael Steinberg and Jordan Cissell (University of Alabama), to start work on a new research project. They were working with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), an in-country partner, surveying cays that serve as bird rookies. The group collected soil and vegetation samples and mapped mangrove and seagrass beds in an attempt to better understand how bird rookeries alter mangrove structure and sediment dynamics in ways that may lead to changes in cay viability.
A paper co-authored by Adam Constantin, Whitney Broussard, and Julia Cherry was released this week in Southeastern Naturalist. The study, led by Adam Constantin as part of his thesis research, documented the distribution of dominant tidal marsh plant species along an elevation gradient and in response to salinity at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. To learn more, contact Julia Cherry.
Dr. Lorae' Simpson presented results of a field-based decomposition study using Avicennia germinans litter collected from nutrient-enriched plots at this year's SWS annual meeting in Baltimore, MD. A copy of her abstract is available through the SWS 2019 annual meeting abstract site.
Check out the latest paper from the Wetland Ecology Lab, which was co-authored by Anna Braswell, Chris May, and Julia Cherry. It was released online this week in Wetlands Ecology and Management. The paper describes spatially-dependent patterns of sediment accretion and plant recovery following hurricane and fire disturbances in a Juncus roemerianus-dominated tidal marsh in coastal Mississippi.
Dr. Lorae' Simpson, a postdoc in the Cherry Lab, and Steve Canty of the Smithsonian Marine Conservation Program received a $75,000 grant through the Getch Foundation to work in partnership with the University of Belize and the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA) on “Mangrove restoration and the potential of blue carbon in the Mesoamerican reef ecoregion.” The overall goal of their project is to support and enhance mangrove restoration projects within the Mesoamerican reef ecoregion. Specific aims include: 1) determining the feasibility and value of blue carbon credit schemes to local communities and the potential to provide funding for restoration efforts; 2) providing tools to monitor project success; 3) identifying whether or not genetic diversity of mangrove forests is lost during the restoration process; and 4) assessing the fish nursery role of restored mangrove forests.
Cherry Lab News & Accomplishments
Highlighting events and recognizing achievements of Cherry Lab members.