Getting the band back together

A new school year begins here at the University of South Florida, so let’s rouse our lab website from its two years of dormancy, a period characterized by the Covid-19 pandemic, a consequent diaspora of Ecosystems Lab members across the globe, some new additions, and David’s general moribundity in the province of website maintenance. But now we’re all back together, in Tampa and in person (new covid variants pending — beta and delta and mu, oh my!!).

Lab work – Covid style

Since this website last went silent, we gained new lab members, so introductions are in order! In 2019, Sarita Emmanuel joined us as a PhD student, having completed her master’s degree at Bangor University in Wales, UK. She studied leachate from mangrove litter, an important aspect of forest biogeochemical cycling. She collected samples from mangrove forests right here in Florida, perhaps never guessing she’d be back for more graduate school!!

Last year, Carley Defillips graduated with her bachelor’s degree and matriculated into our master’s program, thus smoothly transitioning from undergraduate researcher to master’s student in our lab. Carley is also a member of the USF interdisciplinary Nitrogen S-STEM scholarship program that integrates master’s students from USF’s Integrative Biology (our home), Geosciences, and Civil & Environmental Engineering programs. Carley was just awarded a scholarship from the Environmental Engineering and Science Foundation. Good work Carley!

Cassie and Jessica were introduced previously in this poorly updated website, and continue as our valued senior graduate students! Jessica has now advanced to candidacy (yeah!), published her undergraduate research, and was recently awarded a student research grant from the Society of Wetland Scientists. Good job Jessica!! (It was the most recent in a string of Jessica’s successful grant applications, such as this one from the Florida Native Plant Society.) Meanwhile, Cassie was a co-author on this recent publication evaluating carbon and nitrogen storage and mobility in mangrove and saltmarsh soils.

Jessica also finished up an intense spring and summer of field work in Florida freshwater wetlands. And with lots of great help!!

New project – First core!!!

Finally, yours truly (David) was in Lyon/Villeurbanne, France, in 2019-2020 as a Fulbright Scholar, studying with biogeochemists and hydrologists Gilles Pinay, Jake Diamond, and Florentina Moatar at the RiverLy research unit of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE). Much of our work focused on ecosystem metabolism and oxygen dynamics at stream reach and drainage network scales. Since returning to the US, I have collaborated with Christina Richards in some new (to me) areas of biology, including the rapid evolution of treatment resistance in cancer, and epigenetic inheritance in mangrove trees.

Jake, Florentina, and Gilles on a rainy day at the headwaters high in the Loire catchment


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s