I'm currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University, where I am working with Dr. Patricia Soranno, Dr. Emily Stanley, Dr. Pang-Ning Tan and the CSI Limnology team. I am funded through the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology program. The CSI Limnology group has developed the LAke multi-scaled GeOSpatial database (LAGOS), which integrates geographic features and lake water quality data for thousands of lakes over a 17-state area in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Read more about LAGOS in our recent paper: Soranno et al 2015. Some of my current projects are summarized below.
- Spatial patterns in lake nutrients and nutrient ratios: We used the LAGOS database to examine how landscape drivers at multiple scales (e.g., atmospheric deposition, climate, land use, lake morphometry) influence lake nitrogen, phosphorus and N:P ratio. You can check out our results in a manuscript that is currently in press at Ecological Applications. I led this project with collaborators Samantha Oliver, Jean-Francois Lapierre, Emily Stanley, Pat Soranno, Ty Wagner and Jack Jones.
- Effects of climate on lake water quality: We are evaluating how different climate metrics (yearly, seasonal and monthly precipitation and temperature, ENSO, NAO, etc.) relate to different lake water quality variables (e.g., secchi, P, N, and chlorophyll). I am leading this project with computer science collaborators, Pang-Ning Tan and Shuai Yuan, who are working to develop a new multi-task learning approach that allows us to relate climate to water quality in ~10,000 lakes over a sub-continental spatial extent. Other collaborators include Samantha Oliver, Jean-Francois Lapierre, Nick Skaff, Pat Soranno, Kendra Cheruvelil, Emi Fergus, Joe Stalcheck and Ty Wagner. I'll be talking about this work at the 2017 ESA meeting in Portland, OR.
- Methods for analysis of "big" ecological datasets: Compilation of small datasets and large-scale data collection and sensor networks are increasing the availability of large ecological datasets, but ecologists are often not trained in analysis of large datasets. I am leading a paper on methods for data-intensive ecology, intended to serve as a primer for how to select analysis methods for exploratory, explanatory and predictive questions. Our CSI group at Michigan State conceived this project and has contributed to its development.
- Other Projects: I have contributed to a number of other projects with the CSI Limnology group, including applying computer science techniques to create ecoregions (check out our methods paper here and our ecological paper here), analysis of nutrient trends from 1990-present in lakes (manuscript recently accepted at Global Change Biology), a national-level examination of the drivers of pCO2 in lakes (link to paper here), and an evaluation of spatial relationships between different landscape and lake variables (manuscript currently in review).