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, and Dr. Pang-Ning Tan. I am funded through the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology program and an NSF Macrosystems Biology project. I collaborate with a group that 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 and associated projects at https://lagoslakes.org and in our recent paper that describes how the database was built (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 recently published in Ecological Applications (Collins et al 2017). 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 gave a talk about this work at the 2017 ESA meeting in Portland, OR (click here for a pdf) and a manuscript is in the works!
- Agriculture and Water Quality: I'm just beginning a project that will examine how nutrients from different types of agricultural land use influence water quality in lakes. More to come soon!
- Other Projects: I have contributed to a number of other projects with the CSI Limnology and Continental Limnology groups, including applying computer science techniques to create ecoregions led by Kendra Cheruvelil and Shuai Yuan (check out our methods paper here and our ecological paper here), an analysis of nutrient trends from 1990-present in lakes led by Samantha Oliver (link to paper here and press release here), a national-level examination of the drivers of pCO2 in lakes led by Jean Francois Lapierre (link to paper here), and an evaluation of spatial relationships between different landscape and lake variables led by Jean Francois Lapierre (stay tuned - manuscript currently in review).