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Cara Marie Lauria

Cara Lauria is a biologist in Moab, UT studying how desert ecosystems, and notably, biological soil crusts respond to climate and land use change, wildfire, and drought.

Cara is passionate about desert ecosystems and biological soil crusts. She is interested in understanding how they function and respond to global change. Cara is currently working on a range of projects to help better answer these questions, including those that improve our understanding of carbon cycling in western drylands, the challenges and management options associated with invasive species, fire effects on biological soil crusts and soil biogeochemistry, carbon dioxide exchange in biological soil crust and epilithic lichens, and how drought and disturbance interact to regulate plant productivity, biocrust community composition, and soil stability.