Nathan R De Jager

Biography

Education

2008    PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior with a minor in Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota   
2005    MSc in Biology with a minor in Applied and Computational Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota
2001    BA in Biology/Environmental Science, Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa

I serve as a principal investigator and non-supervisory team leader for landscape ecological studies at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, where I have been since 2008. My research group uses a combination of field research and computer modelling to study how ecosystem processes respond to disturbances across large landscapes.

In the floodplain of the Upper Mississippi River, we study how spatial and temporal variation in flooding impacts plant and soil processes. Results from field studies are used to parameterize a spatially explicit simulation model that can be used to better understand and forecast effects of altered hydrological regimes and other disturbances (e.g., emerald ash borer, herbivory by white-tailed deer) on forest succession and nutrient cycling.

At Isle Royale National Park, we study how spatial and temporal variability in browsing by moose impacts plant and soil processes. Results from field studies are used to parameterize a spatially explicit simulation model that can be used to better understand and forecast effects of different moose population dynamics on forest succession in the context of climate change and predation by wolves.

In addition to these two primary study areas, I provide leadership and support for graduate students and other researchers working on a diverse array of topics, most of which require the use of GIS or other modelling approaches to link fine-scale measurements with landscape-scale phenomena. I frequently serve on regional to national scale working groups led by the USGS or other conservation groups and am an associate editor with the Natural Areas Journal.