Rebecca Sanders-DeMott, PhD

 Environmental changes (including land management, climate change, nutrient pollution, and invasive species) alter the ecological interactions that control coastal and terrestrial ecosystem function. My research aims to understand ecosystem response to such perturbations in order to predict the sustainability of ecosystem services, like carbon sequestration and protection from coastal hazards.

Biography

I am a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow studying the potential for restoration of coastal ecosystems to contribute to climate change mitigation. My research is improving our growing understanding of what drives emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and sequestration of carbon dioxide in salt marshes across a range of conditions. Results will guide land owners and managers on the “Blue Carbon” consequences of management decisions related to coastal resiliency and hazard reduction. I earned a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a PhD in Biogeochemistry at Boston University. My PhD research focused on the effects of changing winter climate on plant-soil interactions that influence nutrient cycling in temperate forest ecosystems. I went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Earth Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire where I studied the feedbacks among land use and climate change on carbon cycling and energy balance across the terrestrial landscape.