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Speaker: Lisa Chambers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Leveraging coastal ecosystems for carbon sequestration and climate mitigation
Coastal ecosystems, especially marshes and mangroves, are hot spots for absorbing and burying vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which helps to remove this greenhouse gas from our atmosphere. Humans can promote this natural function to combat climate change, while also making our shorelines more resilient. This presentation will discuss the processes occurring in natural coastal ecosystems and their importance to our planet’s health, as well as seek to understand the current threats to their persistence.
Dr. Chambers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and holds a secondary appointment with the National Center for Integrated Research. Her research focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of elements in the environment that are vital for life, especially carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Many natural chemical cycles are mediated by microorganisms living in the soil, which control the exchange between the soil, water, and air. She studies microbial ecology from a functional perspective, trying to better understand how environmental drivers alter biogeochemistry and subsequently affect landscape-scale ecosystem processes. Working primarily in wetlands, lakes, and coastal ecosystems, she employs a combination of field and laboratory experiments to investigate the relationship between soil microbial processes and ecosystem resilience. She is particularly interested in understanding 1) how disturbances, including sea level rise, eutrophication, hydrologic modifications, and extreme events, alter biogeochemistry, 2) the role of soils and sediments in the storage of carbon and emissions of greenhouse gases, and 3) the utility of wetlands for improving water quality.