Hollie Emery has successfully defended her doctoral thesis, “The Effects of Tidal Restriction, Phragmites Australis Invasion, and Precipitation Change on Salt Marsh Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” The research examines how salt marshes, which are important carbon-sequestering ecosystems, might be affected by a variety of human impacts (climate change, invasive species, and coastal hydrology changes). Dr. Emery did this in Wally Fulweiler‘s lab by measuring the green house gas emissions and microbial communities in marshes facing these impacts. The research shows that salt marshes are resilient and are able to withstand human impacts, and therefore likely to continue benefiting coastal communities in the future.
Continuing her work as a postdoctoral associate at Harvard, Dr. Emery will study microbial communities around hydrothermal vents.
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Kasey Aderhold, who received her PhD in Earth Sciences from BU, is an earthquake seismologist with the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a NSF-backed group that helps conduct and coordinate major seismology projects. They’re currently finishing a major project in which they put seismic sensors all over the United States. Their goal is to better understand earthquakes. Although she’s based in D.C., Kasey often travels to her home state of Alaska to help set up, monitor, and maintain seismic sensors across the remote Alaskan wilderness.
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David Stern, a former PhD student of Cutler Cleveland, who is now on the faculty at the Australian National University, has a blog that has been named as a top blog in the entire field of economics. ANU has the 6th ranked program in the world in energy economics.
David is an energy and environmental economist, whose research focuses on the role of energy in growth and development and related environmental impacts including climate change. He is also interested in research assessment using meta-analysis and bibliometrics.
- PhD student Luca Morreale has been named a Pardee Graduate Summer Fellow; he will calculate a complete carbon budget for the town of Arlington, Massachusetts, comparing the relative importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts with the carbon offsets provided by public street trees.
- PhD student Sarah Garvey has received a research award from the Initiative on Cities, co-founded by former Mayor Tom Menino to invest in early stage research projects to advance the study of dynamic urban leadership.
- Second-year undergrad Wiley Hundertmark will participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), sponsored by the National Institute of Standards & Technology through the U.S. Department of Commerce, designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission.
- Ian Smith, a 2017 E&E alum and technician in the Hutyra Research Lab, has just published his undergrad thesis in Frontiers in Ecology and Environment. In “Piecing together the fragments: elucidating edge effects on forest carbon dynamics,” Smith explores differences in C dynamics observed across biomes through a trade‐offs framework that considers edge microenvironmental changes and limiting factors to productivity.”
- PhD student Julia Marrs, a co-author on that article, has received a departmental award for outstanding graduate student presentation for “Tracking Primary Productivity with Solar-Induced Fluorescence Data: From Leaf to Tower to Space-Based Retrievals.” Betsy Cowdery, who works with Michael Dietze, also received an award, for “Looking Past Primary Productivity: A Roadmap for Benchmarking System Processes that Drive Ecosystem Level Responses in Models.”
Since 2010 environmental conference organizer Jen Boudrie has brought hundreds of people together at the premiere event in Massachusetts for environmental experts, professionals, activists, officials and academics. At this year’s conference in Plymouth Harbor, three BU students presented their work in the class Research for Environmental Agencies & Organizations (GE 532). Samantha Morton researched how to promote the retention of trees for state conservation officials, and with others provided a review of the scientific literature on the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees to the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Bolaji Olateru-Olagbegi presented her project for the Boston Public Health Commission, investigating whether health providers understand that some of the symptoms they see might be caused by toxic exposures, and with Katharina Voehler explained the work their team performed for the City of Boston on Community Choice Aggregation – bulk purchasing of energy for residents that can be used to promote cleaner energy (and local generation of cleaner energy). Instructor Rick Reibstein also presented at the conference on the history and future of clean water, including water quality data analyses that Alex Kerr and Michael Silano conducted for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
A new publication by E&E alum Arnold Fernandes and E&E PhD student William Kearney has been highlighted in Earth & Space Science News. In their article, “Declining Radial Growth Response of Coastal Forests to Hurricanes and Nor’easters,” published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, Fernandes, Kearney, and their colleagues “adopt a dendroclimatic and statistical modeling approach to understand the response and resilience of a coastal pine forest to extreme storm events, over the past few decades.” They suggest their results “can help predict vegetation response patterns to similar disturbances in the future.” Their co-authors include E&E faculty members Michael Dietze and Sergio Fagherazzi.
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On Wednesday please join BU alumni, parents, students, and friends in 24 extraordinary hours of giving back. Together we’ll make a huge difference for the Department of Earth & Environment in a short period of time — and celebrate the generosity of our BU community.
The CAS departments with the most number of donors and the largest increase in donors from last year’s Giving Day will be awarded additional funds.
Earth & Environment has a tradition of garnering great support on Giving Day. Whether it’s a gift of $5 or $50, you can make a difference in the lives of our students and the work in our department.
Yaofeng Gu, a recently Earth & Environment graduate and now an MA student at Duke University, has recently published “A modeling study of the sensitivity of urban heat islands to precipitation at climate scales” in the journal Urban Climate. The research was based on his Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) project with Prof. Dan Li. The paper uses a state-of-the-art earth system model to examine the sensitivity of urban heat islands across the continental United States to precipitation changes at long-term, climate scales. The results have important implications for understanding how urban heat islands respond to global climate change and for improving urban parameterizations in global climate and earth system models. His research was also reported in BU Today.
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Professor Richard Murray, PhD graduate Ann Dunlea (now at WHOI), and their colleagues from Princeton have published “Cenozoic global cooling and increased seawater Mg/Ca via reduced reverse weathering” in Nature Communications. “Authigenic clay minerals … are recognized to be a major sink of many elements in the ocean but are difficult to study directly due to dilution by detrital clay minerals,” the team write. “Our results, together with previous studies, suggest that global reorganizations of biogenic silica burial over the Cenozoic reduced marine authigenic clay formation, contributing to the rise in seawater Mg/Ca and decline in atmospheric CO2 over the past 50 million years.”
PhD grad Kira Sullivan-Wiley and assistant professor Anne Short Gianotti coauthor paper in World Development
Recent Earth & Environment PhD graduate Kira Sullivan-Wiley and Assistant Professor Anne Short Gianotti have co-authored a paper in World Development.
The paper, “Risk Perception in a Multi-Hazard Environment,” investigates how small-holder farmers’ in eastern Uganda perceive the risk of multiple, overlapping hazards. Though it is widely recognized that many communities are at risk from multiple, overlapping threats, little is known about how individuals perceive and prioritize multiple hazards in the developing world. This study shows that risk perception is shaped both by the characteristics of the individual and the hazard itself.
Dr. Sullivan-Wiley completed her PhD last year and is now NatureNet Science Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University and The Nature Conservancy. Learn about Assistant Professor Short Gianotti’s work here.