Welcome Voss Interdisciplinary Postdocs 2012
Jacquelyn Gill. MS, PhD candidate University of Wisconsin-Madison (Geography); Project: Novel ecosystems in deep time: testing the effects of species gains and losses in New England paleorecords; Mentors: James Russell, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences and Dov Sax, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Jacquelyn earned her Master’s degree in Jack Williams' paleovegetation lab in the Department of Geography with a thesis on the ecological impacts of the extinction of ice-age megaherbivores, which was published in the journal Science. Continuing this research as a PhD student, she has published two additional papers on related topics, with more in review. She will defend her dissertation, Late-glacial vegetation response to the loss of keystone megaherbivores and novel climates, in June, 2012. In addition to being a top-notch scientist, Jacquelyn has a keen interest in scientific communication. She presents regularly on the topic and maintains a well-regarded blog at contemplativemammoth.wordpress.com.
Rebecca Ryals. MS Duke University; Ph.D. candidate, University of California, Berkeley (Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management); Project: Reducing agricultural greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants through nitrogen fertilizer management; Mentors: Meredith Hastings, Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences and Jianwu Tang, Assistant Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory
Rebecca is completing her dissertation, in the lab of Dr. Whendee Silver, on the potential for rangeland ecosystems to sequester carbon in soils and vegetation through improved land management. Her Voss project builds on a growing collaboration between Hastings and Tang on nitrogen gas fluxes from terrestrial ecosystems. The team created the first system for simultaneous collection of gas phase concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2) released from soils. Rebecca’s project will expand this collaboration, examining the role of fertilizer management and other forms of agricultural intensification in nitrogen dynamics. As part of her fellowship, which is co-sponsored by the Brown-MBL program, Rebecca will take the lead on a high profile workshop on environmental impacts of intensified agriculture.
Noor Johnson. M.A. American University (public anthropology); PhD candidate McGill University (Anthropology); Project: Community-Based Monitoring and Local and Traditional Knowledge as Components of the Sustained Arctic Observing Network (SAON); Mentors:Amanda Lynch, Professor of Geological Sciences and Douglas Anderson, Professor of Anthropology
Noor’s research, which has garnered several prestigious fellowships, focuses on the role of Inuit knowledge in climate change research and governance processes in the Canadian Arctic. In the Arctic, land claims negotiations have led to greater Inuit sovereignty and authority over knowledge production, including the development of new protocols for community involvement. Johnson’s research explores how these practices impact the way that climate change is understood and knowledge is valued in local, regional, and global decision-making contexts. Noor’s postdoctoral project will focus on the integration of community-based research and monitoring into the Sustained Arctic Observing Network (SAON), an emerging infrastructure that will synthesize pan-Arctic environmental data and make it accessible to decision-makers at different levels of governance. This project is the first sustained collaboration between faculty in geological sciences and anthropology and will pave the way for additional research in the area of human perception and response to changing climate.