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Environment / Sustainability

Distinguished Ecologist Series March 8

March 1, 2012

Ecologist Emily Bernhardt has studied the environmental costs of surface coal mining for Appalachian rivers. Her findings suggest that the ability of aquatic ecosystems to retain nutrients and energy is compromised by environmental change accelerated by humans.

Mountaintop removal that occurs with surface coal mining. March 7 and 8
4-5:15 p.m.
Natural Resources Building
Room 113

How many mountains...?

The topic of the next Distinguished Ecologist Seminar Series lecture is, "How many mountains can we mine? The environmental costs of surface coal mining for Appalachian rivers."

Emily S. Bernhardt, Ph.D., associate professor of biogeochemistry in the Department of Biology at Duke University, has conducted research in the areas of stream, ecosystem, and restoration ecology. She will share her findings in a study conducted in the Appalachians. 

She asks the question, "Can we prevent, reverse, or minimize the damage done by coal mining and its effect on river ecosystems in the Appalachians?"

Can river ecosystems rebound?

Bernhardt (pictured at right) says her research is motivated by a desire to understand the capacity for ecosystems to retain nutrients and energy in the face of human accelerated environmental change.

"My research primarily focuses on how ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycles are altered by climate and land cover change. The majority of my research to date has taken place in aquatic ecosystems."

Her current research primarily focuses on how the carbon and nutrient cycles of aquatic ecosystems are altered by climate and land cover change, and the extent to which restoration can prevent, reverse or minimize these alterations.

More about Bernhardt

Bernhardt received her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University in 2001 and carried out postdoctoral research at Duke and the University of Maryland before her beginning her faculty position at Duke.

[Note: Large feature image courtesy of http://bernhardtlab.weebly.com]


Contact: Jeri Morgan
E-mail: jeri.morgan@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4373