Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics in Altered Stoichiometric Environments

Ecological stoichiometry is uniquely suited to study eco-evolutionary feedbacks due to the relative ease of tracing elemental movements between trophic and organizational levels. Environments impacted by anthropogenic changes in global nutrient cycles provide a unique opportunity to explore how the adaptation of primary consumers to altered resource stoichiometry feeds back on ecosystem processes. We will (a) conduct a comprehensive synthesis of how nutrient regimes shape adapted phenotypes in order to (b) make predictions on the ecological feedbacks in impacted systems while (c) highlighting current knowledge gaps and providing suggestions for future eco-evolutionary stoichiometric research. (group leader: Kimberley Lemmen)

Kimberley Lemmen:  I am a PhD candidate at the Netherlands Institute for Ecology (KNAW-NIOO) studying eco-evolutionary dynamics in a stoichiometric context. I am generally interested in the predictability of population level trait shifts to better forecast ecosystem level responses to environmental change. During my PhD I have used experimental evolution to examine microevolution in zooplankton populations in response to adverse stoichiometric conditions to understand the impacts of adaptation on ecosystem processes.


Living in Cold: Ecological Stoichiometry in Cryosphere

Cryosphere is extremely harsh environment for life but has been demonstrated harboring abundant and diverse living microorganisms. To actively live in cryosphere, microorganisms evolved unique physiological properties potentially indicating specific requirement and allocation of N and P in the cell. Glacier usually has relative high N but extremely low P, causing an extremely high N:P ratio. We will (a) review current data of nutrient stoichiometry of the cryosphere, (b) examine properties of microorganisms in cryosphere, and (c) explore the relationships and interactions between environment and microorganisms in the perspective of stoichiometry. (group leader: Ze Ren) 

Ze Ren: I'm a Ph.D. student in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana. My research focused on the influences of glacier retreat and grassland degradation on nutrient stoichiometry and microbial communities. 


Socio-ecological stoichiometry: elemental ratios link environmental change and public health

How do changes to biogeochemical cycles affect human health? We will use a stoichiometric perspective to address this socio-ecological question by considering the importance of elemental ratios to food production, infectious disease, non-infectious disease, and water quality. We will create a conceptual framework to outline the stoichiometric mechanisms linking environmental change and human health, review evidence for these links, and aim to inspire future empirical and theoretical research to develop connections between these disparate fields. (group leader: Rachel Paseka) 

Rachel Paseka:  I study relationships between infectious disease and ecosystem function both within and across systems, often using stoichiometric theory to link processes occurring at different scales. I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. 


Stoichiometry in emerging models of terrestrial organic matter dynamics

Stoichiometry is crucial to our understanding of terrestrial organic matter dynamics, but our models of organic matter stoichiometry need to reflect our most recent theories of soil organic matter formation and decomposition. We will (a) review recent understanding of soil organic matter from a stoichiometric perspective, (b) examine the impacts of lumping versus splitting organic matter pools on the behavior of stoichiometric models, and (c) explore how stoichiometric assumptions influence our understanding of relative nutrient availability and the dynamics of terrestrial nutrient cycles. (group leader: Robert Buchkowski) 

Robert Buchkowski: I am a PhD Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. My research uses a combination of mathematical theory and experiments to explore the roles of animals, plants, and microbes in terrestrial elemental cycling. I aim to improve our response to changes in element cycling or biotic communities (e.g. invasive species, species loss) by documenting how the interactions between animals, plants, and microorganisms change each other's relationship with nutrient cycles. 


The role of silicon in elemental ratios along a land-sea continuum

Silicon (Si) plays an important role in the growth of diatoms, aquatic plants, and macrophytes, such that its availability can significantly alter C:N:P ratios across several scales. Despite its importance, studies have largely overlooked the role of Si on elemental ratios, particularly in response to human-driven processes such as land-use change and agricultural run-off. Our objective is to  evaluate the relative importance of Si relative to C, N, and P stoichiometry along a land-sea continuum by 1) reviewing the current state of knowledge with regard to the importance of Si across systems, 2) exploring its influence on C:N:P stoichiometry under different conditions, and 3) highlighting areas where further research is needed. (group leader: Ashley Bulseco-McKim) 

Ashley Bulseco-McKim:  I earned my Ph.D. from Northeastern University and am currently a postdoctoral scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. My research interests largely focus on the role of the microbial community in mediating important biogeochemical cycles, particularly carbon cycling, in response to environmental change. You can find me on Twitter @MarshMicrobe, where I discuss a range of topics pertaining to science, inclusivity, and mental health.