Our research interests focus on addressing the question of “how biological organisms respond and adapt to environmental stressors exacerbated by climate change and human activities”. My students and I pursue research in areas of Stable Isotope Ecology, Climate-Carbon Interactions, Ecohydrology, and Trophic Dynamics in Coastal Waters. Examples of recent research projects include:

  • Stable isotopes as a tracer in the study of biogeochemical cycling: we are interested in geo-identifying sources of carbon and moisture fluxes, or partitioning these fluxes into their gross components. These results are important to understand process-level mechanisms, and are useful for improving mechanistic models designed to quantify biological feedback to the climate system.

  • Groundwater recharge and streamflow in urban watershed: my lab is interested in the research that prepares for socio-economic consequences by the changing climate. My lab provides stable water isotope analysis to differentiate various types of source water (imported v.s. local rainwater). We are working with local water authorities to address research questions such as “What are the sources of water that feed to streams and aquifers in urban watersheds?” This question is important as local water authorities exploit options to ease the increasing demand of water supply in southern California.

  • Trophic interactions and food web analysis: we are interested in improving the ecology of coastal water organisms and how chemical pollutants, among other anthropogenic impacts, affect adaptation of these organisms to climate change (ocean warming and acidification). Our lab is developing a new synergistic approach to incorporate chemical pollutants into stable isotope diet niche analysis. We look for motivated students to join us for this line of research.

  • Methane emissions from natural and urban ecosystems: we are interested in biology-climate interactions. By collaborating with microbiologists and ecosystem modelers, our lab studies methane emissions from Alaskan coastal plains and urban areas (landfills and fugitive sources).