I am an Earth scientist who researches the physical processes of rivers, with a particular interest in the influences of climate and wildfire, as well as interactions with aquatic ecosystems. Currently, I am a Research Associate in the Department of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University.
My dissertation, conducted at The University of Texas and completed in 2016, examined how climate-dependent chemical weathering processes can influence the patterns and rates of erosion in mountain rivers. This research was published in the journals Nature and Geology.
Since joining Utah State, I have been researching the wide-ranging impacts after wildfire, with a focus on erosion and sediment, water resource security, and aquatic ecosystem resiliency. Working toward the goal of better quantifying these environmental risks, I am leading an NSF-funded project, along with Drs. Patrick Belmont and Jon Czuba, to develop an open-source modeling framework capable of characterizing post-wildfire sediment dynamics and estimating the vulnerability of water reservoirs to sedimentation after wildfire. Further, I recently collaborated with fire ecologist Dr. Larissa Yocom to explore how narrow historical perspectives on western wildfire have contributed to the underestimation of these water security risks (published in Earth’s Future). To learn more, check out the following links for media coverage and podcasts about this work:
Research Interests: fluvial geomorphology, watershed-scale sediment dynamics, wildfire & water security, climatic controls on landscape evolution, bedrock river erosion, weathering processes, population ecology modeling, and river management and restoration
Active Collaborations: Patrick Belmont (USU), Jon Czuba (Virginia Tech), Phaedra Budy (USGS/USU), Tim Walsworth (USU), Larissa Yocom (USU), Peter Wilcock (USU), Lee MacDonald (CSU), Kerri Johnson (UC Berkeley), Kristin Sweeney (Univ. of Portland)