Ph.D. Research Projects



Biogeochemistry of Wetland Ecosystems


Limnology and Wetland landscape study of Cuatro Cienegas basin. (LiWe project)


Distribution of amphibians in western Washington.

This project studied the implications of population growth in the Puget Sound region in wetland habitat. Increasing urban land-cover and the decline of forest cover around seasonally flooded wetlands is expected to reduce the habitat quality for aquatic breeding amphibians.


Current and future status of wetlands in western Washington

EcoInformatics Summer Institute, Oregon State University.

HJ Andrews - Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) station.

Gained eco-informatics and cross-site analysis statistical skills to analyze large ecological datasets of trophic food webs.

Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University.

Researched ecology, behavior, and environmental responses of two pinniped populations. Also assisted researchers in night diving research projects.

Swedish Beringia Expedition in Barrow, Alaska.

With the Systems Ecology Lab at the University of Texas at El Paso, I assisted international scientists in projects involving arctic hydrology, coastal erosion, and arctic wildlife.

Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service, Kenai Peninsula.

In charge of examining metamorphic wood frogs for physical abnormalities in undisturbed and anthropogenically disturbed sites.

Pathways PREP/National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Research for Undergraduate in Earth Sciences.

Built weather stations, collected rainwater samples, and assisted in the analysis of rainwater from the El Paso/Juarez using the electron microscope.

University of Texas, Austin. Environmental Science Institute.

NSF-Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).

Researched the diversity of soil invertebrates between different types of human disturbance and vegetation.

Undergraduate research projects

In this project, I investigated the influence that local- and landscape-level habitat characteristics might have on the distribution of aquatic breeding amphibians.

I am interested in studying how different environmental pulses and pressures influence ecosystem processes of constructed wetlands in arid regions. I focus on processes such as denitrification, the pathway in which excess nitrogen can be removed from the wetland systems, carbon sequestration and the potential trade-offs related to the emission of greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide and methane.

In collaboration with Jessica Corman from the Elser lab here at ASU and the Souza lab of Evolucion Molecular y Experimental of la UNAM, there are three main questions we are trying to address:

-What is the source of water for these aquatic ecosystems?

-How is succession transforming the basin and the effects on its unique aquatic systems?

-How will human impacts affect the Cuatro Cienegas basin?

Master’s research projects


Linking terrestrial land-cover with aquatic biogeochemical properties in the Colorado River System

Out of a Field Geochemistry course with Prof. Hilairy Hartnett, we investigated the water chemistry and dissolved organic carbon in reservoirs along four watersheds in the Colorado River System with a landscape ecology perspective. Our main hypotheses were that watershed size, river length, and land-cover type have an influence on the biogeochemistry of individual reservoirs as well as cumulatively along the river. We presented our results at the 2013 ASLO Conference in New Orleans, LA.