Research in the Ehleringer Lab
is directed at answering four ecological questions of societal relevance. First, how does drought influence carbon cycles in ecosystems of the western US? Second, how do humans and our choices influence carbon and water cycles in urban ecosystems? Third, how can stable isotopes analyses inform us about process related to human activities, our movements, and dietary choices? Fourth, how can we reconstruct climate history and broad precipitation patterns using biomarker proxies?
In the News
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Air quality across the Salt Lake Valley
In cooperation with the Utah Transit Authority, Logan Mitchell (postdoc in Lin and Ehleringer Labs) has now launched continuous measurements of air quality across the Salt Lake Valley on the TRAX Red Line.
Leaf wax hydrogen isotopes record both environmental water source and humidity
In a recent experimental and modeling study, Brett Tipple has shown that the n-alkanes in leaf waxes clearly record both the influences of water source and atmospheric humidity. The research is published in Plant, Cell & Environment
Mancuso receives fellowship for stable isotopes research
Christy Mancuso was awarded a National Institute of Justice Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Her project is "Fingernails as Recorders of Region-of-Origin and Travel History." Christy will be looking at how stable isotope analyses of human fingernails can be used to reconstruct an individual's movements. The primary objective of the study is to determine the extent to which strontium and oxygen isotope ratios of human fingernails are useful as diagnostic tools of geographic movement, similar to studies that are establishing forensic utility of stable isotope analysis of scalp hair
MOBILE MONIITORING OF TRACE GASES
Logan Mitchell, working with Ryan Bares, l has installed greenhouse gas and ozone sensors into the TRAX light rail system. See the Utah Transit Authority article here, and read more about mobile measuring of urban greenhouse gas emissions here.
URBAN RED BUTTE MAP Will McDonald has recently completed a 40-cm resolution map of the vegetation of the urban portions of the Red Butte Creek watershed. This map will now allow iUTAH researchers and land managers the capacity to evaluate transpiration, water runoff, and ecological dynamics in the very urbanized watershed. Click here for a high resolution map and poster.