Welcome/Two new papers out! / by Karin Burghardt

Welcome to my website and first post! I'll be sharing recent work and thoughts as well some photos of critters and plants that I find around my new environs in Alexandria.

I just had my first dissertation chapter published in a book edited by Drs. Hanley and and La Pierre. The chapter I wrote with Os presents a comparative look at the current state of research into how nutrient availability alters plant allocation to defense across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. We also present a framework elaborating how and when defensive plant traits should play a key role in moderating trophic control in ecosystems. Writing the chapter lead me to learn more about aquatic systems not typically in my wheelhouse. 

The second paper is collaboration with my advisor, Os Schmitz, and two other doctoral students in the lab, Colin Donihue and Rob Buchkowski. Here, we attempt to tackle how the "functional traits" of species which can vary with ecological context can mediate the role species play in ecosystems. Using case studies , we the present a framework for disentangling these context dependent effects by generalizing the relationships between a species, its food, and its consumers into a 'trophic module'. 

Check them out below or in publications!

Burghardt, K.T. & Schmitz, O.J. "Influence of Plant Defenses and Nutrients on Trophic Control of Ecosystems". Chapter 8 in Trophic Ecology: Bottom-Up and Top-Down Interactions across Aquatic and Terrestrial Systems. (ed. by T. Hanley and K.J. La Pierre). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA. (2015). 

Schmitz, O.J, R. W. Buchkowski, K.T. Burghardt, & C. M. Donihue, "Functional traits and trait mediated interactions: connecting community level interactions with ecosystem functioning." Advances in Ecological Research 52:319-343 (2015).