Current Lab Members (listed in order of duration in the lab group)
Emily Bernhardt, PI
Emily received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University in 2001 and has been a member of the Duke faculty since 2004. The core of Emily's interests are in watershed biogeochemistry, with most of her current effort invested in understanding how the ways in which people live on and use the landscape alters the structure, function and chemistry of receiving streams and wetlands.
Benjamin P. Colman, Postdoctoral Associate
Ben Colman joined the lab in 2009 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the lab of Joshua Schimel. Ben's general interests include biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, and microbial ecology. Currently, his research is focused on examining the impacts of both engineered and natural nanomaterials on biologically mediated biogeochemical functions in soils, sediments, and freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems. Ben's research is funded through the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT).
Ben Colman's CV
Ben Colman's website
Ben Colman's publications (per Google Scholar)
Kris Voss, PhD Student
Kris joined the lab as a PhD student in June 2011. After earning a BS in chemistry from Texas A&M, he taught high school chemistry and environmental science in San Diego from 2001 to 2009, during which time he also earned an MS in environmental engineering. Through his master’s thesis and subsequent collaboration with Ken Reckhow at Duke, Kris became interested in applying Bayesian statistical models to examine how stream biota, particularly benthic macroinvertebrates, respond to land-use change at the landscape scale. His research complements our mountaintop mining research effort by describing biological responses to novel environmental gradients across progressively larger ecological scales. Kris also investigates the shifts in an aquatic community’s biological and functional trait composition that result from such widespread land-use change.
[Click here for Kris's CV]
Joanna Blaszczak, PhD student
Joanna is from Texas and comes to Duke after completing her undergraduate degree at Cornell University and a year as a Fulbright scholar in Norway. Joanna is studying the impacts of urban land use on the composition and cycling of organic and metallic contaminants in urban streams and ponds. She is co-advised by Dean Urban.
Richard Marinos, PhD Student
Richard came to Duke in 2012 after graduating from Kenyon College in Ohio and serving in the Peace Corps in Cameroon. He is interested in antropogenic impacts on the nitrogen cycle. He is examining how land-use change is altering patterns of nitrous oxide emissions in the Western Pampas, Argentina. Richard is also starting to work on how calcium fertilization affects streamwater nitrate export in the White Mountians of New Hampshire. He is co-advised by Rob Jackson.
Brooke Hassett, Freshwater Lab Manager
After completing her master's degree at the University of Maryland where she examined stream restoration activities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Brooke was the Bernhardt lab manager from 2005-2012 and led our efforts to understand the effects of urbanization and urban stream restoration on stream ecosystem structure and function. Brooke now manages the Freshwater Lab within Duke's new River Center.
Raven Bier, PhD Student
Raven rejoined the lab as a PhD student in August 2010. She worked in the lab as a technician in 2007-2008 and then spent a year at UGA in a plant genetics lab and a year at UCSB in a community ecology lab before returning to work in biogeochemistry. Raven examines the influences of environmental contaminants on microbially mediated ecosystem functions, in particular, anaerobic nitrogen cycling. Her work focuses on the contaminant gradient established by mountaintop mines in Central Appalachia.
[Click here for Raven's CV]
Matt Ross, PhD student
Matt is from Colorado, where he completed his undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at CU-Boulder. His previous research was in the aridlands of Utah, but he is now working in Central Appalachian watersheds and the Venice lagoon. Matt is currently a fellow in Duke's WISeNet IGERT program and is interested in using environmental sensing to understand ecosystem degradation and to inform ecosystem design and restoration.
Joseph Delesantro, Field and Lab Technician
Joseph joined the lab in summer 2013 after completing his masters degree with Matt Cohen at the University of Florida. Joseph splits his time between work on urban streams with the Bernhardt lab and work on forested catchments with the McGlynn lab here at Duke.
Jessica Brandt, PhD student
Jessica came to Duke after completing her undergraduate and master's degrees at The Johns Hopkins University and a year in Italy on a Fulbright research grant. She studies coal combustion residues (CCRs) - waste products that are enriched in several toxicologically significant contaminants (e.g. arsenic, selenium, cadmium) and build up in sediments. Biogeochemical factors, as they mediate the toxicity of selenium and trace metals in freshwaters, are important considerations in her work. She is co-advised by Rich Di Giulio in the Toxicology Program.
[Click here for Jessica's CV]
Former PhD Students