Zicheng Yu, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, Lehigh University
I’m interested in understanding the histories, patterns and mechanisms of climate changes and their impacts on ecological systems and the global carbon cycle. I’m a palynologist (pollen analyst) by training, but the evolving science questions I have been asking have constantly broadened my approaches and techniques. I have used paleoecological and geochemical records derived from lake sediments to reconstruct past vegetation, hydrological and climate changes at sites in Alaska, northern Great Plains, southern Canada, Tibetan Plateau, and New Jersey. My recent and ongoing research on long-term peatland carbon dynamics have led us to field sites in Alaska, Western Canada, Tibetan Plateau, Kamchatka, Patagonian, Antarctic Peninsula and soon tropical Southern America. Together with regional and global synthesis, our science goal is to understand peat formation processes and to use this understanding in projecting the fate of these carbon-rich ecosystems in a future warming world.
David Beilman, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Hawaii, Manoa
I am interested in the relationship between climate and terrestrial ecosystems, and the study of long-term environmental change to help us understand today's global environment and better predict its future. Beilman’s work has focused on understanding the dynamics of soil carbon storage in peatlands across the Arctic, including the Northwest Territories, West Siberia, and Kamchatka.
Phil Camill, Rusack Professor of Environmental Studies and Earth and Oceanographic Science
I am a biogeochemist who studies how ecosystem properties function naturally and how humans are impacting them through things like climate and land-use change. My work involves the analysis of both modern systems as well as how ecosystems change over thousands of years (mainly during our current interglacial warm period of the last 10,000 years known as the Holocene). And my active research spans a number of ecosystem types, including uplands, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and the coastal ocean. Major field sites include arctic and boreal regions of Manitoba and Labrador, Canada (for the peatland and lake work), a mid-continental transect from Minnesota to Manitoba (for lake and vegetation work), prairie restorations in south-central Minnesota (for restoration work), and the major river systems in Maine and New Brunswick, along with the Gulf of Maine, for the rivers and sea-level-rise research.