Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The Selection Committee is proud to announce Mallory Barnes of SNRE as the 2016 finalist and 40th Awardee of the William G. McGinnies Graduate Scholarship in Arid Lands Studies. Mallory's research focuses on using satellite observations and flux measurements to improve understanding of ecosystem sensitivity to global change at various spatial and temporal scales and explore drought impacts on plant carbon uptake and growth during sub-annual timescales.
The William G. McGinnies Graduate Scholarship in Arid Lands Studies is given each year to a student in honor of the founder of the Office of Arid Lands Studies, Dr. McGinnies. The intent of the McGinnies Graduate Scholarship is to provide additional support to graduate students whose dissertation research concerns physical and biological processes in the world's arid and semiarid lands.
To learn about how Barnes' research is extending the legacy of Dr. William G. McGinnies, please read her statement below:
"William G. McGinnies and colleagues at the Carnegie Desert Botanical Laboratory laid the foundations for our ecological understanding of desert ecosystems. McGinnies’ exploration of plant-water relations in led to key insights into climate impacts on plant water requirements and the effects of water limitation on plant production. My research builds on these insights, using a combination of remotely sensed and gas exchange data to explore drought impacts on plant productivity and carbon uptake in water-limited systems across spatial and temporal scales. My dissertation research addresses three key knowledge gaps: 1) relationships between leaf-level spectral and physiological properties, 2) the effects of drought timing on vegetation and ecosystem processes, and 3) impacts of drought on regional vegetation productivity and carbon uptake. In this talk I will establish a link between spectral measures of productivity and photosynthesis at the leaf level. Next, I use these techniques to investigate how the timing of drought in the Southwest influences the productivity of grasslands, shrublands, and forests and build on these findings to investigate regional patterns of drought and productivity. Collectively, my work is showing how the timing and intensity of drought impacts carbon uptake and vegetation productivity in semi-arid ecosystems. This work helps us understand linkages between the carbon and water cycles in arid and semi-arid ecosystems and informs predictions of vegetation response to future climate conditions. My research follows in the tradition of McGinnies’ work in deserts, contributing to our understanding and ultimately informing management of semi-arid ecosystems."