Urbanization is increasing around the world and understanding the impacts that cities have on the natural world is extremely important. My lab aims to understand how urbanization affects the diversity and ecological function in freshwater ecosystems, particularly in headwater streams. We are also interested in how urban green spaces impact the ecology of cities and how effective they are in replicating natural ecosystems.
Members of the lab are also interested in how freshwater availability is impacted by human rights. The Thar Desert on the northwester border of India, is the most densely populated desert ecosystem in the world and water scarcity is a large issue. Through survey data collected from village residents in the Thar Desert by Madison Weisend, we will be mapping the village watershed and locating water sources throughout the area. This data will be used in coordination with demographic information to examine the relationship between local watersheds, social standing, and water scarcity.
Check out her poster presented at the Mid-Atlantic SENCER conference
We were interested in the patterns of taxonomic richness and distribution of aquatic insect communities in streams impacted by heterogeneous urbanization throughout a small urban areas. See the paper: Lundquist MJ and Zhu W. (2019) Aquatic insect diversity in streams across a rural–urban land-use discontinuum. Hydrobiologia.
We studied the impact that urbanization has on the function of aquatic ecosystems. We found that urbanization does impact insect functional feeding groups, but not evenly among groups. See the paper in Ecosphere: Lundquist, MJ and Zhu, W.(2018) Aquatic insect functional diversity and nutrient content in urban streams in a medium-sized city. Ecosphere, e02284.