Faculty & Staff Notes - Spring 2014

In Print - Recent publications by Nicholas School faculty or staff

Humberto Diaz, visiting professor

  • Common Marine Invertebrates of Beaufort, N.C., Duke University Marine Laboratory, March 2014 (w/D. Johnston and D. Rittschof)  The e-book was funded by NC Sea Grant and builds on previous works by faculty at the Marine Lab. This is the first version of the guide, focused on Gastropods, and will include updates to the other taxonomic groups in the near future. To download the book for free from your iPad or Apple computer running the latest operating system, go here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/common-marine-invertebrates/id822383940?ls=1&mt=11

Richard DiGiulio, professor of environmental toxicology

  • “Resistance to Aryl-Hydrocarbon-Induced Cardiac Teratogenesis in F1 and F2 Embryos of PAH-Adapted Fundulus heteroclitus is Strongly Inherited Despite Reduced Recalcitrance to Induction of the AHR Pathway,” Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2013 (coauthor)
  • “The Role of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) AHR1 Isoforms in PAH- and PCB-126-induced Toxicity,” Aquatic Toxicology, 2013 (coauthor)

Peter Haff, professor and director of graduate studies, Earth and Ocean Sciences

  • “Technology as a Geological Phenomenon: Implications for Human Well-Being,” In: Waters, C. N., Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Ellis, M. A. & Snelling, A. eds, A Stratigraphical Basis for the Anthropocene. Geological Society, London, Special Publications (author)
  • “Prediction in Geology Versus Prediction in Engineering,” In: Baker, V.R., ed., Rethinking the Fabric of Geology, Geological Society of America Special Papers, 2013 (author)

Mengchi Ho, research associate, Duke University Wetland Center

  • “A Five Year Study of Floristic Succession in a Restored Urban Wetland,” Ecological Engineering, December 2013 (lead author w/C.J. Richardson)

Gabriel Katul, Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology

  • “Mechanistic Modeling of Seed Dispersal by Wind over Hilly Terrain,” Ecological Modeling, 2014 (coauthor)
  • “The Effects of Leaf Area Density Variation on the Particle collection Efficiency in the Size Range of Ultrafine Particles (UFP),” Environmental Science and Technology, October 2013 (coauthor)

Emily Klein, professor of earth and ocean sciences

Susan Lozier, professor and physical oceanographer

  • Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013 (coauthor with Committee on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change and Its Impacts; Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council.) A PDF file of the report is available for free for personal use here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18373.

James Reynolds, professor of environmental sciences and biology

  • “Impacts of Increased Variability in Precipitation and Air Temperature on Net Primary Productivity of the Tibetan Plateau: a Modeling Analysis,” Climatic Change 2013 (coauthor)
  • “Soil Heterogeneity Modulates Responses to Multiple Global Environmental Changes in Model Grassland Communities,” In: C. C. Harris, ed., Microcosms: Ecology, Biological Implications and Environmental Impact, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, NY, 2013 (coauthor)
  • “Desertification,” In: S. A. Levin, ed. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2nd Edition, Volume 2. Academic Press, Waltham, M.A., 2013 (author)

Curtis J. Richardson, professor of resource ecology

  • Methods in Biogeochemistry of Wetlands, Eds. with DeLaune, R.D., K.R. Reddy, and J.P. Megonigal, Soil Science Society of America Book Series No. 10. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America, 2013 
  • “Low Concentrations of Silver Nanoparticles in Biosolids Cause Adverse Ecosystem Responses Under Realistic Field Scenario,” PLoS One, (coauthor w/J.P. Wright, E.S. Bernhardt et al.) 2013
  • “Differential Nutrient Limitation of Soil Microbial Biomass and Metabolic Quotients (qCO2): Is There a Biological Stoichiometry of Soil Microbes?” PLOS ONE, 2013 (coauthor w/W. Hartman PhD’11)

Brian Silliman, Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Biology

  • “Overgrazing and Habitat Collapse Threaten Turtle and Whole-Ecosystem Conservation in Marine Protected Areas,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, January2014 (coauthor)
  • “Animal-Borne Imaging Reveals Novel Insights into the Foraging Behaviors and Diel Activity of a Large-Bodied Apex Predator, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis),” PLOS ONE, 2014 (coauthor)
  • “Impacts of Marine Invaders on Local Communities Depend on Trophic Interactions and Functional Similarity,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2014 (coauthor)
  • “Consumer Fronts, Global Change and Runaway Collapse in Ecosystems,” Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, November 2013
  • “Cross-Kingdom Consumer Diversity Enhances Multifunctionality of a Coastal Ecosystem,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, November 2013(coauthor)

John Terborgh, James B. Duke Professor of Environmental Science

  • “When Top-Down Becomes Bottom-Up: Behavior of Hyperdense Howler Monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) Trapped on a 0.6 ha Island,” PLoS ONE, 2014 (coauthor)
  • “How Many Seeds Does it Take to Make a Sapling?” Ecology, 2014 (lead author)
  • “Using Janzen-Connell to Predict the Consequences of Defaunation and Other Disturbances of Tropical Forests,” Biological Conservation, July 2013 (author)

Erika Weinthal, associate professor of environmental sciences and policy

  • Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, Earthscan, February 2014,  Eds. with Jessica Troell, and Mikiyasu Nakayama. (This is the fourth book in a series about strengthening post-conflict peacebuilding through natural resource management.)

Memberships, Appointments, and Awards

In the Fall 2014, the Franklin Humanities Institute is launching a new humanities lab, Global Brazil: Culture, Nature and Politics. Global Brazil aims to generate new conversations between the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences by including students in research focused on Brazilian arts, social movements, and natural environment. Among the interdisciplinary team of Duke faculty to co-direct the lab is Paul Baker, Nicholas School professor of earth and ocean sciences. The lab will feature special courses such as “Global Brazil” and “Capoeira: Culture and Practice.”  The Global Lab will provide students the opportunity to participate in faculty-led research projects focused on art and popular culture; biodiversity, energy, and human development in the Amazon; and political inequalities and democratic social movements. (For more information: http://fhi.duke.edu/labs/global-brazil)

Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook, edited by Deborah Rigling Gallagher, associate professor of the practice of environmental policy, has been named Outstanding Academic Title of 2013 by Choice Reviews Online. The 1,032-page reference book, which took Gallagher three years to complete, was published by Sage Publications and is organized by topic into two volumes.  The book tackles a wide variety of issues relevant to environmental and sustainability leadership. More than 150 authors contributed to its 95 chapters.

The peer-reviewed scientific study “Increased Stray Gas Abundance in a Subset of Drinking Water Wells Near Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction,” by faculty members Robert B. Jackson and Avner Vengosh and their teams, was named one of the 10 most accessed stories of the year by the editors of Geochemical News. Read more about this study in a news story published earlier this year: http://nicholas.duke.edu/news/nicholas-school-faculty-publications-earn-year-end-honors.  A paper on the study of radioactivity, salts and metals in shale gas wastewater also by faculty members Vengosh and Jackson, alums Nat Warner PhD’13, and Cidney Christie MEM’13 has been named the top science paper of the year by the editors of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Read about it:  http://nicholas.duke.edu/news/study-environmental-effects-shale-gas-wastewater-named-est%E2%80%99s-best-science-paper

Oceanographers from Duke University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Miami have received $16 million in grants from the National Science Foundation for the deployment of a new observing system in the subpolar region of the North Atlantic. Nicholas School professor and physical oceanographer Susan Lozier, is the international project lead for the five-year initiative which is part of the $32 million, U.S.-led Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP). International collaborators include scientists from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands.  Read more about this research in the October news story:  http://nicholas.duke.edu/news/changes-ocean-circulation-focus-16-million-project

The National Science Foundation has awarded $5 million in grants to a Duke University-led study to explore how centuries of soil erosion from human land use is affecting Earth’s life-supporting outer skin. Nicholas School professor of soils and forest ecology Daniel Richter, Jr. will lead the five-year study that will be conducted at the new Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) located in the Calhoun Experimental Forest, a unit of the Sumter National Forest in upstate South Carolina.  It will involve researchers from six other U.S. agencies or institutions. The NSF award provides more than $2 million of support to hydrology, ecology and soil science research by Duke scientists participating in the study called “Human and Natural Forcings of Critical Zone Dynamics and Evolution at the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory.”  Read the full details of this research in our January news story: http://nicholas.duke.edu/news/study-earths-critical-zone-receives-5-million-nsf-grants.


Grants of $100,000 or more awarded to faculty in the past six months

Nicolas Cassar, assistant professor of biogeochemistry, National Science Foundation, CAREER grant- $790,186, “Method Development for High-Resolution Underway N2 Fixation Measurements.”

Martin W. Doyle, professor of river science and policy, Army Corps of Engineers, $199,996, “Understanding Policy and Guidance Implications From Global Change Impacts to Piedmont Water Resources Projects”; Fish and Wildlife, $178,715, “Habitat and Connectivity for Mussel Populations: Dam and Dam Removal Impacts.”

Gabriel Katul, Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology, Department of Energy, $826,270, “Constraining the Simultaneous Effects of Elevated CO2, Temperature, and Shifts in Rainfall Patterns on Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes Using Multi-Scale Resource Optimiation Theories.”

Pat Halpin, associate professor of marine geospatial ecology, Pew Charitable Trusts, $252,159, Collaborative Research: “Connectivity in Western Atlantic Seep Populations: Oceanographic and Life-History Processes Underlying Genetic Structure”; U.S. Geological Survey, $139,000, “Expanding Biological Data Holdings and Enhancing the Functionality of OBIS-USA for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.”

Dana E. Hunt, assistant professor microbial ecology, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, $774,000, “Ecology at the Microbial Scale: the Importance of Microscale Interactions between Heterotrophic Bacteria and Phytoplankton in Marine Environments.”

Zackary I. Johnson, assistant professor of biological oceanography and marine biotechnology, Cornell University, $331,386, “Large-Scale Production of Fuels and Feed from Marine Microalgae.”

Andrew J. Read, Stephen A. Toth Professor of Marine Biology, Pew Charitable Trusts, $151,600, “Spatial Analysis of U.S. Fishing Activity in the Atlantic Ocean.”

Compiled by Donna Sell, Nicholas School Communications Assistant