Emily Bernhardt

Emily Bernhardt

Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Hubbard Professor

Primary Appointment

Biology Department

I am an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist whose research is principally concerned with tracking the movement of elements through ecological systems. My research aims to document the extent to which the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems is being altered by land use change (urbanization, agriculture, mining) global change (rising CO2, rising sea levels) and chemical pollution. Ultimately this information is necessary to determine whether and how ecosystem change can be mitigated or prevented through active ecosystem management.

In The News


Marinos, RE, Campbell, JL, Driscoll, CT, Likens, GE, McDowell, WH, Rosi, EJ, Rustad, LE, and Bernhardt, ES. "Give and Take: A Watershed Acid Rain Mitigation Experiment Increases Baseflow Nitrogen Retention but Increases Stormflow Nitrogen Export." Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 22 (November 8, 2018): 13155-13165.
Avellan, A, Simonin, M, McGivney, E, Bossa, N, Spielman-Sun, E, Rocca, JD, Bernhardt, ES, Geitner, NK, Unrine, JM, Wiesner, MR, and Lowry, GV. "Gold nanoparticle biodissolution by a freshwater macrophyte and its associated microbiome." Nature Nanotechnology 13, no. 11 (November 2018): 1072-1077.
Simonin, M, Colman, BP, Anderson, SM, King, RS, Ruis, MT, Avellan, A, Bergemann, CM, Perrotta, BG, Geitner, NK, Ho, M, de la Barrera, B, Unrine, JM, Lowry, GV, Richardson, CJ, Wiesner, MR, and Bernhardt, ES. "Engineered nanoparticles interact with nutrients to intensify eutrophication in a wetland ecosystem experiment." Ecological Applications : a Publication of the Ecological Society of America 28, no. 6 (September 2018): 1435-1449.
Colman, BP, Baker, LF, King, RS, Matson, CW, Unrine, JM, Marinakos, SM, Gorka, DE, and Bernhardt, ES. "Dosing, Not the Dose: Comparing Chronic and Pulsed Silver Nanoparticle Exposures." Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 17 (September 2018): 10048-10056.

Recent Grants


BIOLOGY 564: Biogeochemistry (BIOLOGY 564: Biogeochemistry)
BIOLOGY 361LS: Field Ecology (BIOLOGY 361LS: Field Ecology)
EVANTH 741: Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems (EVANTH 741: Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems)
ENVIRON 361LS: Field Ecology (ENVIRON 361LS: Field Ecology)
BIOLOGY 209D-2: Ecology for a Crowded Planet (BIOLOGY 209D-2: Ecology for a Crowded Planet)

Contact Information

Ffsc 3313
Durham, NC 27708
Box 90338
Durham, NC 27708-0000


Ph.D., Cornell University (2001)
B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996)