Emily Bernhardt

Emily Bernhardt

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


Chamberlin, Catherine A., Emily S. Bernhardt, Emma J. Rosi, and James B. Heffernan. “Stoichiometry and daily rhythms: experimental evidence shows nutrient limitation decouples N uptake from photosynthesis..” Ecology, July 16, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2822.
Blaszczak, J. R., J. M. Delesantro, Y. Zhong, D. L. Urban, and E. S. Bernhardt. “Watershed urban development controls on urban streamwater chemistry variability.” Biogeochemistry 144, no. 1 (June 15, 2019): 61–84. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-019-00572-7.
Simonin, Marie, Kristofor A. Voss, Brooke A. Hassett, Jennifer D. Rocca, Si-Yi Wang, Raven L. Bier, Christy R. Violin, Justin P. Wright, and Emily S. Bernhardt. “In search of microbial indicator taxa: shifts in stream bacterial communities along an urbanization gradient..” Environmental Microbiology, May 24, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14694.
Blaszczak, J. R., J. M. Delesantro, D. L. Urban, M. W. Doyle, and E. S. Bernhardt. “Scoured or suffocated: Urban stream ecosystems oscillate between hydrologic and dissolved oxygen extremes.” Limnology and Oceanography 64, no. 3 (May 1, 2019): 877–94. https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11081.
Tully, K., K. Gedan, R. Epanchin-Niell, A. Strong, E. S. Bernhardt, T. Bendor, M. Mitchell, et al. “The invisible flood: The chemistry, ecology, and social implications of coastal saltwater intrusion.” Bioscience 69, no. 5 (May 1, 2019): 368–78. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz027.

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)
BIOLOGY 564D: Biogeochemistry (BIOLOGY 564D: Biogeochemistry)
ENVIRON 361LS: Field Ecology (ENVIRON 361LS: Field Ecology)

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)