Author Archives: cayelan

Lots of great lab news!

We have been doing lots of lab celebrations lately, as evident by champagne and brownies at lab meetings!


1) This spring, Jon received the 2017 Virginia Tech College of Science Outstanding PhD student of the year! He and new postdoc Kait Farrell have a very nice GLEON Fellowship Program paper on increasing salt concentrations in lakes in PNAS that can be found here, too!

2) In addition, lab alum Kate Hamre received the William Preston Society Thesis Award for best master’s thesis of all of VT in STEM! (this is the lab’s 2nd time receiving this award- lab alum Alex Gerling received this same award the preceding year!) Kate’s first lead-author paper from her MS is now out in press here at Journal of Plankton Research, which provides the first quantitative evidence that phytoplankton dynamics in downstream areas in reservoirs respond to different environmental forcing than upstream areas, which has important implications for algal management in drinking water reservoirs.

3) Jon’s first chapter is out in press here in Inland Waters too! His study provides the first continental analysis of reservoirs vs. naturally-formed lakes in the US and demonstrates that natural lakes and reservoirs have inherent water quality differences, separate from latitude. Interestingly, reservoirs have much higher water quality than natural lakes, especially in the southern U.S.

4) Ryan recently received the graduate Leo Bourassa Scholarship from the Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association and Kylie received the undergraduate Scholarship! (This is the 3rd year in the row for this award: Alex, then Jon, and now Ryan & Kylie are VLWA all-stars!)

5) Kylie received an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship, Mary received the Honorable Mention for the NSF GFRP, and Nicole was chosen to be part of the SESYNC graduate workshop cohort for this year!

6)  Arianna has just received a prestigious Hollings Fellowship from NOAA. Only ~120 college sophomores in the US are awarded these each year, which provide tuition for two years and research $ for Arianna to work at a NOAA lab in summer 2018. Woot!

7) Joe and Ryan have finished building all of the ebullition traps for this summer, Mary has officially counted her first phytoplankton samples, Nicole has a Sunapee GLM sim up and running from 1981-2015, Arianna has done some major troubleshooting for the GRAPLEr software (which has a new wiki in the works!), Dexter is the pH probe calibrator extraordinaire, and Joe has accepted a MS graduate position at VCU in Paul Bukaveckas’ lab to start this summer!

8) Kait rocked her talk at SFS in Raleigh, which examined consumer effects across several SCALER streams as part of her PhD (see: http://kaitlinjfarrell.weebly.com for more on this research!)

8) We’ve gotten two very exciting notifications about NSF proposals being recommended… more news to come on this soon!

On top of all of this, we received some very nice coverage in both the campus-wide VT news and the local evening news on TV, highlighting our partnership with the WVWA. Yay!

Welcome Kait Farrell!

We are excited to welcome Kait Farrell as a new postdoc in the Carey Lab starting in May 2017.  Kait is currently finishing up her dissertation in Dr. Amy Rosemond’s lab at the University of Georgia.  Kait is a freshwater ecologist interested in linking measurements of ecosystem rates made at different spatial scales, as well as the roles that animals, from macroinvertebrates to humans, play in mediating ecosystem processes in streams, rivers, and lakes. To read more about her work, check out her website here or follow her on twitter here.

In the Carey Lab, Kait will be modeling ecological processes in GLEON lakes and reservoirs as part of the CNH-Lakes project, as well as helping out with the local reservoir work and Project EDDIE module development. We can’t wait for her to get here!

New postdoctoral research associate position in lake and catchment modeling!

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lake and Catchment Modeling at Virginia Tech

A new position for a postdoctoral research associate is available in the Carey Lab at Virginia Tech. As part of a vibrant research team working in freshwater ecology, this position will collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of scientists to model catchment-scale limnological dynamics at Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) sites. This position is part of a U.S. National Science Foundation project funded to examine how human decision-making alters water quality in lakes by combining modeling and data-intensive analytical approaches from ecology, social science, and computer science.

We are seeking a creative and quantitative Ph.D. with research and modeling experience in freshwater ecology. The successful applicant will collaborate with graduate students, post docs, and faculty to address fundamental questions surrounding the effects of changing land use and climate on water quality dynamics in lake catchments. Research activities will include using hydrodynamic-water quality simulation models to explore the effects of land use, policy, and climate scenarios in GLEON lakes and assisting with the development of teaching modules to build quantitative literacy skills in undergraduate freshwater ecology courses. The successful applicant will have access to new distributed computing resources that have become recently available from GLEON-PRAGMA (Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly) collaborations and data from thousands of lakes in the LAke multi-scaled GeOSpatial & temporal database (LAGOS).

The position will start in the spring semester of 2017. The specific start date is flexible and could begin as soon as January 2017; review of applications will begin on October 1, 2016. The position is for one year, with the potential for an additional one-year renewal. Candidates should submit: 1) a cover letter explaining their research experience and future interests; 2) a CV; and 3) names and contact information for three references to https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/69194

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions! -Cayelan (at) vt.edu

NSF REU program in Interdisciplinary Water Sciences: now accepting applications

Summer 2016 (May 22 – July 30, 2016)
Undergraduate Research Fellowships Announcement
National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site INTERDISCIPLINARY WATER SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Application Deadline March 13, 2016 (5:00 PM, EST)

Applications are invited from qualified and motivated undergraduate students (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors) from all U.S. colleges/universities to participate in a 10-week (May 22-July 30, 2016) summer research in interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering at Virginia Tech. U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible to apply. The research program is funded through the National Science Foundation – Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) program. The 10-week internship will begin on May 22, 2016 (arrival day) at Virginia Tech and end on July 30, 2016 (departure day). The research internship includes a stipend of $450/week, housing (two persons per room), meals, and travel expenses (limited to a maximum of $500 per person). We have already graduated 76 excellent undergraduate researchers representing 55+ institutions in the United States from our prior sites during 2007-09 and 2011-15. Application materials, details of Research Mentors along with summer 2016 research projects and other program activities are posted under “NSF-REU SITE” tab on the following website: http://www.lewas.centers.vt.edu/

Applicants are requested to upload their applications along with other required documents by the deadline (March 13, 2016, 5:00 pm, EST). Successful applicants will be informed by March 21, 2016. Please contact Dr. Vinod K Lohani (phone: (540)231-9545; FAX: (540) 231-6903; E- mail: vlohani@vt.edu) for questions.

Titles of Summer 2016 Projects

Project ID#1. Metal Oxidation in a Drinking Water Reservoir; (Drs. Schreiber and Carey)
Project ID#2: Drinking Water Quality; (Dr. Dietrich)
Project ID#3: Effects of Hydrology on Ecosystem Processes and Water Quality of Streams and Rivers; (Dr. Hester)
Project ID#4: Hydrologic Controls on Wetland Function at the Great Dismal Swamp; (Dr. McLaughlin)
Project ID#5: Recovery of Nutrients and Water from Wastewater Using an Integrated Osmotic Bio-electrochemical System; (Dr. He)
Project ID#6 (A&B): Extension of Online Watershed Learning System for Remote Access of High Frequency Environmental Data and Hydrologic Analysis; ( Drs. Lohani, Dymond and Knight)
Project ID#7: Investigation of the occurrence and fate of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in urban-impacted watersheds; (Dr. Xia )
Project ID#8: Water Conservation and Waterborne Disease Nexus of Faucets; (Drs. Pruden and Edwards)
Project ID#9: Citizen Science Applications of the LEWAS Lab; (Prof. Sharma)

Come join the Carey Lab! We’re recruiting 2 PhD students to start next summer!

The Carey Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech has funding for two graduate student positions to start in Summer 2016. We are looking for enthusiastic and highly self-motivated students at the Ph.D. level interested in studying freshwater lakes and reservoirs.
Position 1: We are seeking a graduate student who will integrate field data with simulation models to study lake water quality responses to changing land use and climate. This position is part of a recently-funded, multi-institutional NSF project that will model catchment-scale limnological, hydrological, and economic dynamics at Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) sites. The student will be based at Virginia Tech and be co-advised by Dr. Paul Hanson at the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin. We will support the student to travel to the University of Wisconsin annually to learn modeling skills and develop collaborations. This highly interdisciplinary project will involve close collaborations with resource economists, hydrologists, and limnologists to examine the feedbacks between human decision-making and water quality in lake catchments.

Position 2: We are seeking a graduate student to examine phytoplankton dynamics in local drinking water reservoirs. This project involves substantial field sampling with other graduate students and undergraduate assistants to lead a reservoir monitoring program, and will involve multiple opportunities to conduct whole-ecosystem reservoir experiments. This student would interact closely with reservoir managers and local governmental officials to help make recommendations for drinking water management decisions.

We seek conscientious and energetic students who can work independently while participating in a fun and highly collaborative lab environment. To learn more about what we do, please visit our lab website: http://carey.biol.vt.edu

The Carey Lab is part of the Virginia Tech Stream Team, an internationally-recognized group of faculty and students focused on understanding the community and ecosystem ecology of aquatic habitats.  This vibrant research group provides an ideal environment for conducting graduate work within an interactive and supportive community of aquatic and ecosystem scientists.  For more information on the Stream Team Research Group, please see: www.research.biol.vt.edu/ERG_webpage/VT_ST_ERG.html

Virginia Tech, as Virginia’s leading research institution, has a strong interdisciplinary focus on the environment and natural sciences. Virginia Tech is located in scenic southwestern Virginia, and its close proximity to ponds, reservoirs, streams, woodlands, and other diverse habitats makes it an ideal location for field studies.

Both student positions will be funded on a combination of teaching and research assistantships, which include a competitive stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance benefits. Interested students should send an email letter of inquiry containing an overview of your research interests, your C.V., an unofficial transcript, a list of past research experiences and mentors, and GRE scores (if available) to cayelan@vt.edu.  Please feel free to contact me with questions about the application process, graduate school at Virginia Tech, or potential research questions!

Postdoctoral Research Associate Opportunity at Virginia Tech in Coupled Water Quality-Economics Modeling of GLEON sites

Come work with us!!!

A new position for an interdisciplinary postdoctoral research associate to collaborate with a vibrant research team working at the interface of freshwater ecology and resource economics is available in the Carey and Cobourn Labs at Virginia Tech. This position is part of a recently funded NSF project that will model catchment-scale limnological, hydrological, and economic dynamics at Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) sites. Together, we are fundamentally interested in combining modeling and data-intensive analytical approaches from ecology and economics to examine the feedbacks between human decision-making and water quality in socio-environmental systems.

We are seeking a creative and quantitative Ph.D. with significant research and modeling experience in freshwater ecology and/or resource economics. We expect applicants to have demonstrable experience in one or more of the previously mentioned fields, including substantial publications in peer-reviewed journals, and the ability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment. We especially encourage applications from candidates with previous experience working in coupled ecological-economic systems.

The successful applicant will collaborate with graduate students, post docs, and faculty associated with the project to address fundamental questions surrounding decision-making and water quality dynamics in lake catchments. Research activities will include integration of ecosystem and economic models and exploration of land use, policy, and climate scenarios within coupled catchment models; the postdoctoral research associate will also assist with project development and coordination. The successful applicant will have access to new distributed computing resources that have become recently available from GLEON-PRAGMA (Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly) collaborations and data from thousands of lakes in the LAke multi-scaled GeOSpatial & temporal database (LAGOS). The future of freshwater is a major research initiative at Virginia Tech, with >80 faculty across campus conducting research in this area, and excellent facilities and resources for freshwater research.

The targeted start date is January 2016 and review of applications will begin on September 15, 2015. The position is for one year, with the potential for a one-year renewal. Candidates should submit: 1) a cover letter explaining their research experience and future interests; 2) a CV; and 3) names and contact information for three references to https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/59481

Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional and academic commitment to diversity.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

Dr. Cayelan Carey                              Dr. Kelly Cobourn
Dept. of Biological Sciences             Dept. of Forest Resources & Conservation
Virginia Tech                                       Virginia Tech
Cayelan@vt.edu                                 kellyc13@vt.edu
www.carey.biol.vt.edu                      http://frec.vt.edu/people/cobourn/index.html

Many, many updates for the Carey Lab

There has been so much going in the field and lab the past few weeks that I have been remiss with updates!  Here is a sampling:

1) A bunch of new papers have come out: check out the Publications page on our website to see our newest work.

2) Congratulations are in order!  Jon successfully passed his qualifying exams, received the Virginia Water Resources Research Grant, *and* received the Lou Bourassa Award from the Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association.  Read a Virginia Tech press release here about his award.  Congrats, Jon!

Alex successfully defended her M.S. in late July and is heading to Colorado to pursue water-themed work out west- we will miss her!

Kate did a stellar job mentoring our REU student Maddie this summer, who was chosen to present her research at NSF during the Council on Undergraduate Research in Arlington this fall!  Well done, Kate & Maddie!

3) We have deployed our brand new weather station at Falling Creek Reservoir- this was a labor of love and supported by funding from the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech.  See the press release and photos hereAs part of a collaboration with Drs. John Little, Maddy Schreiber, and Quinn Thomas, we are using the minute-resolution high-frequency data to conduct ensemble modeling of FCR’s water quality.

4) We conducted not one, but *two* whole-ecosystem experiments at Falling Creek Reservoir this summer, both of epilimnetic mixing and hypolimnetic oxygenation.  SO MUCH SCIENCE!!

5) The Carey Lab hosted a workshop at Virginia Tech on PRAGMA-GLEON distributed computing resources for lake modeling.  As part of the workshop, colleagues Paul Hanson and Renato Figuereido helped us with hourly sampling of our reservoirs to track plankton migration through the night in late June.  Kate and Alex did an amazing job organizing the sampling of >50 response variables on the minute to hourly scale for >36 hours- it was epic. (More photos to come in a future post)

6) We hosted our first annual summer lab retreat, marked by barbecue, whiffleball, and reservoir sampling.

7) In concert with the Reservoir Group, we hosted the International Water Association conference on Lake and Reservoir Management at Mountain Lake August 3-7: everyone in the lab presented a poster and Kate and Zack rocked their oral presentations!

7) Last but not least, Ryan McClure has joined the lab!  Within his first two months, he mixed a lake, oxygenated a lake, helped organize the Midsummer Night’s Dream extravaganza, presented a poster at IWA, and has taken over the FCR sampling from Alex- woohoooo!

8) Finally, Cayelan and Alex are presenting FCR research at ESA this week- come check us out!  Cayelan’s talk is on Wednesday at 9:50 in the Experimental Biogeochemistry session, and Alex’s talk is Friday at 10:30 in the Cross-scale Perspectives session.

More to come… it’s been an awesome, crazy, but wonderful summer.

Field season is in full swing and lots of updates!

There is lots of action, adventure, and excitement in the Carey Lab- classes are over, we are in the field most days every week, and we are learning a lot about the ecology and biogeochemistry of our study reservoirs.

Cayelan is back in Blacksburg after being on the road for much of April and May: she gave seminars at Miami University of Ohio, University of Quebec in Montreal, and INRA (the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) in Thonon-les-bains, France, and was an instructor at an EU CYANOCOST/Netlake training school in Evian.  As part of the training school, she worked with representatives from >35 countries to co-organize a massive cross-European lake survey of cyanobacteria this summer.  Follow updates from the European Multi-Lake Survey with the #EMLS hashtag on Twitter this summer as sampling starts going!

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A photo of the EMLS participants in Evian, overlooking Lake Geneva.

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Pick a yacht, any yacht: sampling Lac Leman/Lake Geneva

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Visiting the Institute of Forel at the University of Geneva, CH: the birthplace of limnology!

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After the training school, Bas Ibelings, the lead of the EMLS, and Cayelan hiked up in Chamonix to see the glaciers: Mont Blanc (la Mer de Glace) is in the background.

Back in Blacksburg, Elle Humes, our Daphnia nanny undergraduate, finished her year-long experiments and presented her findings.  We will miss her enthusiasm and passion for the zooplankton this summer!

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Elle with her Aquashade experimental zooplankton!

We have also received lots of good news: Jon recently received the Krieg Award for Teaching and Research Excellence from the VT Biology department and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s Student Research Grant to support his study of zooplankton dynamics in managed reservoirs, and Cayelan received the 2014 Outstanding Research Award from the VT Biology department.

Finally, Cayelan’s paper with Justin Brookes for the United Nations Chronicle has been published online.  See the article on the Publications page of the website and the press release here.