Catherine Cardelús

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Catherine Cardelús

Professor Biology and Environmental Studies; Director, Upstate Institute

Department/Office Information

Biology, Environmental Studies, Upstate Institute

I am interested in one of ecology's fundamental questions: What are the patterns of biodiversity? As well as in one of today's most pressing questions: How will biodiversity respond to a changing environment? Most of my work has focused specifically on tropical forest canopies where I use multiple ecological approaches to better understand the factors that control species richness and distribution.

In the Cardelús lab we study human impacts on forests - pollution, deforestation, acid rain, deer overabundance. We study locally, regionally, and internationally. We have 4 long-term projects: 1. the conservation of sacred church forests in northern Ethiopia and conservation of sacred forest in northern Madagascar; 2. the impacts and management of overabundant white-tailed deer in Hamilton, NY; 3. the impact of mitigative liming on ecosystem processes in Adirondack State Park, NY; and 4. the effects of predicted increases in nutrient deposition on epiphyte community structure and ecosystem function in the tropical rainforest canopy, Costa Rica. While disparate in location and ecosystem-type, these studies share a scientific framework examining the impacts of human disturbance on community and ecosystem processes. Our work in Ethiopia and in Hamilton, NY, also examines the human-impacts of disturbance and the feedbacks between human communities and forests.