Reu at Emiquon: Research Projects
(Mentors at right in alphabetical order)
Students will work in teams on one of three different research topics. Within the teams, each student will have an individual project that the student will develop under the supervision of one of the Research Mentors.
Hua Chen Changes in ecosystem composition and structure
The ecosystem at Emiquon is undergoing dramatic changes as former agricultural land is restored back to a mixture of forest, prairie, wetlands, and lakes. Various research questions will be explored in relation to how the changes in the environment affect the community Keenan Dungey structure on different levels (plants, microbes). For example, will central Illinois prairie biodiversity be more successfully maintained when land managers use seed mixes characteristic of species natural to northern or southern climates?
Mentors: McEuen, Bonacum, Lemke
Mike Lemke Stock and fluxes of carbon and nitrogen in restored wetlands and prairie
Carbon flux has important global climate change implications. This team will explore how progress in the restoration of the Emiquon site affects the carbon and nitrogen processing abilities of the land. For example, we will compare denitrification Amy McEuen rates and carbon sequestration of wetland soils from Emiquon (newly restored) and Spunky Bottoms, IL (an established Nature Conservancy restoration site).
Mentors: Chen, Dungey.
Effects of management practices on vegetation composition and ecosystem services
Professional land managers use scientific data in order to achieve their restoration goals. One such common practice for prairie restoration is prescribed burns. We will explore how such practices affect both the community structure and the functional abilities of the ecosystem. For example, will burning and mowing increase the carbon sequestering ability of newly restored prairie land?
Mentors: McEuen, Bonacum, Lemke, Chen, Dungey.
If you have any questions about the Emiquon REU program, contact:
Dr. Keenan Dungey
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza, Mail Stop HSB 312
Springfield, IL 62703-5407