Ashley Cowell

Effects of climate change on Sierra Nevada stream food webs

This project examines how Sierra Nevada snow melt, which is predicted to occur earlier in the year in the future, may impact aquatic insect communities. Using experimental streams at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL), we are examining how community structures and food web dynamics respond to changes in low flow timing. This summer I will be performing stable isotope analysis of macro-invertebrate samples to identify shifts in food web structure and relate those dynamics to changes in community composition. This research is vital to understanding how freshwater communities and ecosystems will respond to climate change.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you! This program allowed me to focus solely on my own research project, but would not have been possible without your generous financial support. I truly appreciate this experience and your support.
  • Major: Environmental Sciences
  • Mentor: Albert Ruhi, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management