Floodplain Landscapes, Disturbance, and Ecosystem Function

Wed, Oct 3, 4:10 pm
Speaker Name: 
Maury Valett


Dr. Valett is an ecosystem ecologist interested in how ecology in one place is influenced by ecological form and function in another.  Most of his work has been in stream and groundwater ecosystems with particular interest in the biogeochemistry of nitrogen and the role of disturbance in riverine landscapes.  He works at the Flathead Lake Biological Station with other members of the University of Montana’s System’s Ecology program.

Research focus:
Dr. Valett’s work focuses on linking microbial processes to biogeochemical function and how those relationships vary across aquatic-terrestrial interfaces.  Floodplain landscapes are areas ripe for combined studies of how landscape position influences ecosystem function and how these are manifested in microbial processes.  Assessing these relationships across the shifting mosaic of floodplains provides opportunity to develop general understanding of complex biophysical relationships..

URL: http://www2.umt.edu/flbs/People/Valett~370/default.aspx?ID=370

Valett Q&A:

1.     What led you to the research you are engaged in? 

My work on streams and surrounding catchments reflects a desire to integrate terrestrial and aquatic ecology.

2.     Which other disciplines have you collaborated with?  

The best investigtions have involved collaboration with hydrologists, geochemists, and geographers.

3.     What do you find most rewarding about collaborations?  

Teams are composed of individuals with unique backgrounds.  The synergy results in emergent properties that are often inspiring.

4.     What do you think is the greatest scientific challenge for the next 15-20 years?   

Ideas are critical to science and society needs to find a way to value knowledge for its own sake. 

5.     How do you see the IoE making a difference in this or other scientific challenges?  

The IoE embraces the notion of collaboration and team-building.  These activities are central to identifying and enhancing leadership.


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