Ellen Esch, ecologist



Ellen H. Esch

BigCreek
Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve


My research leverages fundamental ecological principles to provide insights into creating a more resilient and sustainable future. More specifically, my research is situated at the intersection of community and ecosystem ecology, and investigates how interacting global change processes - nutrient additions, altered precipitation, and landuse change - shape ecosystem function, and in turn how altered ecosystem functioning can feedback into greater environmental change.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph within Andrew MacDougall's Lab. Here, I am working to improve agricultural sustainability by increasing ecosystem services (clean air, clean water, biodiversity habitat) provided by farms. I also seek to improve agricultural resilience in the face of climate change induced droughts.

Prior to coming to the University of Guelph, I was a PhD student at the University of California San Diego working with Elsa Cleland. My research there centered around understanding how climate change influences carbon cycling dynamics - including both sequestration (uptake) and efflux (release) components.

I received my undergraduate degree at Carleton College where I worked as an undergraduate researcher and subsequently as a lab manager with Daniel Hernandez. Our work investigated the interacting effects of nitrogen deposition and grazing in a serpentine grassland, and also successional dynamics in tallgrass prairie.