Dr. Read’s research is on aquatic biogeochemistry and microbial ecology at the in-lake, watershed, and regional scales. Specific topics include long-term dynamics of lake microbial communities and interactions with environmental factors; model prediction ability for harmful algal blooms in a eutrophic lake; long-term effects of nutrient management in agriculturally dominated watershed; and the quality and quantity of phosphorus (limiting nutrient) in a eutrophic lake.
As a postdoctoral associate at the Cary Institute, Dr. Read is developing and implementing a graduate student training program in network science in which students learn and apply analytical skills and interdisciplinary practices to address macro-scale ecological questions.
Over the past several decades environmental issues and concerns have become increasingly transdisciplinary in scope and global in scale. The scientific community has responded by acknowledging the need to develop new science that matches the complexity and scale of these emerging environmental issues. Yet, developing large spatial scale understanding of environmental patterns and processes presents a formidable challenge; it requires diverse expertise, data, and models. It also requires scientists with the organizational and collaborative human skills and understanding to both catalyze and lead transformative science. Scientists will increasingly work within networks to conceptualize issues in new ways and work with complex data using new and effective cyberinfrastructure. Learning to work in these kinds of networks is not trivial and involves skills seldom developed in graduate student training.
Together with scientists from the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, Dr. Read is co-leading an international, distributed graduate student training program to train students in the technical (i.e. computational and analytical) and social (i.e. collaborative) skills required for addressing macro-system scale environmental questions. More information can be found at students.gleon.org.