Ryan is a freshwater biogeochemist broadly interested in using models and near real-time data to predict how freshwater carbon fluxes will change in the future. Ryan joined Cayelan Carey’s lab at Virginia Tech and Kathie Weathers at Cary Institute as a Postdoc in October 2020. He is working on developing tools and cyberinfrastructure workflows for ecological forecasting in lake ecosystems.
Currently, Ryan is calibrating a process-based hydrodynamic model in all seven National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) lake sites to predict how in-lake responses will respond to rapid changes in climate in the near-term. His long-term goal is to have all seven NEON lakes generating near-term forecasts of water temperature. This research is part of a multidisciplinary project working to implement and deploy open-source software (FLARE: Forecasting Lake And Reservoir Ecosystems) to produce flexible, scalable, and near-real time iterative ecological forecasts. This software will eventually be tested and widely disseminated to water utilities, drinking water managers, and many other decision-makers the rely on freshwater lakes and reservoirs. Project details can be found here: https://flare-forecast.org/about/. Additionally, he is working with the Ecological Forecasting Initiative and leading a team of Limnologists to develop a forecasting challenge for one NEON lake and stream site.
As a former PhD student in Cayelan Carey’s lab, Ryan is also involved in a concurrent project studying how ecosystem-level dissolved oxygen manipulations affect in-lake carbon processing, terminal electron acceptor processes, and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, he is working to develop a workflow that combines the cyberinfrastructure of FLARE with frequently manually collected biogeochemical processes like CH4 ebullition and CH4 and CO2 diffusion.