Stephen R. Carpenter

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Election Year: 2001
Primary Section: 63, Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Section: 64, Human Environmental Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

I have done considerable work on the biological regulation of carbon fixation and phosphorus cycling in lakes. By experimental manipulation of entire lakes, this research has shown how food web structure controls phosphorus allocation and mineralization, carbon fixation, and gas exchange between lakes and the atmosphere. I am currently investigating the roles of carbon fixation by phytoplankton and other plants, as well as inputs of carbon from the surrounding landscape, in aquatic food webs. Other recent studies have centered on the ecology of regime shifts in ecosystems, such as the changes caused by habitat alteration, overharvest or overfertilization, invasion, and extinction. Working with economists, mathematicians, and other ecologists, I am exploring methods to collapse or preserve regimes. The approaches that preserve ecological regimes tend to be ones that main ecological variability within broad thresholds.

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