Power Lab: Food Web Research

Mary Power, Professor
Collin Bode, Spatialist
Dr. Sarah Kupferberg, Visiting Scholar
Dr. Charlene Ng, Researcher
Dr. Jack Sculley, Researcher



Mary Power, Professor, Integrative Biology
Faculty Manager, Angelo Coast Range Reserve


Personal History and Professional Interests
Curriculum Vitae

I am a river food-web ecologist. Since 1988, I have been faculty director of the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, an 8000-acre natural reserve protected for university teaching, research, and outreach, one of 38 such sites in the University of California Natural Reserve System.W With students and collaborators, I study food webs in temperate and tropical rivers. Focal organisms have included aquatic bacteria, algae, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and the spiders, lizards, birds and bats that feed on river insects. These webs of interactions link rivers, watersheds, and nearshore ocean ecosystems in surprising ways. We integrate our research under the framework of "predictive mapping"--by studying how controls over key ecological interactions change over space and time locally, we seek insights that will help forecast how river-structured ecosystems will respond to watershed or regional scale changes in climate, land use, or biota.

Collin Bode, Spatialist
M.S. Energy and Resources, UC Berkeley, 1998

Project Manager for the Desktop Watershed IP, National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED). Designed and created the Angelo Reserve Environmental Observatory. I work in wireless habitat monitoring, spatial issues in ecological modelling, LiDAR feature extraction, ecoinformatics, and open source GIS.
Sarah Kupferberg

Sarah J. Kupferberg, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar
Ph.D. Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley

I study the effects of hydropower facilities on aquatic resources in California rivers. The river breeding Foothill yellow legged frog, Rana boylii is a sentinel species in this effort.  I focus on flow velocity and water temperature as the key abiotic conditions influencing frog populations.  My approach combines field experiments, long term monitoring, and population modeling. The work is supported by the Public Interest Energy Research Program of the California Energy Commission.
Charlene Ng Dr. Charlene Ng, Researcher
Ph.D. Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley, 2012
My research focuses on the transport and effects of chemicals and nutrients through aquatic ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in how chemicals in freshwater systems affect biota locally, how much downstream transport occurs, and what the effects are in the marine environment. To study these questions, I work on pyrethroid pesticides in three rivers in the Monterey Bay area, and Epithemia in the Eel River of California.
Dr. Jack Sculley, Researcher
My main research interests center on how food webs or ecosystems respond to climate change and changes in disturbance regimes over long time-scales. I have studied diatom frustule abundances in cores sampled from in a deep marine canyon carved at low sea stand off the mouth of the Eel River. These cores record, with annual resolution, 100 years of sediment deposition. During 20 years when algal abundance was surveyed upstream in the modern Eel, the abundances of freshwater diatoms in cores tracked magnitudes of summer algal blooms, which tend to be larger following scouring winter floods. I am using this marine record of freshwater diatoms, as well as marine diatoms, to evaluate how changes in river discharge and marine upwelling over annual and multi-year time scales have affected recent paleo-productivity in this ecosystem.

Hiromi Uno, Graduate Student
M.S. Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University
I am interested in how aquatic food webs interact with terrestrial food webs. Especially, I am interested in how the behavioral traits of aquatic insects influence these interactions. By carefully tracking the movements, life histories and behaviors of significant aquatic insect species, I investigate how life history or behavioral traits affect nutrient fluxes and predators in both in aquatic and terrestrial systems.
Keith Bouma-Gregson, Graduate Student
M.S. Natural Resources and Env., University of Michigan
kbg@berkeley.edu     website
I am interested in algal and food web ecology. I want to investigate how interactions and the stoichiometry of algae, bacteria, and invertebrates affect food web structure and nutrient cycling in rivers. Currently I am researching the ecology of cyanobacteria and trying to understand when, where, and why cyanobacteria proliferate in rivers, and how cyanobacteria production moves through the foodweb. I am also involved with the volunteer monitoring group Eel River Recovery Project and am assisting them in the creation of algae monitoring and education programs.
Charles Post, Graduate Student
B.S. Conservation Resource Studies, UC Berkeley, 2011
My research interests focus on American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) ecology, with an emphasis on how their diets and habitat use change with shifts in prey and microhabitat availability due to seasonal or inter-annual hydrologic fluctuations in rivers.. I am also interested in the impacts of dippers on benthic macroinvertebrates, and indirectly, on benthic primary producer assemblages in river food webs.

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