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Speaker: Professor Todd Dawson, Departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California – Berkeley
There is ample evidence that plants exert significant “controls” over the manner and magnitude by which water and other soil-borne resources cycle through the biosphere. A particularly relevant example is how deeply rooted plant taxa can exploit deep water resources for long periods of time and often also “redistribution” water hydraulically (= HR) that in turn links root function to water and nutrient cycles. In this talk Todd will highlight research from his own research group as well as others that shows how HR information is being used in a diversity of ways to demonstrate how root and rhizosphere processes impact ecosystem functions and even our climate system.
Todd Dawson is a professor in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy & Management and the University of California – Berkeley. The issue of how plants cope with the challenges imposed by a host of environmental stressors, climatic factors and climate change is what motivates much of the research in Dawson’s group. In this regard, for the last 25 years his own research has centered on the physiological ecology of plants addressed topics such as the evolution of functional adaptations in response to drought in many types of woody plants to the ecological and physiological interactions of trees with their environments. Dawson also directs the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry at UC Berkeley dedicated to creating training and research opportunities for Berkeley students who want to incorporate these powerful tools into their research questions. Dawson is most widely known for his work on elucidating the various roles trees play in the hydrological cycle of forested ecosystems from around the world and for which he was awarded several distinguished scholar awards. He has authored over 200 scientific publications and five books with two more in press. He is also a former US National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, a the Chair of the scientific advisory committee to the National Ecological Observatories Network, and a member of numerous societies committed to advancing the fields of ecology, environmental science and sustainable solutions to forest and agricultural practices.