Linda A. Deegan
Research in Brazil
Research at Plum Island, Massachusetts
Tel: 508-289-7487 | Fax: 508-457-154
Ph.D. Louisiana State University, 1985
M.S. University of New Hampshire, 1979
B.S. Northeastern University, 1976
I am interested in the relationships between ecosystem dynamics and animal populations. As the trophic-dynamic model of whole ecosystems gained favor in the 1960's and 70's, the importance of animals in structuring ecosystems was neglected. New interest in the role of animals in ecosystems has been stimulated by work in community ecology that demonstrated that keystone species strongly influence community composition and work as "top-down" controls on productivity. We now know that grazing, predation and physical disturbance by animals can influence a host of processes at the ecosystem level. My research combines the ecosystem perspective of energy and nutrient flows with traditional population and community dynamics.
I find aquatic ecosystems to be particularly interesting because of their importance in connecting landscape elements through the flow of water and animals. I have examined problems ranging from the importance of fish in exporting nutrients and carbon from estuaries, to the effect of habitat degradation on fish community structure in coastal embayments, to the response of upper trophic levels to increased nutrients in arctic streams. I use a combination of approaches to address these questions ranging from surveys of fish abundance and species composition to traditional gut content analyses as well as state of the art techniques such as measuring of the natural abundance and flows of 15N tracers in food webs.
Through collaboration with other scientists at the center, I am also able to assess how animals influence processes like nutrient regeneration. One of my current interests is the ways that animals, through feeding, constructing burrows, or migration can regulate or modify biogeochemical cycles.
Deegan, L. A. D. S. Johnson, R. S. Warren, B. J. Peterson, J. W. Fleeger, S. Fagherazzi, W. M. Wollheim. 2012. Coastal eutrophication as a driver of salt marsh loss. Nature 490:388-392.
Schmitz, O.J., P. A. Raymond, J. A. Estes, W. A. Kurz, G. W. Holtgrieve, M. E. Ritchie, D. E. Schindler, A. C. Spivak, R. W. Wilson, M. A. Bradford, V. Christensen, L. A. Deegan, V. Smetacek, M. J. Vanni, and C. C. Wilmers. 2013. Animating the Carbon Cycle. Ecosystems, In press. (Online early publication October 2013). MBL Press Release.
Neill, C., M. T. Coe, S. H. Riskin, A. V. Krusche, H. Elsenbeer, M. N. Macedo, R. McHorney, P. Lebebvre, E. A. Davidson, R. Scheffler, M. Figueira, S. Porder and L. A. Deegan. 2013. Small watershed responses to Amazon soybean cropland expansion and intensification. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 2013 368 20120425; doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0425 (published online 22 April 2013)
Fagherazzi, S., D. M. FitzGerald, R. W. Fulweiler, Z. Hughes, P. L. Wiberg, K. J. McGlathery, J. T. Morris, T. J. Tolhurst, L. A. Deegan, D. S. JohnsonP. 2013. Ecogeomorphology of Salt Marshes. In: John F. Shroder (ed.) Treatise on Geomorphology, Volume 12, pp. 182-200. San Diego: Academic Press. ISBN 0080885225, 9780080885223
Peterson, B. J., W. B. Bowden, L. A. Deegan, A. D. Huryn, E. Shuett. 2013 (In press). Ecology of streams of the North Slope, Toolik Region. In: A Warming Arctic: Ecological consequences for Tundra, Streams and Lakes. Oxford University Press.