The main question driving Dr. Brent E. Ewers laboratory’s research is how does plant physiology control fluxes of mass and energy at scales ranging from plant organs to landscapes. Ongoing projects investigate a wide range of nonvascular, woody and herbaceous plants inhabiting near-pristine, heavily disturbed, crops and controlled environments.
Research projects in the Ewers lab use numerous types of observations, experiments, measurements, scaling, remote sensing, spatial analysis and modeling to answer the main question. We are currently applying these tools to investigate how fire and bark beetle disturbances change carbon, nutrient, water, and energy cycling in boreal and Rocky Mountain forests and sagebrush steppe, how rare plants are different in their mass and energy cycles from more common plants and how genetics controls physiological responses to drought. Results from these research projects have direct implications for evolution and organismal biology of plants, physiological and ecosystem ecology, hydrology, carbon and nutrient cycling, and global change phenomena.