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Research focus:

We address basic and applied questions related to wetland, plant, seed, invasion, and restoration ecology.

We address research questions related to:

1. Mechanisms and impacts of plant invasions in wetlands
2. Restoration of wetlands: (a) control of invasive plants, (b) seed and seedling ecology to inform native plant restoration, (c) the importance of locally adapted and genetically diverse plant materials to native plant restoration, (d) the importance of plant diversity to restoration of wetland functions and services
3. Interaction between hydrology and wetland plants: the impacts of intensive hydrologic management and drought on plant regeneration, habitat quality, and the ability of plants to support wetland functions

Our research sites include brackish wetlands of the Great Salt Lake and Chesapeake Bay, riparian wetlands along the Platte River, and prairie pothole wetlands in MN and IA.

Kettenring Wetland Ecology Lab happenings:

March 2015 - Chad Cranney and Brittany Duncan are spreading the word about their Phragmites research.  Brittany presented her research plan to the Utah Phragmites working group while Chad Cranney presented his research findings to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Brown Bag Lunch series.

February 2015 - The Wetland Ecology Lab was featured during USU's Science Unwrapped series when Karin presented on Mighty Phragmites: controlling plant invaders in Great Salt Lake wetlands.  Meanwhile, the students put together a riveting series of activities for all the kids and families attending on wetland ecology, phragmites, and waterfowl.

Left: Future scientists check out the phragmites maze.  Right: The entrance to the phragmites maze!

Left: Bret Mossman and Delena Williams show off their duck gizzards.  Right: Becka Downard talks wetland soils with Engineering Professor Dave Stevens.

Left: Evan Pool talks about his undergraduate research with artist Allison Kudla and USU Art and Design faculty Mark Lee Koven and USU Musuem of Art Director Katie Lee Koven.  Right: Jimmy Marty explains the rules of the rhizome round-up to interested participants.

Chad Cranney amazes his audience with his duck calling skills.

November 2014 - Undergraduate researchers Delena Williams and Bret Mossman (in white lab coats) have joined the lab to investigate the importance of duck digestion on seed dormancy loss in wetland bulrushes.  Here's the crew looking at what seeds are found in duck gizzards!

left to right: Christine Rohal, David England, Konnon Smith, Delena Williams, Bret Mossman, Chad Cranney, Jimmy Marty.

August 2014 - Welcome to new graduate students Brittany Duncan and Suzan Tahir, who are starting as graduate students in the Kettenring lab this fall!

Brittany Duncan

Members of the Wetland Ecology Lab were out in full force over the past couple of weeks to help UT Division of Wildlife Resources with their fall phragmites herbicide treatments.

Val Bachman (UDWR) and Evan Pool (Kettenring Lab)

Megan Stewart completed her summer REU project on bulrush seed dormancy and is headed back to Penn State.  Congratulations Megan!

Karin visited SERC to help Eric Hazelton with his annual vegetation sampling for his project looking at the success of phragmites removal in watersheds of varying degrees of anthropogenic development.

Karin and Jay O'Neill from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

July 2014 - Dr. Laura Triplett from Gustavus Adolphus College, along with her students, arrived to survey parts of the Bear River and Green River for native and non-native phragmites as part of our collaborative project on the effects of phragmites invasion on silica cycling in rivers.  Our first article on this topic was recently published in the journal Anthropocene.

June 2014 - Sam Karanthanos, an MS student with Jacques Brisson and Claude Lavoie at University of Montreal, will be visiting the Kettenring lab this month to learn about commonly used Phragmites australis control techniques in our region.  Welcome Sam!

Visiting scientist Sam Karathanos, University of Montreal

May 2014 - The Kettenring lab was well-represented at the 2014 JASM conference (Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting) in Portland where Eric Hazelton, Jimmy Marty, Christine Rohal, and Karin all presented on their research.

Christine Rohal at the 2014 JASM conference.

Welcome Megan Stewart!  Megan recently arrived from Pennsylvania to conduct her undergraduate research as part of the Quinney College of Natural Resources Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.  Megan is an undergraduate student at Penn State and is a native of Pittsburgh.  This summer she will be researching seed dormancy and seed germination of bulrushes native to Great Salt Lake wetlands.

Megan Stewart, QCNR REU student, for summer 2014.

Congratulations to Christine Rohal for winning the 2014 Doyle Stephens Scholarship from the Friends of the Great Salt Lake, awarded at the 2014 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum!  USU covered the story here.

Christine Rohal receiving her scholarship from the Friends of the Great Salt Lake.  Image by Charles Uibel.

Karin, Becka, Christine, and Jimmy at the Great Salt Lake Issues Forum.

Congratulations to Becka Downard for winning best student poster at this year's Great Salt Lake Issues Forum and for having her work featured by Fondriest's Environmental Monitor!  USU covered the story here.

Christine Rohal and Chad Cranney presented on their phragmites control research at the Great Salt Lake Issues Forum.

Chad Cranney and Christine Rohal at the Great Salt Lake Issues Forum.  Image by Charles Uibel.

Congratulations to Lexine Long for successfully defending her M.S. thesis in Ecology and her Bioregional planning thesis!

Lexine Long with Karin and Richard Toth (her Bioregional Planning degree advisor).

April 2014 - Becka Downard, along with Becka's MS thesis advisor Joanna Endter-Wada and Karin, recently publised a paper in Ecology Society, entitled, Adaptive wetland management in an uncertain and changing arid environment.  For more info, click here.

March 2014 - Karin's article with co-authors Kristin Mercer, Carrie Reinhardt Adams, and Jes Hines entitled Application of genetic diversity–ecosystem function research to ecological restoration was recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and was selected as Editor's Choice!  USU covered the story here.  The write up of our work by Associate Editor Brian Wilsey can be seen here.

Eric Hazelton was first author on a significant review paper - Phragmites australis management in the United States: 40 years of methods and outcomes - recently published in AoB Plants.  This article was also selected as Editor's Choice!  The article can be found here.

February 2014 - Christine Rohal presented on the lab's Phragmites research at the annual meeting of the Utah Weed Control Association.  Meanwhile, Karin updated the Southshore Duck Clubs on the lab's Phragmites work and Lexine Long presented her Phragmites prioritization framework to the Great Salt Lake Phragmites working group meeting.  Back in Maryland, Eric presented a progress report to the many co-PIs on the NOAA-funded Chesapeake Bay project.

January 2014 - We released the first issue of the Wetland Gazette this month - an occasional update on research activities in the lab and their management importance.  For the January 2014 issue, click here.  Also, Eric was recently featured in a Smithsonian educational video about Phragmites' unique adaptations.  View the video here.

November 2013 - Eric presented his research at the 22nd Biennial Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation.  Chad, Christine, and Lexine presented on their research at the first meeting of the Great Salt Lake Phragmites Working Group.  The lab celebrated afterward at the Red Iguana (see below).

October 2013 - Lexine Long and Christine Rohal presented their research at the Fifth World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Madison, Wisconsin.  Also, Karin presented a webinar for the Great Lake Collaborative on Phragmites reproduction and spread entitled: Seeds, stolons, and rhizomes. Oh My! Pathways of introduction and spread of non-native Phragmites.  View the webinar here.  In addition, Lexine Long, Christine Rohal, and Rebekah Downard presented their research at the Region 8 EPA conference hosted in Salt Lake City.  Karin and Christine also gave a talk during the field trip (see below).

August 2013 - Karin attended the Ecological Society of America's annual conference in Minneapolis, MN, where she presented an IGNITE talk on the beneficial relationships between ecology and restoration as well as a talk on the application of genetic diversity ecosystem function research to ecological restoration.  She also had the opportunity to catch up with many friends from graduate school at the University of Minnesota (see below - left to right - Michelle Marko, Concordia College; Laura Perry, Colorado State University; Carrie Reinhardt Adams, University of Florida; Laura Van Riper, MN DNR; Basil Iannone, Purdue University; Karin Kettenring; Kristin Mercer, The Ohio State University).

June 2013 -- We have started our first year assessment of Phragmites control techniques in Christine Rohal's and Chad Cranney's research plots (See below for a picture of the not-so-effective "black plastic treatment").

June 2013 -- The Kettenring lab spent the day learning all about identifying wetlands plant in Great Salt Lake wetlands (See below - Becka Downard, Chad Cranney, Christine Rohal, Jimmy Marty, Konnon Smith, David England, Carly Jugler).

June 2013 -- The Kettenring lab traveled to Duluth, MN, for the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists.  To read more about the presentations that Karin Kettenring, Eric Hazelton, and Rebekah Downward gave, check out the SWS's website here.  Also, our Phragmites work was featured in the Intermountain West Joint Venture's newsletter.  Click here to read the story.

February 2013 -- Our Phragmites work was featured on Explore Utah Science on KCPW in Salt Lake City.  Click here to hear and read the story.

August 2012 -- Our Phragmites work was featured on Utah Public Radio's Wild About Utah - click here to hear the story.