Hynes Award for New Investigators
Dr. Erin R. Hotchkiss - 2016
Dr. Erin Hotchkiss is an ecosystem ecologist who uses empirical data and statistical models to understand how land-water interactions and ecosystem processes shape the transport, transformation, and fate of carbon and nutrients in freshwater ecosystems. She uses a combination of monitoring (chemistry, hydrology, biology), experimental (manipulating carbon and nutrients, stable isotope tracers), and quantitative (Bayesian, inverse modeling) approaches to study freshwater ecosystem processes. Erin completed both her MS and PhD at University of Wyoming, where she worked with Dr. Bob Hall on the impacts of exotic snails on stream carbon cycling and understanding the drivers and fates of carbon in streams and rivers. She was selected for the Hynes award based on her publication resulting from this work, which was the first to explicitly state what happens to photosynthetically fixed carbon in a stream: Hotchkiss, E. R. and R. O. Hall. 2015. Whole-stream 13C tracer addition reveals distinct fates of newly fixed carbon. Ecology 96: 403-416, DOI: 10.1890/14-0631.1 Erin worked as a Postdoctoral research fellow in Jan Karlsson's lab in Umeå University, Sweden, studying controls of carbon emissions and export in river networks, and also with Paul del Giorgio at the Université du Québec à Montréal studying carbon emissions from northern aquatic ecosystems. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech.