Dr. Mary Lusk
I study the flux and storage of nutrients in managed urban landscapes, and the linkages between landscape management practices and urban soil and water quality. Much of my work is driven by the hypothesis that human decisions in urban land management can influence the accumulation and turnover of ecologically important elements (C, N, and P) in urban soils, and that this in turn is one regulating influence on land-water exchanges of these elements. In basic research endeavors, this involves elucidating mechanisms of nutrient cycling under conditions of ecological disturbance. In applied research, this means developing and testing urban best management practices such as approaches for maintaining soil organic matter, reducing stormwater flows, and using nutrients efficiently.