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Pringle delivers keynote address at AWRA conference

May. 11, 2017


Contact: Catherine Pringle, cpringle@uga.edu

Catherine Pringle, Distinguished Research Professor in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, delivered a keynote address at the 2017 American Water Resources Association Spring Specialty Conference, “Connecting the dots: The emerging science of aquatic system connectivity.” The conference was held May 1-3 in Snowbird, Utah. 

Pringle’s talk, “Hydrologic connectivity as a driver of emergent ecological patterns and processes: The importance of long-term research,” was about how hydrologic connections in the landscape determine ecological patterns on local to global scales. It focused on regional case studies based on two long-term (25-30 years) National Science Foundation-funded research projects: (1) Interbasin groundwater flows buffer climate-drive acidification in lowland Costa Rican streams, and (2) Effects of cumulative disruptions in hydrologic connectivity from dams on native stream biota and associated ecosystem processes in Puerto Rico.  

“Thirteen doctoral students, seven master’s students and over forty undergraduate students from the University of Georgia have contributed to these two projects over the last twenty-four years and many of their research contributions were featured in the keynote address,” said Pringle.

Pringle was invited to give the plenary talk based on her ongoing research and two seminal papers that provide a widely used definition of hydrologic connectivity. The papers, “Hydrologic connectivity and the management of biological reserves: A global perspective,” published in Ecological Applications in 2001, and “What is hydrologic connectivity and why is it ecologically important?” which appeared in Hydrological Processes in 2003, have been highly cited in the ecological literature.

The AWRA draws its membership from water-related disciplines in academia, government and private industry. It promotes an improved understanding of water resources and related issues by providing a multidisciplinary forum for information exchange, professional development, and education. The 2017 specialty conference on aquatic system connectivity provided a forum for discussion of the latest refinements in connectivity concepts, state-of-the-science connectivity research, and the many ways in which connectivity contributes to landscape and aquatic system function, according to the organization’s website.

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