Curriculum Vitae
Beth Lawrence


Department of Botany

Office: 329 Birge Hall

Phone: (608) 265-9722




430 Lincoln Drive

University of Wisconsin

Madison, WI 53706 - 1381






Educational Background:




BS Natural Resources 2001, Cornell University
MS Botany and Plant Pathology 2005, Oregon State University



Current Projects:


Sedge meadow at Lodi Marsh along Spring Creek

Carex stricta dominates native wetlands throughout eastern North America and forms tussock structures that engineer communities by enhancing microtopography and supporting biodiversity, but it is unknown whether these structures also provide a carbon storage function. Because tussock meadows throughout the species range have largely been destroyed, research addressing how to restore wetland ecosystem structure and function is thus both necessary and timely. The overall objective of Beth's research to better understand the processes of formation and maintenance of tussocks in C. stricta dominated wetlands, as well as to determine if these structures store recalcitrant carbon. She is employing a combination of field surveys, laboratory incubation assays, bomb C-14 methodology, and mesocosm experiments to quantify the composition of C. stricta tussocks, the mechanisms regulating organic matter supply to tussocks and their decay, and the process of tussock development in relation to environmental factors. The applied focus of her research on restoration and carbon storage will also inform restoration practitioners and policy makers interested in restoring multiple ecosystem functions to wetlands.


C. stricta tussock profile

C. stricta mesocosm experiment at the UW-Madison Arboretum


A native to upstate NY, Beth graduated from Cornell University in 2001 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.  While at Cornell, she investigated the impacts of exotic earthworms on mycorrhizal colonization of sugar maple for her honor's thesis.  Following graduation, Beth worked for CABI Bioscience in Delemont, Switzerland at a research station investigating bio-control agents for North American invasive species.  After moving to Oregon, she worked at the Institute of Applied Ecology as a plant conservation technician working on prairie restorations, endangered species recovery projects, and plant surveys.  She received an M.S. from Oregon State University in 2005 where she investigated the effects of ecological similarity, population genetics, and habitat quality on the reintroduction of an endangered prairie species, golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta).  Beth began her dissertation work at UW-Madison as an NSF IGERT trainee, working with Chinese collaborators to develop an interdisciplinary restoration plan for a globally important high elevation wetland in NW Yunnan Province.Beth also has spent two winters as a ski bum in the mountains of Colorado, and has conducted field research in Dominican Republic cloud forests and the lowland forests of Costa Rica. 






Last updated: January 27, 2010

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