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Z. Carter Berry


Postdoctoral Researcher

Carter is a postdoctoral researcher who specializes in understanding hydrological and carbon cycles at multiple scales.  He is currently working on an NSF-funded project in Veracruz, Mexico examining the effects of Payment for Ecosystem Services programs on the preservation of a suite of ecosystem services. Specifically, the work focuses on how changes in land use alter coupled hydrological-carbon cycles and biodiversity in cloud forest regions. Variation in land use can lead to changes in these ecosystem services but little research to this point has quantified the complex tradeoffs between these ecosystem services across regions with numerous land use histories. This interdisciplinary project involves inputs and data collection from hydrologists, ecologists, soil scientists, economists, and sociologists.

Carter completed his Ph.D. in Biology from Wake Forest University in 2014, supervised by William K. Smith. While there, he focused on ecophysiological linkages between forests and fog regimes for temperate southern Appalachian cloud forests. This interest in cloud-vegetation interactions led him to the University of New Hampshire to work with Dr. Asbjornsen who maintains an active research program in cloud forests of Mexico.

More broadly, Carter is continuing research examining interactions between fog and forests, focusing on how changes to climate might alter these linkages. The majority of cloud forests around the world are in montane regions that serve as critical water sources for the world’s population as well as refugia for many rare and relict species. Many of these forests are tightly linked to fog and cloud regimes and changes to these climate could alter functioning, structure, diversity, and hydrology of these forests.

Carter has also previously worked in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and tropical rainforests of northern Australia. He is part of the CloudNET research network and an active member of the Ecological Society of America Physiological Ecology section.

e-mail: zcberry@gmail.com