Research in the Gotsch lab lies at the interface between ecohydrology, plant physiology and ecosystem ecology. We study the water relations of plant communities and are interested in understanding how climate change will impact plant community structure and ecosystem function. The Gotsch lab currently conducts research on the physiological mechanisms that confer success and failure in response to drought and we then build upon those research findings to understand how potential changes in water use or community structure will affect the hydrologic cycle. The majority of our research efforts to date have been focused on understanding how decreases in water availability will affect the structure and function of the Tropical Montane Cloud Forest. In addition, we also conduct applied community-based research relating to green infrastructure and stormwater management. We also recently began a project to study the impact of canopy epiphytes (i.e. plants that live on the surfaces of other plants) on the hydrologic cycle in the maritime forests of Georgia, USA.
This website contains descriptions (and accompanying photo galleries) of our research and Dr Gotsch's teaching efforts. If you would like additional information, Dr Gotsch's email is on the people page. Thanks for visiting!
September 2021: The Gotsch Lab received a 4-yr grant from the National Science Foundation to continue research in the Tropical Montane Forests of Costa Rica! Project Title:Collaborative Research: RUI: Will climate change lead to system shifts on tropical mountains?: the interplay of epiphyte losses on host tree function, microclimate, and hydrology. NSF-IOS and DEB, Award numbers 2130110, 2130111, 2130112, 2130113). This project is in collaboration Lauren Lowman (Wake Forest University, Nalini Nadkarni (U of Utah) and Todd Dawson (UC-Berkeley).
June 2020: The Gotsch Lab received a second NSF grant! Project Title:Collaborative Research: RUI: Hydrology of the vegetation on vegetation: Comparison and scaling of rainfall interception and solute alteration by common arboreal epiphytes. NSF-EAR (Hydrology), Award Numbers 1954538, 1954907, 1954322. This project is in collaboration with John Van Stan (Georgia Southern University and Clifton Buck (University of Georgia). Click here for more information on this project.
June 2020: Gotsch gave a research webinar entitled Cambio climático en montañas tropicales in a canopy biology series (Descubriendo el Dosel) hosted by Fundacion Alianza Natural Colombia. The talk was given in Spanish but translated closed captions are available on Youtube.
June 2020: Gotsch lab research is featured in a French Documentary about climate change and research in Central America.
June 2020: Lab Post-doc Cameron Williams had a paper accepted in Functional Ecology. This paper is based on results of a greenhouse drought experiment on cloud forest epiphytes in Costa Rica. PDF coming soon!
December 2019: The Gotsch lab gave one invited talk, one contributed talk and one poster at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. See abstractshere.
October 2019: The Gotsch Lab conducted a pilot study on the form and function of epiphytes in the Redwood canopies of Jedediah State Park in California.
November 2018: Gotsch receives an NSF supplemental award to expand upon the lab's work evaluating drought resistance in cloud forest canopy plants.
May 2018: Gotsch is back in action following back surgery. She and students Laura Green and Renee Bicaba join the project post-doc Cameron Williams and our local crew in Costa Rica for summer field work.
December 2017: Winter field season in Monteverde! Gotsch got some heavy climbing in before undergoing back surgery in January of 2018. A few photos here.
August 2017: Our research team (Sybil Gotsch, Cam Williams, Rikke Naesborg, Nalini Nadkarni and Autumn Amici (U Utah) will all be giving talks at the Ecological Society of America Conference in Portland Oregon.
June 2017: Gotsch presented data from the stormwater research project at the Water and Society Conference in Sevilla, Spain
May 2017: Our 2017 field season is underway, check out our photos
March 2017: F&M Tree Climbing Training has begun, check out our photos