Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Richard Conant is currently a Smart Futures Fellow at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia and an ecosystem ecologist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. His research focuses on understanding the feedbacks between human activities and ecosystem biogeochemistry. Specifically, he is interested in how land use and land management practices impact on carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural and grassland ecosystems. One of his professional goals is to understand how human activities are affecting the capacity of ecosystems to continue to supply goods and services. He believes that knowledge about the relationship between human activities and ecosystem ecology can empower policy makers to make wise decisions with respect to biogeochemistry.
Richard leads research projects that span a variety of subjects ranging from physiochemical mechanisms that stabilize carbon in soil microsites to remotely detecting grassland management activities and associated impacts on carbon cycling. Richard has worked closely with scientists from diverse disciplines to understand the characteristics of scientific information that best informs decision making, and has worked to integrate those conclusions into his own research. He is a participant in national and international efforts to quantify human impacts on carbon cycling and is involved in an effort to develop indicators of ecological condition for ecosystems close to home too. Richard earned his Ph.D at Arizona State University in 1997.