Microbial Processes
Tidal Marsh Ecosystems
Land Use Change
Marcellus Shale
Curriculum Vitae

Welcome to the Environmental Research Laboratory of Dr. Nathaniel Weston, in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Villanova University.

Research in our laboratory is focused on understanding how human activities such as climate change and land use alterations impact tidal wetland ecosystem function. We're especially interested in the response of microbial and plant communities to rising sea-levels and salt-water intrusion, changing organic matter sequestration and sediment accretion rates, and the resultant alterations to ecosystem function. We are also interested in the impacts of natural gas extraction (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) from the Marcellus Shale on surface and ground-water quality.  More information of research in our laboratory:

Marshes and Sea Level Rise
How climate change is impacting marshes

The National Science Foundation's "Science Nation" features research on impacts of climate change on marshes in the Delaware River estuary.

Link to the NSF Science Nation story here: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/marshescoasts.jsp

Marsh Organ Simulating Sea-Level Rise in the Delaware River Estuary

Field Work

Real-Time Kinematic GPS Surveying

Measuring Gas (CO2, CH4 and N2O) Flux Rates in Marsh Plots

Surface Elevation Table (SET), Marker Horizons (White Plots at Ends of Boardwalk) and Vegetation Plots

You Can See Us From Space! Boardwalk as Seen From Google Maps

Winter Damage: Ripped Up Boardwalk and Spilled Bucket

Sampling a resident's well water in the Marcellus Shale region