Olivia Hajek

Sustainability Leadership Fellow Cohort: 2022-2023

Ph.D. Student, Department of Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Research Summary: Ecologists have long recognized the importance of seasonal variations in both temperature and precipitation for understanding the distribution of different ecosystems and their functioning. But from a climate change perspective, most ecological research has focused on the consequences of alterations in seasonal temperatures for plant growth and ecosystem function. For my research, I am evaluating how climate change may shift seasonal patterns of water availability and the ecological consequences of these shifts in the Great Plains. Changes to seasonal patterns of water availability can have profound effects in this region, altering regional climate, forage production, and feedbacks to carbon cycling.

Advisor: Alan Knapp