Dr. Rodgers' research interests are focused on understanding the numerous effects humans are having on various natural ecosystems. She is interested in all aspects of global environmental change, including the effects of climate change, land use change, nitrogen deposition, and the spread of invasive species. Current Research Projects: She is working on a project at the Boston Area Climate Experiment (BACE) to determine the demography of a weedy plant species in conditions of fluctuating resource availabilities.
Dr. Rodgers is working on a field experiment to measure the impacts of co-invasion dynamics on native sugar maple seedlings. Garlic mustard and oriental bittersweet are the invaders used in this multi-year study.
Previous Research Projects:
Dr Rodgers is involved in a number of research projects at the Boston Area Climate Experiment (BACE) in Waltham, MA. She is measuring leaf area, leaf morphology, and green leaf chemistry of 6 tree seedlings transplanted to plots experiencing 12 different experimental climate scenarios. This project seeks to discover which tree seedlings may be most affected by future climate change.
She performed a project studying shifts in photosynthesis and transpiration rates for an old-field plant community under 12 different experimental climate scenarios at the BACE site. This work measured the changes in carbon and water dynamics that are predicted to come with future climate change and the results are published in the International Journal of Plant Sciences.
Her Ph. D. dissertation work was on the ecological impacts of the invasive plant garlic mustard. She measured impacts to soil nutrient cycling, microbial communities and native plant populations. The majority of this fieldwork was completed atGreat Mountain Forest and results were published in BioScience and Oecologia.
Dr. Rodgers performed a large-scale old-field experimental manipulation to determine the limitations to the growth and abundance of nitrogen-fixing plants. Fieldwork was completed at Great Mountain Forest, greenhouse work was performed at Arnold Arboretum, and results were published in Biogeochemistry.
Dr. Rodgers worked on a literature review on the impacts of invasive plant species, insect pests and pathogens within northeastern US forests due to climate change. This research incorporated the new climate models projecting temperature and precipitation changes by the year 2100. This manuscript was published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
She assisted in a stable isotope tracer experiment to quantify the uptake of amino acids by temperate hardwood and conifer trees. This work was also performed at Great Mountain Forest and published in Oecologia.
She also assisted in field and lab research at the Duke Forest Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment determining the effects of elevated CO2 on soil and plant communities.