Welcome to the Pringle Lab
We are fascinated by the flowing waters that drain the Earth’s surface and by the aquatic organisms adapted to these dynamic environments. A key ecological challenge is to understand ecosystem-level consequences of declines in the abundance and biodiversity of aquatic organisms, given the alarming rate of river deterioration throughout the world. A major research theme of our lab is how stream ecosystems are altered by different types of disturbance, ranging from dams to disease to changes in land-use and climate. Understanding the complexities of species-community-ecosystem linkages and how they are modified by disturbance requires a fundamental understanding of biogeochemical interactions and involves the integration of two major sub-disciplines of ecology: community ecology and ecosystem ecology.
Our research is characterized by long-term collaborative projects that are site-based in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. An over-arching objective is to link research activities with conservation through resource management applications, synthesis, and environmental outreach. Research areas include: hydrologic connectivity; conservation ecology; landscape ecology; climate change; ecology-evolutionary (eco-evo) dynamics; restoration; community ecology; and ecosystem ecology.
In Situ Experimental Research in Streams
Our lab has a history of in situ experimental research in streams. We developed an experimental electric exclosure technique to isolate top-down effects of stream macroconsumers (e.g., fish, crayfish, shrimps) on ecosystem properties and processes by excluding them from foraging on the stream bottom (Figs. 1 & 2). This technique results in exclusion of macroconsumers at a local scale, and is particularly effective when combined with (or nested within) reach-scale experimental manipulations. We initially implemented this technique in our studies in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, and it has since been used in stream studies across the world.