Christopher Whitney

Chris Whitney, NRESS Ph.D. student

Research Topic

The Role of Beaver Ponds and Fluvial Wetlands in Aquatic Nitrogen Removal from Headwaters to River Network-scale

Christopher's research is looking at the role of fluvial wetlands in aquatic nitrogen removal. He is specifically interested in how fluvial wetlands attenuate nitrogen fluxes from upstream urban areas and what part these wetlands have played in mitigating increasing nitrogen inputs associated with urbanization and how this mitigation can be expected to change with growing urbanization and climate change. To address this topic, he will be using a variety of methods including GIS, small-scale field studies, and modeling to assess the abundance of wetlands in his study watersheds, quantify rates at which wetlands remove nitrogen, and then determine how fluvial wetlands affect nitrogen exports at the scale of an entire river network. This work will generate a better understanding of the natural processes that control nitrogen dynamics at the watershed scale and how these dynamics can be expected to change as humans continue to modify the landscape.

Previous Awards and Activities

EPA STAR Graduate Research Fellowship, 2015

Selected Presentations and Publications

  • Whitney, C., W. Wollheim, G. Mulukutla, A. Lightbody. 2015. Fluvial wetland nitrogen removal in shallow-sloped coastal New England watersheds. American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December, 2015.
  • Buonpane, J., W. Wollheim, C. Whitney. 2015. What factors control nitrate retention in man-made reservoirs? American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December, 2015.
  • Whitney, C., W. Wollheim, G. Mulukutla, A. Lightbody. 2015. Quantification of fluvial wetland nitrogen removal in long residence time systems using whole-ecosystem scale experiments and in situsensors. Long Term Ecological Research Network 2015 All Scientist’s Meeting, Estes Park, CO, August, 2015.


B.S., Environmental Biology, Bridgewater State University, 2013

Professional Positions

  • Research Assistant, Plum Island Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research Project, 2015-2016
  • Teaching Assistant, Natural Resources and the Environment - UNH, 2013-2015

Related Links

Water Systems Analysis Group