The flumes in the Stroud Water Research Center stream house flowed intermittently this summer. At first they all flowed swimmingly, but a few weeks later some were dry. A few weeks after that, the previously dry flumes were flowing again, but others were dry. And so it went, on again, off again, all summer long.
Signs on the stream house doors informed Stroud staff that this was all perfectly fine and that no one was to touch the contents of the flumes — wet or dry — because their condition was part of an important experiment.
Lindsey Albertson, who earned her Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of California in Santa Barbara last year, has been doing postdoctoral research at Stroud, investigating how animals influence sediment erosion in streams during storms.
When there’s a big rainstorm, and all this water is rushing down a creek, we need to understand both the biological and the physical forces that govern the impact of floods and how much sediment is moved during those high waters,” says Albertson.
Her experiments involve caddisflies and crayfish. One of her caddisfly studies was recently accepted by the Journal of Geophysical Research and will be published soon. (Look for a feature story about Albertson’s studies in our 2014 Annual Report to be published this spring.)
Albertson grew up in Deerfield, Massachusetts and completed her undergraduate work at Brown University in Providence, RI.
She thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent in California while earning her Ph.D. “A lot of grad students kept surfboards in their offices and would go out and surf for an hour during lunch,” she recalled, although, she admits, she wasn’t among the surfing crowd.
Albertson was working as a long-term substitute, teaching high school biology in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when she learned about the post-doctoral position at Stroud on Ecolog, a listserv for jobs in the natural sciences.
When she finishes her work at Stroud, Albertson says she will seek a faculty or research position.