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Ratios Matter

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Ratios Matter is a quarterly newsletter keeping you up to date on what’s happening in the field of ecological stoichiometry. This newsletter will include conference announcements, special sessions, summaries of new manuscripts, job openings, and interesting stories behind the science. Subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss anything.

What is Ecological Stoichiometry?

Ecological stoichiometry is a field of scientific research that examines the balance of multiple chemical elements and energy in ecological interactions. Ratios Matter (our newsletters name) because the theory behind ecological stoichiometry makes predictions about how the relative ratios of elements (like nitrogen and phosphorus) affect diverse biological and ecological processes. If you’ve ever had a field of crops, a garden, or even a houseplant you are probably familiar with the basic idea – you grow these plants in specific types of soil and add certain fertilizers because they need specific amounts of key nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus to grow. If there is a very high ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in the soil, adding more nitrogen will not help the plant grow because its growth is still limited by how much phosphorus it can acquire.

Ecological stoichiometry is not just about growing crops though! We have a growing community of scientists working on ecological stoichiometry because of its wide applicability to understand nutrition and its effects on the environment. Scientists have used ecological stoichiometry to study harmful algal blooms in lakes, fish production in aquaculture and in nature, the growth of cancerous tumors, the possibility that life could exist on other planets, the effects of changing dietary patterns in humans, and an endless variety of other questions.

Interested in learning more? Subscribe to the newsletter to find out about the latest research on this exciting topic and the people doing it.

Meet the Editorial Team

Paul Frost

Paul Frost, Editor-in-Chief
Trent University, Canada

Paul is the David Schindler Professor of Aquatic Science at Trent University where his research program examines the role of nutrients in aquatic food webs through their effects on the nutritional physiology of plants and animals. He has on-going research on the elemental nutrition of freshwater algae and zooplankton and how this affects nutrient dynamics in lakes.

Francis Brearley

Francis Brearley
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Francis is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology at Manchester Metropolitan University interested in diversity and functioning of tropical rainforests.

Robert Buchkowski

Robert Buchkowski
Western University, Canada

Robert is an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University in London, Ontario. He studies the role animals, plants, and microorganisms play in cycling of elements through terrestrial ecosystems using field experiments and theoretical models.

Jessica Corman

Jessica Corman
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Resources and a Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Faculty Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research program focuses on understanding the processes that link carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles. Her work is mostly in lakes and streams, but spans from heavily altered regions to wilderness areas.

Catriona Jones

Catriona Jones
Trent University, Canada

Catriona is a PhD candidate at Trent University. She is investigating the use of genomics techniques to detect and monitor stoichiometric imbalances in freshwater invertebrates.

James Larson

James Larson
US Geological Survey, USA

James is a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey. James studies the processes that support ecosystem services in large aquatic ecosystems (e.g., the Mississippi River, Great Lakes, etc.). This includes research on biogeochemistry, food web dynamics, community composition and harmful cyanobacterial blooms.

Charlotte Narr

Charlotte Narr
Southern Illinois, USA

Charlotte is an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University. She studies the causes and consequences of nutrient flows through aquatic organisms to inform our understanding of aquatic parasite-host interactions and floodplain nutrient management.

Brittany Perrotta

Brittany Perrotta
Baylor University, USA

Brittany is a postdoctoral associate with the USGS - Columbia Environmental Research Center and McMaster University. She studies how microbial communities, macroinvertebrates, and food webs respond to anthropogenic stressors including emerging/legacy contaminants and nutrient pollution.

Clay Prater

Clay Prater
Oklahoma State University, USA

Clay’s work consists of studying elemental variation across biological scales.

Judith Sitters

Judith Sitters
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Judith is a postdoc at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium where she studies soil-plant-herbivore interactions, specifically focusing on the dynamics of plant and herbivore communities, in relation to carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes and stoichiometry.

Dedmer van de Waal

Dedmer van de Waal
Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Netherlands

Dedmer is a senior scientist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, where he studies the impacts of global change on the eco-physiology of (toxic) phytoplankton from a stoichiometric perspective.

Nicole Wagner

Nicole Wagner
Baylor University, USA

Nicole is a postdoctoral associate in the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research at Baylor University, where she studies how the supply of nutrients and their ratios affect harmful algal bloom growth, stoichiometry and cyanotoxin production. She also examining how farm ponds can be used to decreased sediment and nutrient transport to down stream rivers and lakes.

How to submit to Ratios Matter

Ratios Matter is pleased to accept contributions from the stoichiometric community. This includes announcements, summaries of recently published work, photos, ideas or opinion pieces, and pretty much anything else that has a stoichiometric angle to it. To submit to Ratios Matter, please email us at ratiosmatter@gmail.com with a short description of your proposed contribution. If your contribution is suitable for Ratios Matter, we will provide additional information on the submission and review process. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about submitting and publishing in Ratios Matter.

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