Biological & Environmental Engineering
Soil & Water Lab
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Janet Barclay

Email: jrb474@cornell.edu
Phone: 607-255-4992
Office: B62 Riley Robb Hall
Advisor: Todd Walter
Degree Program: MS


Background

I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1999 with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and a concentration in Chemical Engineering. After graduation I spent 2 years as an Academic Program Coordinator in the BME Dept at Hopkins and then began a 10 year tenure in campus and church ministry with an increasing emphasis on environmental justice. My environmental interest and a desire to utilize my engineering background have prompted my return to school.

My Current Research Projects and Interests

Excess nitrate in aquatic systems has led to adverse effects on human and environmental health. Denitrification is the natural, microbially mediated process of removing nitrate from these systems by converting it to various forms of nitrogen gas. I am currently working on two different projects to further our understanding of this process.

Stream Restoration and Denitrification

When a degraded stream is restored, the hydrologic flow paths in the adjacent riparian zones are altered. These changes affect the biogeochemical processes that normally occur in these areas. In this project I will use isotopic analysis and mass balances to compare denitrification rates in healthy, degraded, and restored streams.

Climate Change and Denitrification

The rate of denitrification is highly influenced by the temperature and degree of saturation in the soil. Current climate predictions include increased temperature and increased precipitation, which would increase soil saturation. I am developing a computer model to predict the impact of these climate changes on denitrification rates.