Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Ecosystem ecology and global change
Professor O’Connell is an ecosystem ecologist who asks questions about tropical ecosystems on a changing planet. Broadly, her research focuses on the impacts of global change on tropical belowground nutrient cycling. She is currently investigating how climate-connected events like severe droughts or hurricane disturbance influence soil greenhouse gas emissions in a Puerto Rican wet tropical forest. She has also done research on the impacts of agricultural production on Amazonian landscapes, using a combination of statistical modeling and field work in Mato Grosso, Brazil. She relishes working with students in the classroom and, over summers, out in the forest.
Professor O’Connell conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.
- BS in Earth Systems, Stanford University, 2008
- PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of MN-Twin Cities, 2015