Photo of Dave Nelson

Faculty

David Nelson

Associate Professor
Faculty
David Nelson
Associate Professor
Appalachian Laboratory

Bio

Dr. Nelson is an associate professor at the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Frostburg, Maryland. Nelson is a broadly trained ecologist who uses chemical signatures called stable isotopes to investigate the effects of environmental changes on ecological and biogeochemical processes. He has worked on a variety of taxa (plants, animals, microbes) and systems (grasslands, forests, lakes, streams) across various temporal scales throughout the world. He founded and directs the Central Appalachians Stable Isotope Facility, which is housed at the Appalachian Lab. Dr. Nelson has served as vice-chair and chair of the paleoecology section of the Ecological Society of America, and he currently serves as vice-chair of the UMCES faculty senate. He is actively involved in various science outreach activities in western Maryland and nearby West Virginia. He received a B.A. in Biology from Trinity Christian College and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Illinois. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Illinois and Harvard University. He joined the faculty of the Appalachian Lab in 2009, and was a visting research fellow at Nagoya University in Japan in spring 2017.  

Areas of Expertise

  • Stable isotope ecology
  • Ecology and evolution of C4 grasses
  • Wind-wildlife interactions
  • Watershed biogeochemistry
  • Microbial biogeography

Education

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005, Ph.D., Ecology
  • Trinity Christian College, 2001, B.A., Biology

Regularly Offered Courses