Ecosystem Geography Lab


What We Do

We are interested in understanding the impacts of global environmental change––land-use/land-cover change and climate change––on the structure (i.e., physiognomy and distribution), and function (i.e., water and nutrient cycling) of terrestrial ecosystems in spatially heterogeneous landscapes.  Current and past drivers of environmental change together shape landscapes into complex mosaics of diverse vegetation types. As such, we are also interested in what a historical perspective, whether quantitative (paleoecology) or qualitative (environmental history), can tell us about ecosystem and landscape trajectories and opportunities for land management and restoration.

How We Do It

We are especially interested in crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries to examine complex environmental problems, with a view to informing regional to global scale policy. We use a variety of methods to investigate:

  1. 1)land change effects on water and nutrient cycling in heterogeneous montane landscapes

  2. 2)vegetation and soil nutrient dynamics across treeline in the tropics

3) spatial patterns of atmospheric deposition and ecosystem effects

Where We Do It

Thus far, our research has focused largely on tropical mountains in Mexico and Peru.  Mountains offer a natural (and beautiful) experimental setting to study the relationship between humans, ecosystems, and environmental heterogeneity.  However, our research questions can be examined in any environment.  For example, we are now developing independent but complementary studies in Borneo and the States of Texas and California.

Contact Information

Alexandra Ponette-González

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography


Mailing address

Department of Geography

University of North Texas

1155 Union Circle #305279

Denton, Texas 76203

Tel:  940-565-4012

Fax: 940-369-7550