Carl J. Wepking
Carl obtained his bachelors degree in Environmental Science from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, where he completed a thesis on nematode biodiversity in neotropical forest soils in the Gamboa region of Panama. He went on to work as an intern and technician at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Dauphin Island, Alabama. He was involved with a variety of aquatic ecology research projects including oyster reef and seagrass bed restoration, as well as ichthyoplankton oceanography and ecology.
At Washington State University, Carl completed his master’s degree in Environmental Science. His thesis research was on larval fish ecology and potential prey availability in a Pacific estuary. He aided investigations of invasive species range expansion for two species, the rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and the calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, and helped with projects pertaining to endangered species habitat restoration following levee removal.
Currently, Carl is investigating the effects antibiotic use in agricultural livestock rearing has on soil ecosystems, specifically in terms of microbial community function. Additionally, he aims to expand the project to include more trophic levels of the soil community in order to better understand how antibiotic perturbations can affect secondary and tertiary trophic levels. Questions regarding soil and agricultural ecology are of particular interest to Carl, as he grew up working with his family’s cattle farm in Wisconsin.
Carl hopes that engagement with the IGC program will provide further opportunity for interdisciplinary education and action. Environmental threats stemming from climate change, disease and habitat loss can be investigated singularly, but scientists must be able to communicate effectively across disciplines to create informed action against these threats.