Jaclyn Matthes
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College

Jaclyn Matthes
My research focuses on feedbacks between ecosystem processes, climate change, and land-use change.

I am fascinated by the complexity of ecosystems, and I work to better understand the mechanisms governing how ecosystems respond to multiple interacting disturbances. To study these topics, I use a multi-disciplinary approach that combines short-term laboratory studies and long-term field measurements with satellite and aerial imagery analysis and ecosystem-climate computational modeling.

Through my teaching I work to help students appreciate ecosystem ecology as the complex coupling between the Earth’s organisms and their physical environment. I teach introductory Organismal Biology, which provides a foundation for understanding organism-environment interactions, an intermediate-level course in Ecology, and an advanced Ecosystem Ecology course that develops skills in spatiotemporal data analysis. In all of my courses, I enjoy discussing the critical role that humans play within ecosystems, especially in our current era of rapid global change.

I am also an advisory faculty member within the Environmental Studies department at Wellesley. As a global society we face a great challenge in providing services and reducing inequality for the world’s rapidly growing population, while conserving the ecosystem services (clean water, climate moderation, etc.) that sustain us. This challenge is inherently interdisciplinary, and I enjoy collaborating with students, colleagues, and practitioners from other fields to think about questions surrounding ecosystem management.