A.B., Harvard University; Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)
Jaclyn Hatala MatthesAssistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Ecologist investigating ecosystem disturbances, including insect and pathogen outbreaks and climate change.
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 distrubanced. To study these topics, I use a multi-disciplinary approach that combines short-term laboratory studies and long-term field measurements with satellite and aeriel imagery anaylsis and ecosystem-climate computational modeling.
Through my teaching I work to help students appreciate ecosystem ecology as the close connections between Earth's organisms and their physical environment. At Wellesley I teach introductory organismal biology, which provides a foundation of understanding organism-environment interactions, an intermediate-level course in ecology that develops skills in field research and data anaylsis, and an advanced ecosystem ecology course that develops skills in the analysis of spatiotemporal data. In all my courses, we discuss 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 chalenge in providing services and reducing inequality for the world's rapidly growing population, while conserving the ecoystem services (clean water, climate moderation, etc.) that sustains us. This challenge is inherently interdisciplinary, and I appreciate opportunities to collaborate with students, colleagues, and practitioners from other fields to think about questions surrounding ecosystems.
In my free time I enjoy cooking with family and friends, gardening, walking through forests and cities, and being excited by organisms large and small that I find in my surroundings.