Current Lab Staff and Students

Dr. Robert W. Howarth

David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Link to CV
Short bio
Office:(607) 255-6175

Bob is an Earth systems scientist, ecosystem biologist, and biogeochemist. He has worked extensively on environmental issues related to human-induced changes in the sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles, the impacts of global climate change, and interaction of energy systems and the environment. He is the Founding Editor of the journal "Biogeochemistry" and was Editor-in-Chief for 21 years, from 1983 to 2004. Previously, he co-chaired the International SCOPE Nitrogen Project (1992-2002), chaired the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Causes and Management of Coastal Eutrophication (1998-2000), coordinated the nutrient responses chapter for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2002-2005), chaired the International SCOPE Biofuels Project (2007-2010), and served as President of the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (2007-2009), In 2011, Time Magazine named Bob as one of 50 "People who Matter" for his research on the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas.


Roxanne Marino Photo

Dr. Roxanne Marino

Senior Research Associate & Lab Manager
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Link to CV
Office: (607) 255-3572

Roxanne has worked on a wide range of research topics and collaborations over the past 25 years at Cornell, and currently is also Visiting Investigator at the Marine Biological laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Her primary research foci and related interests include:

- controls on biological nitrogen fixation
- interactions of major nutrient and trace element biogeochemistry in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
- near-source deposition of atmospheric gaseous nitrogen
- sediment and aquatic phosphorus biogeochemistry
- application of research results to science education, public outreach, and policy to address ecological problems

In addition to her work at Cornell, Roxanne has been very active in local government, serving as a member of the Tompkins County Water Resources Board and as a Town Board member and as Town Supervisor in Ulysses (Tompkins County, NY).


Dennis Swaney

Coordinator of Modeling
E311 Corson Hall
Link to CV
Office: (607) 255-3572

I am lead mathematical modeler of environmental systems in the lab. My recent work focuses on nutrient accounting in large watersheds and the relationship of NANI (Net Anthropogenic Nitrogen Inputs) to riverine nitrogen fluxes. Other research has included developing methods of estimating ecosystem metabolism in estuaries, modelling nutrient transport through watersheds to the coast, and modelling ecological responses of watersheds and coastal ecosystems to climate and land use changes. Additionally, I am interested in the general problem of transport processes and dispersal in the environment.

I served on the Scientific Steering Committee of the LOICZ (Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone) program of the IGBP from 2005-2011, and have been involved with developing biogeochemical budgets of coastal systems in the Baltic and elsewhere. I continue to work with new applications of biogeochemical budgets and nutrient accounting methodologies, and the development of quantitative methods to evaluate human impacts on coastal systems and their watersheds. I have served as an associate editor of the journal Estuaries and Coasts since August 2012.


Tom Butler

Visiting Fellow
Institute of Ecosystem Studies
211 Rice Hall
Office: (607) 255-3580

I am a visiting fellow at Cornell and Site Manager for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (in Millbrook NY). I have maintained and operated a NADP/Airmon rainfall chemistry site that has been in operation for over 35 years and at the same location and a CASTNET Dry Deposition site since 1987. Both the wet and dry deposition sites have some of the longest records in precipitation chemistry, dry deposition and air quality in the US.

I have been affiliated with the Howarth Lab since its inception at Cornell. The impact of changing emissions on trends in atmospheric depostion and air quality (SO2 and NOx emissions and their deposition products, as well as mercury and ozone) has been a major focus of my work. Currently I am focused on quantifying the importance of ammonia emissions and deposition as part of the total N input to areas of the eastern US. Past work has also included metabolism and biogeochemistry of estuarine ecosystems.


Melanie Hayn PhotoResearchGate Profile

Melanie Hayn

Research Support Specialist
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Office: (508) 289-7486

I am currently working off-campus at the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Our work here centers around West Falmouth Harbor, a shallow estuary undergoing rapid eutrophication as a result of dramatically increased nitrogen loading. I recently completed my M.S. in Natural Resources, and am interested in how human activities impact the landscape in the coastal zone. In particular, I'm interested in using spatial statistics and GIS in conjunction with traditional chemical and physical data to study whole-system effects of nutrient enrichment on water quality and nutrient cycling dynamics of estuarine and near-shore ecosystems.


Katie Haviland Photo

Katherine Haviland

M.S. Candidate
Natural Resources

As of fall 2017, I am a first year M.Sc. student in Natural Resources, hoping to continue on to a Ph.D. My current research involves coupled C- and S-cycling in estuarine sediments and the interactions between sediment biogeochemistry and ecosystem function in West Falmouth Harbor's seagrass meadows. I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Geographical Sciences, and became interested in pursuing estuarine biogeochemistry while performing undergraduate research on the northern Chesapeake Bay.