Skip to main content
Awards & Honors
Graduate Student Handbook
Faculty & Staff Resources
Poster Printing Request
Agricultural Nutrient Management Program
Composting Program and Resources
Great Oaks Initiative
You are here
» Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman
Faculty & Staff Resources
Poster Printing Request
Department of Environmental Science and Technology
1428 Anim. Sci/Agr. Eng Bldg.
Personal Web Page
Ph.D., Ecology, University of Georgia, Odum School of Ecology, Athens, GA, August, 2003
M.S., Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Tennessee, Plant and Soil Sciences Department, Knoxville, TN, May, 1998
B.A., Environmental Studies, Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y), Binghamton, NY, May, 1995
Professional Positions Held:
2015-Present, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland
2008-2015, Assistant Research Professor, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona
2005-2012, Instructor, Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
2006-2008, Adjunct Instructor, School for New Learning, DePaul University
2004-2005, Adjunct Instructor, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
2004-2007, Post-doc Associate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
Associate Editor for Urban Ecology (section of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution)
Member of Pima County Flood Control District Low Impact Design Advisory Committee
Areas of Interest:
Ecohydrology Ecosystem services
Urban ecosystems, green infrastructure function, and ecosystem services
Current research looks at how soils, plants, and biogeochemistry of green infrastructure and the urban ecosystem function and provide ecosystem services. I am using in situ installations of street-scape water harvesting basins in Tucson, AZ to ask: How are soil quality and soil food webs impacted by the flush of materials following rain events? How does water harvesting impact microbial activity and soil C&N cycling? How does water harvesting impact plant function and ecosystem service provision? We utilize a combination of field and lab techniques from soil quality, soil microbial, biogeochemical, and ecophysiological approaches to collect data from these installations following precipitation events. This work is supplemented with a more controlled and replicated rain basin study at Biosphere 2 that manipulates soil composition to investigate water harvesting capacity and resulting impacts on plant and soil function. I am collaborating with faculty and students in Anthropology and Public Policy to investigate how green infrastructure and urban forests provide ecosystem services in Tucson. We are utilizing social-ecological approaches and mixed social and physical science methods to help stakeholders define and characterize ecosystem service supply and demand.
Social-ecological systems, ecosystem services, and ecological resilience
This project links ecology, hydrology, social science, and decision support in the San Pedro and Rio Sonora basins, and is funded by a NSF Dynamics of Coupled Human-Natural Systems grant. This collaborative effort will yield an agent-based model of these riparian socioecologic systems that will be used to assess resilience to external forcings such as climate, economic, and political changes. My group is exploring the provision of ecosystem services in the San Pedro River watershed with several approaches: (1) using plant trait based and soil ecological perspectives to explore the drivers of ecosystem services (i.e., carbon sequestration, sediment retention, birding habitat, aesthetics) at inter and intra specific scales. (2) using ecosystem service assessment and mapping approaches, we are exploring how land use has changed over the past 40 years and how this impacts ecosystem service provision.
Hot Spots in Urban Social-Ecological Systems: Streetscape Green Infrastructure in a Desert City (in preparation for JEQ)
Hough, M., Scott, C.A.,
, Using trait-based ecology to identify thresholds in the ecosystem service cascade: a framework for decision making (in prep for Ecosphere)
Hough, M., B. Enquist, and
. Assessing appropriate levels of resolution for measurements of plant community response and effect to environmental change (in prep for Journal of Ecology)
Knerl, A., and
. Linking ecohydrologic conceptual frameworks with green infrastructure design to promote urban ecosystem services (in prep for Frontiers in Ecology and Environment)
Chan, D., and
. Using ecosystem services to understand the impacts of land cover change: A case study of the Upper San Pedro watershed (in prep for Ecosystem Services)
, and T.P. Evans (2015) Debates – Perspectives on socio-hydrology: Socio-hydrologic modeling: Tradeoffs, hypothesis testing, and validation. Water Resources Research 51(6): 4806–4814.
Tanner, C., F. Adler, N. Grimm, P. Groffman, S. Levin, J. Munshi-South, D. Pataki,
, W. Wilson (2014) Urban ecology: advancing science and society. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 574–581.
Zhang X., Niu G.-Y., Elshall A.S., Ye M., Barron-Gafford G.A., and
. (2014): Assessing five evolving microbial enzyme models against field measurements from a semiarid savannah – What are the mechanisms of soil respiration pulses? Geophysical Research Letters 41 DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061399
, T. Carter, F. Montalto, W. Schuster, E. Stander, and O. Starry. 2013. Mapping the design process for urban ecological researchers. Bioscience 63(11): 852-864
Setala, H., Bardgett, R., Birkhofer, K, Brady, M., Byrne, L., de Ruiter, PC, de Vries, F., Gardi, C., Hedlund, K., Hemerik, L., Hotes, S., Liiri, M., Mortimer, S.R.,
, R. Pouyat, Tsiafouli, M., van der Putten, W. 2013. Urban soils and agricultural soils: conflicts and trade-offs in the optimization of ecosystem services. Urban Ecosystems, DOI 10.1007/s11252-013-0311-6
. and L.B. Byrne. 2009. Ecological theory from the perspective of urban soils: Digging deeper or scratching the surface? Urban Ecosystems. 12:9-20.
. 2008. The nature of urban soils and their role in ecological restoration in cities. Restoration Ecology. 16:642-649.
. Urban ecosystem services as a foundation for planning and designing resilient cities (2015) in Lansey, K. and Vavafai, H. (eds) American and Iranian Perspectives on Resilient Cities, Conference Proceedings, National Academies of Science and Engineering Press.
. 2012. Urbanization, soils, and ecosystem services. D. H. Wall, R. D. Bardgett, V. Behan Pelletier, J. E. Herrick, H. P. Jones, K. Ritz, J. Six, D. R. Strong, and W. H. van der Putten, editors. Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services. p.270-281. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Pouyat, R.V., M.C. Carreirro, P. Groffman,
. 2010. Investigative approaches to urban biogeochemical cycles: New York metropolitan area and Baltimore as case studies. in McDonnell, M.J., Hahs, A., and J. Breuste (eds.). Comparative Ecology of Cities and Towns. p 329-351. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering Lab
Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering Laboratory provides state-of-the-art support in simulating the natural hydrologic conditions by using a 30-ft flume, a rainfall simulator, a hydrograph tank, and a drainage/water table management tank. This lab supports both research, senior capstone, and teaching hydrologic principles. This Lab is coordinated by Drs. Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman and Adel Shirmohammadi, but they welcomes its use by other colleagues by appointment. It should be noted that this lab is also capable of performing soil particle size analysis and determination of soil hydraulic properties including soil water characteristic curve (i.e., tension curve) and soil hydraulic conductivity.
For Faculty & Staff
Giving to ENST
Committed to offering exemplary teaching programs. Conducting internationally renowned research. Coordinating outstanding extension/outreach efforts. Engaging individuals, groups, and communities to improve quality of life in Maryland and beyond.
Maintained by the
of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2017.