Curtis J. Richardson
John O. Blackburn ProfessorCurtis J. Richardson is Professor of Resource Ecology and founding Director of the Duke University Wetland Center in the Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Richardson earned his degrees from the State University of New York and the University of Tennessee. His research interests in applied ecology focus on long-term ecosystem response to large-scale perturbations such as climate change, toxic materials, trace metals, flooding, or nutrient additions. He has specific interests in phosphorus nutrient dynamics in wetlands and the effects of environmental stress on plant communities and ecosystem functions and services. The objectives of his research are to utilize ecological principles to develop new approaches to environmental problem solving. The goal of his research is to provide predictive models and approaches to aid in the management of ecosystems. Recent research activities: 1) wetland restoration of plant communities and its effects on regional water quality and nutrient biogeochemical cycles, 2) the development of ecosystem metrics as indices of wetland restoration success, 3) the effects of nanomaterial on wetland and stream ecosystem processes, 4) the development of ecological thresholds along environmental gradients, 5) wetland development trends and restoration in coastal southeastern United States, 6) the development of an outdoor wetland and stream research and teaching laboratory on Duke Forest, 7) differential nutrient limitation (DNL) as a mechanism to overcome N or P limitations across trophic levels in wetland ecosystems, and 8) carbon sequestration in coastal North Carolina pocosins.Richardson oversees the main analytical lab in NSOE, which is open to students and faculty. Dr. Richardson has been listed in Who's Who in Science™ annually since 1989 and was elected President of the Society of Wetland Scientists in 1987-88. He has served on many editorial review committees for peer-reviewed scientific journals, and he is a past Chair of the Nicholas School Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy. Dr. Richardson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Wetland Scientists, and the Soil Science Society of America.
Appointments and Affiliations
- John O. Blackburn Professor
- Professor with Tenure
- Office Location: A219A Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 613-8006
- Ph.D. University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1972
- B.S. State University of New York at Cortland, 1966
Dr. Richardson's research interests are in the area of applied ecology and are centered on wetlands ecology and restoration. The objectives of his research are to utilize ecological principles to develop new approaches to environmental problem solving. The goal of his research is to provide predictive models and approaches to aid in the management of ecosystems. His research has focused on long-term ecosystem responses to large-scale perturbations such as nutrient additions, hydrologic alterations and trace metal effects in such areas as the Everglades and the marshes of Iraq. More recently he and his graduate students have focused on the development of indicators of ecological thresholds. His specific area of research is biogeochemistry with a focus interest in phosphorus nutrient dynamics in ecosystems. Major research efforts have focused on wetlands as nutrient sinks and transformers. Currently funded NSF research is testing the concept of differential nutrient limitation (DNL) as a mechanism to overcome N or P limitations across trophic levels in ecosystems. Other funded research activities in his lab include: 1) The effects of climate change on invasive species in wetlands, 2) restoration of wetland plant communities and the effects of diversity on regional water quality and nutrient biogeochemical cycles, 3) development of ecosystem metrics as indices of wetland restoration success, 4) the development of ecological thresholds along environmental gradients, 5) effects and cycling of nanomaterials in wetland ecosystems, and 6) the development of an outdoor wetland research and teaching laboratory on Duke Campus.
coastal zone management
- ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
- ENVIRON 809: Wetland Restoration Ecology
- ENVIRON 812: Wetlands Ecology and Management
- ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
- ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project
In the News
- Richardson Takes Duke Kunshan Students on Field Trip to Local Wetlands (Nov 22, 2016)
- Curtis Richardson comments: IRS tees off on golf courses' green tax claims (Jan 5, 2016 | The Wall Street Journal )
- News Tip: Experts Available to Discuss 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (Jul 27, 2015)
- Carbon Emissions from Peatlands May be Less Than Expected (May 12, 2015)
- Peatland carbon emissions may not be so bad (May 12, 2015 | Science 2.0 )
- BP oil spill five years later: Gulf shows signs of recovery (Apr 22, 2015 | The Street )
- Using Turtles as a Measure of Stream Restoration Success (Dec 19, 2014)
- Warming climate puts wetlands more at risk to invasive species (Dec 16, 2014 | Environmental News Network )
- Wetlands More Vulnerable To Invasives As Climate Changes (Dec 9, 2014)
- Nicholas Study Targets Carbon Cycling in Peatlands (Sep 3, 2014)
- Curtis Richardson: NCSU could lose control of one-of-a-kind land (Nov 21, 2013 | The News & Observer )
- Winton, RS; Richardson, CJ, Top-down control of methane emission and nitrogen cycling by waterfowl., Ecology, vol 98 no. 1 (2017), pp. 265-277 [10.1002/ecy.1640] [abs].
- Winton, RS; Moorman, M; Richardson, CJ, Waterfowl Impoundments as Sources of Nitrogen Pollution, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, vol 227 no. 10 (2016) [10.1007/s11270-016-3082-x] [abs].
- Winton, RS; Richardson, CJ, A cost-effective method for reducing soil disturbance-induced errors in static chamber measurement of wetland methane emissions, Wetlands Ecology and Management, vol 24 no. 4 (2016), pp. 419-425 [10.1007/s11273-015-9468-5] [abs].
- Deonarine, A; Hsu-Kim, H; Zhang, T; Cai, Y; Richardson, CJ, Legacy source of mercury in an urban stream-wetland ecosystem in central North Carolina, USA., Chemosphere, vol 138 (2015), pp. 960-965 [10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.12.038] [abs].
- Winton, RS; Richardson, CJ, The Effects of Organic Matter Amendments on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Mitigation Wetland in Virginia’s Coastal Plain, Wetlands, vol 35 no. 5 (2015), pp. 969-979 [10.1007/s13157-015-0674-y] [abs].