David Nelson

Team Member Category: Research Partner
Professional Title: Director and Professor
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Areas of Expertise

  • Stable isotope ecology
  • Ecology and evolution of C4 grasses
  • Wind-wildlife interactions
  • Watershed biogeochemistry


Dr. Nelson is a Professor and Director of the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Frostburg, Maryland. He is a broadly trained ecologist who uses chemical signatures called stable isotopes to investigate the effects of environmental changes on ecological and biogeochemical processes. He has worked on a variety of taxa (plants, animals, microbes) and systems (grasslands, forests, lakes, streams) across various temporal scales throughout the world. He founded and directs theĀ Central Appalachians Stable Isotope Facility, which is housed at the Appalachian Lab. As Director, he is responsible for operations and programs of the Lab, including strategic planning and implementation; faculty hiring, mentorship, and promotion; budget and resource planning; external relations; advancement; facilities management and planning; information technology services; and promoting a culture of belonging and civility.

Photo of Dave Nelson