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Welcome to the Abbott Lab of Ecosystem Ecology

We research how human activity affects the water and nutrient cycles that sustain all life on Earth. Our current projects investigate water chemistry in river networks undergoing permafrost degradation in Alaska, nutrient pollution in agricultural and urban landscapes around the world, and interactions among people, wildfire, and water quality in the Utah Lake watershed. We also use expert assessment methods to explore how sub-sea permafrost, air pollution, wildfire, and water security respond to environmental changes.

We are always looking for creative and motivated students to help address these important environmental and societal issues. Send an email to Ben (details below) if you are interested in joining the team!


  1. Our report on COVID-19 and the use of masks is now out. Visit the COVID-19 page, or click here for the PDF.
  2. We are recruiting a MS or PhD student to work on our Megafire project, which investigates how large and severe fires affect aquatic ecosystems and people in the Intermountain West. Potential start date in fall of 2020 or summer of 2021.
  3. Our report on the health impacts and economic costs of air pollution in Utah is now out. Visit the air pollution page. or click here for the PDF.

Ben Abbott
Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Ecology
Brigham Young University
Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences

Google Scholar


After a mega fire: how waterways are impacted by wildfires