Environment & Resources, PhD
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE)
Motew’s research uses numerical models to investigate how drivers of change, such as climate and land use, affect the structure and function of ecosystems. For her Master’s degree she investigated the impact of recent climate change on natural vegetation across the U.S. Upper Midwest. For her PhD, she is studying phosphorus cycling and transport within the Yahara Watershed as part of the WSC project. Her role on the project is to help develop a suite of biophysical models that will simulate watershed outcomes of P under scenarios of changing land use and land cover (LULC), land management, climate, and CO2. Her dissertation will focus on both historical and future drivers of P cycling in the watershed.
Motew’s academic and professional background prior to graduate school was in physics and systems analysis, but her goal as a graduate student has been to apply her technical skills to solving complex environmental issues. Prior to coming to the UW-Madison in 2009 she spent six years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and before that she obtained a B.S. in physics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.