As an Associate Professor at Eastern Washington University, I conduct research on riparian and plant ecology and teach Ecology, Botany, Research Design and Literature, and Riparian Ecology.
I am actively seeking graduate students who are interested in pursuing a master's degree in plant or riparian ecology. Please contact me if you are interested.
Some of my recent research projects include:
Jeffrey A. Corkill, Professor, PhD., University of Exeter
Dr. Corkill's interests include: the use of gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in the analysis of organic compounds in (i) smoke derived from agricultural and silvicultural burning practices, (ii) chemical communication between conifer during herbivory, (iii) pesticide residues in organic and conventional food; integration on state-of-the-art chemical laboratory and the development of course internet-based lecture notes.
My research interest is focused on utilizing spectroscopic techniques to characterize, detect, and quantify gas phase chemicals. The characterization of chemicals is accomplished through the analysis of high resolution (~0.001 cm-1) infrared and Raman spectra. This analysis yields important information regarding molecular structural parameters such as precise bond lengths and bond angles, as well as yielding information regarding the bonding energy between atoms in a molecule. Chemical concentrations are determined through analysis of low resolution (~0.125 cm-1) infrared spectra and has been used to 1) validate chemical agent detectors, 2) determine temperature dependent vapor pressure and enthalpy of vaporization parameters, as well as 3) determine Henry's Law constants. Addition research interests involve the use of cavity enhanced techniques such as cavity ringdown spectroscopy and integrated cavity output spectroscopy to detect chemicals at trace levels. Current projects involve investigating reaction rates of ozone with anthropogenically produced carbon compounds as well as developing methods that increase the precision to which chemical concentrations are reported.
I am an aquatic ecologist with a strong interest in links between ecosystem processes and community interactions, and how these are affected by natural landscapes. I am particularly interested in how resource fluxes affect organisms' interactions, and conversely, how species traits and interactions affect pathways of nutrient and carbon cycling. My graduate research focused on how the ecological role of caddisfly grazers varied with watershed landscape position. I identified stream size thresholds associated with changes in grazing regimes. My findings also suggested that traits of primary consumers have consequences for whether algal energy is transferred up the food web to predators, or sequestered in predator-defended herbivores.
Currently I am collaborating with researchers from the University of California, University of Minnesota, and Simon Frasier University on projects linking stream community and ecosystem processes to the landscape of a northern California watershed. Projects include 1) measuring nutrient regeneration by dominant invertebrates, 2) determining landscape controls on stream primary productivity and terrestrial carbon inputs, 3) using stable isotopes and diet analysis to compare how energy moves through food webs in productive and unproductive streams.
I have also become interested in using measurements of basic ecosystem processes, such as primary productivity and nutrient cycling, as tools to evaluate stream ecosystem health. Anthropogenic impacts to streams are often assessed through labor-intensive biological monitoring based on invertebrate or algal communities. Measurements of ecosystem processes may be cheaper and less labor-intensive, and provide more insight into functional changes that may have occurred. However, their application to biological assessment has not been well-tested. I have begun some preliminary work comparing measures of nutrient uptake to conventional biological assessment using invertebrates, which I hope to expand.
BS - University of Southwestern Louisiana
MS - University of Alabama
PhD - University of Michigan
Interests: water and soil geochemistry, biogeochemistry, mineral dissolution, environmental geology
Precott College, 1973
Texas Tech University, 1975, M.S.
Texas Tech University, 1981, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Work: Smithsonian Institution; National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.
Advisor: Zoology, Wildlife Biology/Management/Conservation, Environmental Biology
Vertebrate Zoology, Wildlife Management, Ornithology, Mammalogy, Conservation Biology.
Animal population ecology and community structure; conservation wildlife-habitat relationships.
University of California, Davis, 1998, Botany
Graduate Degree: Washington State University, 2005, PhD, Botany
Post Doctoral Work:
Mississippi State University, 2005-2006, Population Genetics; Portland State University, 2006-2007, Population Genetics
Biological Investigation; Introductory Biology for Majors (171, 172, 173); Summer field course (Geology/Biology); Molecular Ecology
I am deeply curious about patterns and processes that shape organismal diversity. I am interested in the evolution of morphological diversity in plants (e.g., plant architecture), historical biogeography and aspects of evolutionary ecology, such as habitat preferences, pollinator-mediated hybridization and introgression. My approaches have included developmental and comparative morphology, molecular systematics, population genetics and field pollination biology. My primary study system has been the small tribe Montieae (Portulacaceae), but additional systems have included Loasaceae and more recently Asclepias (Apocynaceae). With my research, I aim to synthesize evidence in a phylogenetic framework from diverse fields to understand plant species diversity.
Research opportunities for students are the central focus of my research agenda. I frame many of my research questions in "bite-sized" chunks, so that they are attractive and doable to students who may have limited time, but substantial interest. This approach produces project ideas that are perfect for student research because they can be accomplished as individualized units, but effectively contribute to my broader research objectives. However, providing projects from my own research are not the sole aim of my research agenda. I am equally motivated to mentor student-initiated independent projects. Students with an interest in plant systematics, population biology, biogeography or morphology are encouraged to contact me.
O'Quinn, R. and L. Hufford. 2005. Molecular Systematics of Montieae (Portulacaceae): Implications for taxonomy, biogeography and ecology. Systematic Botany. 30:314-331.
O'Quinn, R. and M. Fishbein. 2008. Isolation, characterization and cross-species amplification of polymorphic microsatellite loci in Asclepias (Apocynaceae). Conservation Genetics. In press, DOI 10.1007.
Eppley, S.M., O'Quinn, R., and A.L. Brown. 2009. New sequence-tagged site molecular markers for identification of sex in Distichlis spicata. Molecular Ecology Resources. 9:1373-1374.
Advisor: Botany, Environmental Biology
Plant Physiology, Mycology, General Biology, Environmental Science.
Physiological and ecological aspects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae, Restoration of disturbed land.
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