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Cayelan Carey

Professor of Biological Sciences

Cayelan Carey

2027 Derring Hall (MC 0406)
926 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA

Major Field of Interest

Freshwater Ecology, Community and Ecosystem Ecology

Current Research

Dr. Carey's research integrates population, community, and ecosystem ecology to examine how natural and anthropogenic perturbations affect freshwater systems. A current research focus is on understanding how feedbacks between microbial and plankton taxa, food webs, and nutrient cycling can mediate ecosystem resilience to eutrophication and climate change. We work across lakes, reservoirs, and streams, and use models, field experiments, and long-term data analysis to determine how stressors affect both biological communities and ecosystem services.

  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Limnology, 2012-2013
  • Ph.D. in Ecology, Cornell University, 2012
  • Fulbright Fellow, Uppsala University, Sweden, 2006-2007
  • A.B. in Environmental Biology, Dartmouth College, 2006
  • 2019 Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2018 Elected Fellow, Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography (ASLO)
  • 2018 Yentsch-Schindler Early Career Award, Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography (ASLO)
  • 2018 Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2017 Outstanding Graduate Advising Award, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2017 Favorite Faculty Award, Division of Student Affairs, Virginia Tech
  • 2015 Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2015 Fralin Young Investigator Award, Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech
  • 2014 Ralph E. Bennett Endowed Lecture in Plant Ecology, University of Michigan
  • 2014 Best Science Visualization of the Year, Wired Magazine: Pauli, J.N., J.E. Mendoza, S.A. Steffan, C.C. Carey, P.J. Weimer, and M.Z. Peery. A syndrome of mutualism reinforces the life history of a sloth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281(1778):20133006. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3006 1471-2954.
  • 2014 Outstanding Reviewer Award, Journal of Plankton Research
  • 2014 Featured Article of Freshwater Science volume 33, issue 2: Spatial and temporal variability in recruitment of the cyanobacterium Gloeotrichia echinulata in an oligotrophic lake
  • 2014 Dave Pearson Watershed Excellence Award, Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association
  • 2014 Invited Speaker, Early Career Scientists Symposium on ‘Humans as a force of Ecological and Evolutionary Change,’ University of Michigan
  • 2012 Best Oral Presentation in Applied Research, Society for Freshwater Science meeting
  • 2012 Eco-DAS X Fellow, funded by NSF, ONR, NASA, & NOAA
  • 2011 R.H. Whittaker Award, Cornell Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • 2007 Oral Presentation Award, Symposium of European Freshwater Scientists, Palermo, Italy
  • 2006 2nd place prize for best presentation, Dartmouth College Karen Wetterhahn Symposium,Hanover, New Hampshire
  • 2006 President’s Award for best undergraduate presentation, Northeast Algal Society Meeting, Poughkeepsie, New York
  • 2006 Christopher Reed Biology Award, Dartmouth College Department of Biological Sciences, Hanover, New Hampshire