Debra Peters

Debra Peters

Primary Research Interests:

  • Global change effects on ecosystem dynamics across spatial scales; boundary and ecotone dynamics; spatially-explicit simulation modeling of ecosystem dynamics; nonlinear spatial and temporal dynamics; catastrophic events; cross-scale interactions

Selected Publications:

  • Peters DPC, Havstad KM, Archer SR, and Sala O.E. 2015. Beyond desertification: new paradigms for dryland landscapes. Front Ecol Environ 1: 4-12.
  • Peters DPC, Yao J, Browning DB, Rango A. 2014. Mechanisms of grass response in grasslands and shrublands during dry or wet periods. Oecologia 174: 1323-34.
  • Peters DPC, Yao J, Sala OE, et al. 2012. Directional climate change and potential reversal of desertification in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Global Change Biol. 18:151-163.
  • Peters DPC, Bestelmeyer BT, Herrick JE, et al. 2006. Disentangling complex landscapes: new insights to forecasting arid and semiarid system dynamics. BioScience. 56: 491-501.
  • Peters DPC, Pielke Sr RA, Bestelmeyer BT, Allen CD, Munson-McGee S, Havstad KM. 2004. Cross scale interactions, nonlinearities, and forecasting catastrophic events. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 101: 15130-15135.

Synergistic Activities:

  • Editor-in-Chief: Ecosphere journal (2010-present)
  • Member: Advisory and Governing Boards, National Ecological Observatory Network (2008-2010), Ecological Society of America (2009-2010); USGS John Wesley Powell Center (2010-2016)
  • Co-lead: EcoTrends Project (2006-present)
  • Co-lead: USDA-ARS Grant Challenge Project to transform predictive disease ecology using Big Data (2016-present)

Leadership Activities:

  • Lead research scientist, USDA ARS, Jornada Experimental Range (2002-2010). Responsibilities include leading synergistic activities and coordinating research among the 11 research scientists based at the Jornada. Responsible for: directing the writing of the 5 year project plan approved by the ARS in 2002 and in 2007, leading research scientists meetings, supervising staff and managing resources, interacting with National Program Leaders (NP205), and completing annual reports.
  • Lead principal investigator, Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research Project funded by the National Science Foundation (2003- ). Responsibilities include leading and integrating research of 16 research scientists (11 non-ARS), developing and writing the renewal proposal funded in 2006, 2012, 2016, communicating with NSF program officers and PIs from other LTER sites, responding to LTER Network-level requests, and leading NSF site reviews.
  • Lead and co-initiator of the “Trends in Long-Term Ecological Data project” (2004 - ). Responsibilities include leading the development and implementation of the project, and coordinating data and metadata synthesis activities among scientists and technical staff from 26 LTER sites, 9 USFS sites, 8 USDA ARS sites, and one site from the University of Arizona. Provide leadership in promoting local to regional and continental-scale synthesis by providing easily accessible derived data from raw data collected by the sites. Provide leadership in development of two products: a book illustrating the utility of long-term data in addressing within-site and continental-scale scientific questions, and a dynamic web page containing easily accessible derived data and metadata.