Research Assistant Professor · PhD Duke University, 2007
In many environments exhibiting rapid geomorphic change, landscapes evolve by a combination of physical, biological, and anthropogenic forces. In my research, I aim to better understand how these coupled processes influence the formation and survival of large scale landscapes, and how they respond to climate change. The couplings are particularly strong in tidal marshes, where I concentrate most of my research. Of course, these ecogeomorphic couplings apply to landscapes beyond marshes, and I’m particularly interested in exploring their relevance to deltas, river floodplains, and Appalachian hillslopes.
For recent publications, please see:
Mozdzer, TJ, Kirwan, M, McGlathery, KJ, and Zieman, JC, 2011. Nitrogen uptake by the shoots of smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora. Marine Ecology Progress Series, v. 433, p. 43-52, doi:10.3354/meps09117.
Kirwan, ML and Blum, LK, 2011. Enhanced decomposition offsets enhanced productivity and soil carbon accumulation in coastal wetlands responding to climate change. Biogeosciences, v. 8, p. 987-993,
Kirwan, ML, Murray, AB, Donnelly, JP, and Corbett, DR, 2011. Rapid wetland expansion during European settlement and its implication for marsh survival under modern sediment delivery rates. Geology, v. 39; p. 507–510, doi:10.1130/G31789.1.
Gedan, KB, Kirwan ML, Wolanski, E, Barbier, EB, and Silliman, BR, 2011. The present and future role of coastal wetland vegetation in protecting shorelines: Answering recent challenges to the paradigm. Climatic Change, v. 106, p. 7–29, doi:10.1007/s10584-010-0003-7.
Kirwan, ML, Guntenspergen, GR, D’Alpaos, A, Morris, JT, Mudd, SM, and Temmerman, S, 2010. Limits on the adaptability of coastal marshes to rising sea level. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L23401, doi:10.1029/2010GL045489.
Kolker, AS, Kirwan, ML, Goodbred, SL, and Cochran, JK, 2010. Global climate changes recorded in coastal wetland sediments: empirical observation linked to theoretical predictions. Geophysical Research Letters, v. 37, L14706, doi:10.1029/2010GL043874.
Kirwan, ML, and Guntenspergen, GR, 2010. The influence of tidal range on the stability of coastal marshland. Journal of Geophysical Research- Earth Surface, v. 115, F02009, doi:10.1029/2009JF001400.
Kirwan, M and Temmerman, S., 2009. Coastal marsh response to historical and future sea-level acceleration. Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 28, p. 1801-1808, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.02.022.
Kirwan, ML, Guntenspergen, GR, and Morris, JT., 2009. Latitudinal trends in Spartina alterniflora productivity and the response of coastal marshes to global change. Global Change Biology, v. 15, p. 1982-1989, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01834.x
Kirwan, ML and Guntenspergen, GR., 2009. Accelerated sea-level rise – a response to Craft et al. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. v. 7, p. 126-127. doi: 10.1890/09.WB.005 (Peer-reviewed letter)
Kirwan, ML and Murray, AB. 2008. Tidal marshes as disequilibrium landscapes? Lags between morphology and Holocene sea level. Geophysical Research Letters. v. 35, L24401,doi:10.1029/2008GL036050.
Murray, AB, Knaapen, MAF, Tal, M, and Kirwan, ML. 2008. Biomorphodynamics: Physical-biological feedbacks that shape landscapes. Water Resources Research, v. 44, W11301, doi:10.1029/2007WR006410.
Kirwan, ML, Murray, AB, and Boyd, WS., 2008. Temporary vegetation disturbance as an explanation for permanent loss of tidal wetlands. Geophysical Research Letters, v. 35, L05403, doi:10.1029/2007GL032681.
Kirwan, ML and Murray, AB., 2008. Ecological and morphological response of brackish tidal marshland to the next century of sea level rise: WesthamIsland, British Columbia. Global and Planetary Change, v. 60, p. 471-486.
Kirwan, ML and Murray, AB., 2007. A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,v. 104, p. 6118-6122 doi:10.1073/pnas.0700958104.
Hancock, G and Kirwan, M. 2007. Summit erosion rates deduced from 10Be: Implications for relief production in the Central Appalachians. Geology, v.35, p. 89-92.
Kirwan, ML, Kirwan JL, and Copenheaver CA. 2007. Dynamics of an estuarine forest and its response to rising sea level. Journal of Coastal Research, v.23, p. 457-463.