David D. Hart
Director, George J. Mitchell Center/Professor of Biological Sciences
Watershed science and management
Together with students and postdoctoral fellows, my work examines the role played by flowing water as a master variable governing river ecosystems. In collaboration with experts in biomechanics and hydraulic engineering, I investigate the myriad effects of flow on ecosystem structure and function, as well as the complex ways in which human alterations of flow regimes affect river health. This research has ranged from studies of the microflow environments experienced by individual river organisms to analyses of ecosystem responses to multi-million dollar restoration programs in which dam operations have been modified to improve the health of degraded rivers.
I am more broadly engaged in multidisciplinary research to increase the effectiveness of watershed management practices, including activities such as riparian restoration, dam removal, and the control of invasive species. With the Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Science I work to maximize the usefulness of multidisciplinary environmental research by developing robust partnerships with key stakeholders involved in environmental decision-making. The Mitchell Center also serves as a forum for the discussion of controversial and complex environmental issues facing Maine and other regions.