Dr. Irving A. Mendelssohn

Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
3263 Energy, Coast and Environment Bldg., School of the Coast and Environment
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Tel : 225 578-6425
Fax : 225 578-6423
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EDUCATION

North Carolina State University, Ph. D., Botany, 1978
William and Mary/Virginia Institute of Marine Science, M.S., Marine Science, 1973
Wilkes College, B. A. Biology, 1969

Professional Experience

Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 1989- present.
Associate Professor, same as above, 1983-1989
Assistant Professor, same as above, 1979-1983
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Laboratory for Wetland Soils and Sediments, Center for Wetland Resources, Louisiana State University, 1977-1979.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

The focus of my research is applied and basic coastal plant ecology.   My primary research interests are 1) wetland and barrier island ecology and restoration and 2) environmental constraints on vegetation distribution and productivity.   More specifically, my research emphasizes the restoration and sustainability of coastal wetlands, the analysis of the causes of vegetation dieback in coastal marshes, the effects of disturbance, natural and man-induced, on the ecology and restoration of coastal vegetation and the effects of multiple stressors, including nutrient enrichment, on wetland structure and function. I have also investigated impacts and remediation of oil spills in wetland environments. I am presently assessing the use of hydraulically dredged sediment-slurries to restore degraded coastal marshes as part of the CWPPRA’s Barataria Land Bridge Restoration Project, as well as investigations of the impact of t
he Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on coastal wetlands. My consulting activities have primarily emphasized analyses of cause of wetland land loss and impacts and remediation of oil spills.

TEACHING INTERESTS

I have taught three primary courses at LSU: Plants in Coastal Environments, Applied Coastal Plant Ecology and Human Impacts on Coastal Plant Ecosystems.

Five Publications Most Relevant to Research Proposed

Stagg, C. L. and I. A. Mendelssohn. 2011. Controls on resilience and stability in a sediment-subsidized salt marsh. Ecological Applications 21:1731–1744.
Stagg, C. L. and I. A. Mendelssohn. 2010. Restoring ecological function to a submerged salt marsh. Restoration Ecology 18:10-17.
Schrift, A., I. A. Mendelssohn and M. Materne. 2008. Salt marsh restoration with sediment-slurry amendments following a drought-induced large-scale disturbance. Wetlands 28:1071-1085.
Slocum, M. G., I. A. Mendelssohn, and N. L. Kuhn. 2005. Effects of sediment slurry enrichment on salt marsh rehabilitation: Plant and soil responses over seven years. Estuaries 28:519-528.
Mendelssohn, I.A. and N.L. Kuhn. 2003. Sediment subsidy: Effects on soil-plant responses in a rapidly submerging coastal salt marsh. Ecological Engineering 21:115-128.

Selected OTHER Publications

Mendelssohn, I. A. and 10 other authors. 2012. Oil impacts on coastal wetlands: Implications for the Mississippi River Delta Ecosystem after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. BioScience 62:562-574.
Graham, S. A. and I. A. Mendelssohn. 2010. Multiple levels of nitrogen applied to an oligohaline marsh identify a plant community response sequence to eutrophication. Marine Ecology Progress Series 417:73-82. 2010
Slocum, M. G. and I.A. Mendelssohn. 2008. Effects of three stressors on the vegetation of a oligohaline marsh. Freshwater Biology 53:1783-1796.
Slocum, M. G. and I.A. Mendelssohn. 2008. Use of experimental disturbances to assess resilience along a known stress gradient. Ecological Indicators 8:181-190.
Mendelssohn, I.A. and D. Batzer. 2006.  Abiotic constraints for wetland plants and animals, pp. 82-114. In: Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands (D. P. Batzer and R. R. Sharitz, eds.), University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Mendelssohn, I. A. and J. T. Morris.  2000.  Eco-physiological constraints on the primary productivity of Spartina alterniflora.  Pp. 59-80. in:  Concepts and Controversies of Tidal Marsh Ecology.  Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Synergistic Activities

  • National/International Reviews: Sea Grant Program; Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee that reviews the University of Maryland’s Multiscale Experimental Ecosystem Research Center (EPA funded); Member of the review committee of the European Union program investigating global climate change impacts and their relationship to the European wide die-back of the common reed, Phragmites australis;
  • Journal Services: Associate Editor, Estuaries, 1983-1989;  Editorial Review Board, Tree Physiology, 1987-88; Associate Editor, Wetlands, 1999 to 2002; Editorial Board, Flora 2005–present
  • Reviewing Activities:  Extensive scientific review of manuscripts and proposals for various journals and funding agencies, respectively.
  • Publications and Invited Presentations:  More than a 130 refereed journal papers and more than 75 invited presentations nationally and internationally.
  • Honors: Elected a Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists (2010): Honorary Doctorate from the University of Aarhus, Denmark for exceptional contributions to research and collaboration between Aarhus University and Louisiana State University – September 2009; Outstanding Faculty Research Award, The School of the Coast and Environment, LSU - 2008-2009; Society of Wetland Scientists’ Merit Award for 2008 in recognition of outstanding contributions to wetland science.

Collaborating Scientists

 

  • K. L. McKee, J. W. Day, M. W. Hester, H. Brix, B. Sorrell,  B. Frey, R. E. Turner, N. Rabalais, D. Reed, B. Lorenzen, Samantha Joye, Merryl Alber, Matthew Slocum, Brian Silliman, Michael Materne

 

Graduate and post-graduate advisors

 

  • Kenneth Marcellus, College of William and Mary, (M.S. advisor)
  • Ernest Seneca, North Carolina State University, Raleigh (Ph.D. advisor)
  • William H. Patrick, Jr., LSU (Post-graduate mentor)

Graduate Student Advisees

  • 23 graduate students receiving MS or Ph.D. degrees and 5 current graduate students.

Post-doc Advisees

  • Kern Ewing, Tao Kong, Joergen Lissner, Joachim Busch, Hongjun Chen, Matthew Slocum, Shuwen Li

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