Melissa Hey’s presentation will be about the environmental impact of light pollution, She is working on her PhD in the Department of Environmental Sciences here at the University of Virginia.
Artificial light at night is a pervasive sensory pollutant which has plagued the efforts of astronomical research for decades. However, only in recent years has the biological community begun to recognize the potential for this pollutant to impact individuals, populations, and communities. My research is aimed at understanding the consequences of ecological light pollution and how it may be indirectly affecting ecosystem processes such as nutrient transfer and decomposition through animal behavior and movement. In my talk I will discuss the implications from different light sources with respect to their polluting power, ways to mitigate light pollution, and address the known biological ramifications of light at night, as well as present my own research conducted at UVA on ecosystem functioning under light at night.