• Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Environmental & Sustainability
  • Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Environmental & Sustainability
  • Research Assistant Professor, Geography Department
  • Academic Advisor, Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Research Summary

I am an ecosystem ecologist whose research examines how global changes (climate change, urbanization, altered flow regimes, and non-native species invasions) affect microbial community dynamics and ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling and decomposition. I also am interested in river and riparian restoration. I use a variety of approaches, including field and laboratory studies and syntheses of scientific literature. I enjoy collaborative, interdisciplinary projects.


  • BA, Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • PhD, Biology, University of New Mexico


Jennifer Follstad Shah is an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) and an Academic Advisor in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENVST) Program within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Jennifer has taught several courses within the ENVST Program, both online and on campus. She also has led a field course that includes a service learning project in which students help to conserve plant cover at Atla Ski Resort.

Jennifer is also a Research Assistant Professor in Geography and is a member of the Records of Environmental Disturbance (RED) lab. She is a freshwater ecosystem ecologist whose research examines the effects of global change (rising temperature, altered river flow, eutrophication, and biotic invasion) on microbial community ecoenyme expression and ecological processes, such as metabolism, decomposition, and nutrient cycling. She also is interested in the practice of restoration in river, riparian, and wetland habitats.

Jennifer is an affiliate member of the Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC) at the University of Utah and the multi-institutional iUTAH (innovative Urban Transitions and Arid-regions Hydrosustainability) Network.