• Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Environmental & Sustainability
  • Associate Professor, Geography Department

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 applied research related to river and riparian restoration and green infrastructure. I use a variety of approaches, including field and laboratory studies and syntheses of scientific literature.


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


Jennifer Follstad Shah is an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENVST) Program and a Research Assistant Professor in Geography, both within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Jennifer has taught several courses within the ENVST Program, both online and on campus. Some courses are heavily field based with a focus on research methods or service learning. Some courses are designed with a focus on community engaged learning (CEL). 

Jennifer was trained as a freshwater ecosystem ecologist at the University of New Mexico and completed a postdoc through Duke University. Her research examines the effects of global change (rising temperature, altered river flow, eutrophication, and biotic invasion) on ecological processes, such as metabolism, decomposition, and nutrient cycling. She also is interested in the practice of restoration in river, riparian, and wetland habitats and the efficacy of designer ecosystems, such as green infrastructure.

Jennifer is is a member of the Records of Environmental Disturbance (RED) lab, an affiliate of the Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC) and on the steering committee for the Center for Ecological Planning at Design (CEPD), all at the University of Utah.