Staff Profile
James Holmquist Photo


Wetlands are historically undervalued resources that have been ditched, drained, diked and extracted at the long-term cost of their many valuable services such as habitat, coastal protection, water quality improvement, and my focus, carbon storage. I am an ecologist specializing in wetlands and climate change issues at the ecosystem scale. I earned a BA in Biology from Loyola Marymount University, where I was also an undergraduate researcher in the Ballona Wetlands. During my Biology PhD work at University of California, Los Angeles, I began to research feedbacks between wetland landscapes, atmosphere, and climate on millennial time scales. I wrote my dissertation on the Holocene-length history of peat initiation, carbon storage, and hydrology of remote boreal peat bogs in Northern Ontario, Canada. As a postdoc at UCLA, and now at SERC, I lead efforts to measure carbon storage rates in coastal wetlands using dated sediment cores, as well as contribute to models of coastal resilience in the face of projected sea-level rise. I am currently funded by NASA Carbon Monitoring Systems improve our accounting of coastal wetland carbon storage in the US.