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Lori Sutter

Director of Plant, Water & Soils Lab (Whitehall Phillips Lab Facility)
Research Scientist

Contact Information

Pictured: Lori Sutter

Contact Lori Sutter

Campus address

Whitehall Forest - Phillips Wood Utilization Bldg Room 110
Lab phone number:


Ph.D. Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2014
M.E.M. Wetland Ecology, Duke University, 1992
B.S. Wildlife & Fisheries, Texas A&M University, 1990

I am broadly interested in the effects of climate change and other stressors on wetland ecology. My research emphasizes the response of tidal marshes to climate change, especially sea-level rise and salt-water intrusion. Through field measurements, greenhouse experiments, and outdoor laboratory and field manipulations, I investigate how tidal marsh vegetation and the interactions between plants and animals respond to changing environmental drivers. In the field, I measure environmental parameters over time and correlate vegetation changes. I also limit herbivore access to vegetation and measure changes in plant response. I use outdoor mesocosms to manipulate salinity and plant interactions to isolate responses that help to explain what I observe in the field. I have a project starting soon to measure native plant vegetation response to increased carbon dioxide concentration, nitrogen additions, and invasive species. I have recently returned to my previous work with geospatial modeling and landscape ecology to project field responses to a larger context. My overall goal is to better understand the complex feedbacks between plants, animals, and changing physical environments that will ultimately determine marsh resilience to climate change.

Recent Citations:

Ryland, R., A.T. Thompson, L.A. Sutter and D. Markewitz. In Revision. Mapping depth to the argillic horizon on historically farmed soil under forests in the southeastern USA piedmont. Geoderma

Peters, S.J.W., E. Saikawa, D. Markewitz, L.A, Sutter, A. Avramov, Z. Sanders, B. Yosen, K. Wakabayashi, G. Martin, J. Andrews and N.S. Hill. 2020. Soil trace gas fluxes in living mulch and conventional agricultural systems. Journal of Environmental Quality

Batzer, D.B., L.A. Sutter, G. Cordona-Rivera, J. Schmidt, A. Sial. 2019. How wetlands benefit Georgia agriculture. University of Georgia Agricultural Extension Bulletin 1519.

Zhao, D, B. P. Bullock, C. R. Montes, M. Wang, W. D. Greene, and L. A. Sutter. 2019. Loblolly pine outperforms slash pine in the southeastern United States – A long-term experimental comparison study. Forest Ecology and Management 450:117532

Sutter, L.A., R.M. Chambers, M.E. Karp and J.E. Perry, III. 2019. A test of top-down control on plant production and quality in low-salinity tidal marshes. Aquatic Sciences 81:16

Paudel, B., N.B. Weston, J. O’Connor, L.A. Sutter and D.J. Velinsky. 2017. Phosphorus dynamics in the water column and sediments of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Journal of Coastal Research 78:60-69

Sutter, L.A., R.C. Gardner and J.E. Perry, III. 2015. Science and policy of U.S. wetlands. Tulane Environmental Law Journal 29: 31-64

Sutter, L.A., N.B. Weston and S.T. Goldsmith. 2015. (invited). Hydraulic fracturing: Potential impacts to wetlands (State of the Science Reports). Wetland Science and Practice 32:7-16

Sutter, L.A., R.M. Chambers and J.E. Perry, III. 2015. Seawater intrusion mediates species transition in low salinity, tidal marsh vegetation. Aquatic Botany 122:32-39

Sutter, L.A., J.E. Perry, III and R.M. Chambers. 2014. Tidal freshwater marsh pant responses to low level salinity increases. Wetlands 34:167-175


Graduate: Wetland Ecology - ENTO/ECOL/PBIO 8150 & 8150L

Undergraduate: Natural History of Georgia - FANR/ECOL/GEOG 1200

Courses Regularly Taught:

Executive Board (Treasurer): Society of Wetland Scientists

Mentor: Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Rising TIDES Program