Marcy Litvak PhD is a Professor in the Biology Department of University of New Mexico. She received her B.A. with honors in 1989 from Colorado College, and her Ph.D. in Plant Physiological Ecology in 1998 from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Semi-arid biomes occupy approximately 40% of the global terrestrial surface and contain almost twice the carbon stored in temperate forest ecosystems, yet a lack of research has led to large uncertainties in estimates for semi-arid regions such as the Southwestern US. To reduce these uncertainties, her research focus is on understanding how ecosystem processes vary across ecological gradients in semi-arid biomes. She is particularly interested in quantifying how climate and disturbance alter carbon, water and energy dynamics in the Southwestern U.S.