PJ Torres

Department: Biology
Research: Tropical Biology; Ecosystem Ecology, Freshwater Biology
Degrees: B.S. University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras campus)
Ph.D. Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia

Contact Info

Email: ptorres@allegheny.edu
Phone: (814) 332-2970

Office Info

Office Location: Steffee Hall of Life Sciences B.121

Student Office Hours
Monday 11:30 am-1 pm
Tuesday 1-3 pm
Friday 11:30 am-1 pm

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the structure and function of freshwater ecosystems with emphasis on tropical headwater streams. My dissertation and current research is based on Puerto Rico, assessing the landscape-scale effects of large dams on headwater stream ecosystem processes.

I’ve also worked with students in Costa Rica, Georgia and Ohio looking at how animal consumers influence whole-ecosystem processes such as decomposition, primary production and nutrient cycling. The current plan for my lab here at Allegheny is to continue this work both in Puerto Rico and locally using new study sites in Northwest Pennsylvania.

Currently, we are assessing synergies between aquatic fungi and animal decomposers, how their relationship determines the rate of organic matter breakdown, how the decomposition mechanisms change over time, and how these respond to natural disturbance and seasonal variation.