Mary F Poteet

Mary F Poteet
Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
Provost's Teaching Fellow, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Work: +1 512 471 5209
Office: EPS 2.112D
Mailcode: C9000

Mary Poteet is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences with a joint appointment in the CNS Freshman Research Initiative. Her research broadly examines the complex responses of aquatic ecosystems to anthropogenic disturbance with a special emphasis on the role of urban stressors on creek ecosystem function. Most recently, as co-faculty of the Urban Ecosystems Research Stream in the FRI, she works with 20-30 undergraduates each semester to study drivers of ecosystem metabolism in creeks of Central Texas. She and her team of students have installed suites of sensors in urban and rural creeks to model metabolic regime and measure thermal stresses in creeks impacted by the Austin urban heat island. Her team further assesses potential mechanisms driving changes in metabolic regime through direct measures of community and ecosystem features that respond to urban stressors. Through this work, she collaborates with the City of Austin and Waterloo Conservancy to help develop management strategies for urban creek ecosystems in Central Texas.

Prior to working on stream metabolic regimes, Mary’s work focused on metabolic response of the Barton Springs and San Marcos Springs Salamanders to reduced dissolved oxygen and conductivity stress associated with drought and water extraction. These resulting data were used to develop management strategies for maintaining dissolved oxygen levels in Barton Springs to sustain salamander populations. In a broader context, she worked on a USGS project assessing vulnerability of karst-dwelling species to projected climate change. Her current work on ecosystem function is a natural progression of her past wonk on the impacts of climate change and resource extraction on aquatic species.

Her passion for teaching is evident in the work she does with students in the Freshman Research Initiative and in the Jackson Scholar’s program. As co-director of the Jackson Scholars, Mary helps students develop experiences that prepare them for future careers, including study abroad, leadership roles, research, and outreach. In addition to advising the Jackson Scholar’s students, for the past three years, Mary has helped lead these students on field geology and natural history trips to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Scotland.

Areas of Expertise

aquatic ecosystems, creek metabolic regimes, urbanization, biotic response and vulnerability to climate change

Research Locations

Current Research Programs & Projects

Effects of Historical and Projected Climate (1901–2050) and Hydrologic Response of Karst Aquifers on Species Vulnerability in South-Central Texas and Western South Dakota ( view )

Seasonal and Hydrologic Shifts in Metabolic Regimes of Urban Creeks

Provost Teaching Fellowship - The University of Texas at Austin, Provost teaching fellows. (2017)

Biologist, Biological Advisory Team, Barton Springs Salamander Habitat Conservation Plan (2008 - 2011)

Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Barton Springs pool and salamander, City of Austin (2007 - 2009)

Graduate Students

Laura Dugan, Ph.D., 2014 (Committee Member)
University of Texas at Austin

Protection and recovery of the Barton Springs salamander, Eurycea sosorum, Bridging Disciplines Program: Environment, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (2014)

Physiology and behavioral response of Eurycea sosorum to dissolved oxygen, BSEACD, Austin, TX (2007)

Eurycea sosorum: current understanding and necessary research, Habitat Conservation Plan Biological Advisory Team, BSEACD, Austin, TX (2005)

Environmental disturbances shift the roles of abiotic and biotic regulation over parasitism in stream communities, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX (2004)

Patterns and processes in parasite populations: testing for responses to anthropogenic disturbance, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (2004)

2024Spring EVS 121 Research Methods
2024Spring EVS 311 Field Smnr In Sustainability
2024Spring GEO 171C Jackson Scholars Seminar
2024Spring GEO 302G Earth Science/Sustainability
2023Fall GEO 401 Physical Geology
2023Spring EVS 121 Research Methods
2023Spring GEO 171C Jackson Scholars Seminar
2023Spring GEO 302G Earth Science/Sustainability
2022Fall GEO 401 Physical Geology
2022Spring EVS 121 Research Methods
2022Spring GEO 171C Jackson Scholars Seminar
2022Spring GEO 302G Earth Science/Sustainability
2021Fall GEO 401 Physical Geology
2021Spring GEO 171T Outreach/Recruit Dei In Geo-Wb
2021Spring GEO 171C Jackson Scholars Sem-Wb
2021Spring GEO 302G Earth Sci/Sustainability-Wb
2020Spring GEO 171C Jackson Scholars Seminar
2020Spring GEO 302G Earth Science/Sustainability
2019Spring GEO 171C Jackson Scholars Seminar
2019Spring GEO 302G Earth Science/Sustainability
2018Spring GEO 302K Earth Science/Sustainabilty
2017Spring GEO 302M The Age Of Mammals
2016Spring GEO 302M The Age Of Mammals
2015Spring GEO 302M The Age Of Mammals
2014Spring EVS 331 Rsch Meths For Envir Sciences

External Photo Galleries

Waller Creek PhotoJournal
Our Waller Creek Photojournal contains thousands of time-series images of Waller Creek taken from selected locations within the UT Austin Campus.