My research interests center on the ecology of aquatic and wetland systems. More specifically, I am interested in how aquatic plants survive in areas that are typically hostile to most species. Aquatic plants often reside in submerged or flooded conditions where the substratum lacks oxygen and has redoxymorphic features that are typically stressful for most flowering plants. In coastal and marine systems, this stress is exacerbated by the presence of interstitial saline waters. By characterizing the environmental limits and physiological adaptations to these otherwise harsh environments, we will be better able to design and reconstruct important wetland systems.
Professor Charest's research interests include sustainable architecutre. He has published and presented widely in the areas of academic design-build, quality affordable housing and community transformation.
Biologists and naturalists since Darwin have noticed that patterns in a species’ distribution can reveal important information about the ecology and evolution of that species. Since early in human history, people have had a strong influence on species distributions. This is more of an issue today than at any point in history, as anthropogenic climate change, land use conversions, and species invasions are reshaping biological communities across the globe. My work uses field surveys, experiments, and computer modeling to understand the ecological and evolutionary forces underlying species distributions, with the end goal of aiding conservation efforts to preserve rare and endangered species.
I encourage undergraduate students interested in research in wildlife ecology, conservation biology, or biogeography to contact me. I am happy to advise students who wish to pursue field work, GIS modeling, or a combination of both!