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I'm a PhD student at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, USA, majoring in Microbial Ecology. My work involves elucidating the bacteria responsible for utilization of dissolved organic matter (DOM) within streams and across streams using both phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles and stable isotope analyses. One of the questions of this research is, ‘Do the biological aspects of DOM utilization stay the same over systems of differing sizes, so that scaling among systems involves only proportional adjustments for biomass, solute flux, and physical dimension?’ This question is part of a larger theoretical issue in ecology as regards to how scaling affects interactions between ecological processes. Scaling relationship, expressed mathematically as power functions, have been used to provide an analytical basis for investigating biological, chemical and physical principles that control the dynamics within ecosystems. The application of scaling rules to ecological questions provides a powerful analytical tool, illustrating how ecosystem dynamics can be preserved across different habitats and associated change in system parameters. I have a particular interest in scaling rules that facilitate a transfer of findings in a given stream reach to larger and smaller streams within the same river network, hence my motivation to attend the 2009 Complex Summer Schools. Hope to see you all in June. Is any one flying from Birmingham, Alabama? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.