I am a Biology MS candidate at Northern Arizona University studying the cultivation of biocrust mosses for use in restoration of arid systems. My research is currently focused on optimizing greenhouse cultivation methods to maximize rates of increase of biocrust propagules off site. I believe that biocrust mosses have great potential in rapidly stabilizing soils following chronic or catastrophic disturbance such as intensive grazing and fire.
I also see the potential for their use in civil engineering solutions at the urban interface. The ability of biocrust mosses to rapidly absorb water may be exploited for use in stormwater management in regions that experience monsoonal rains. I envision moss bioswales strategically placed throughout urban areas that would mitigate flooding during intense rain. Mosses could also be employed in rooftop gardens in Southwestern US cities to passively fix dust and carbon in the absence of water inputs.