Our research is focused on understanding the fate of soil C and nutrients in a changing world. Climate change, nutrient deposition,  and other disturbances have the potential to fundamentally alter ecosystem carbon (C) and nutrient cycling and runoff. Soils contain more than twice as much C as the atmosphere, mostly as organic matter. This large reservoir of soil organic C may be decomposed to CO2 to influence atmospheric concentrations. Furthermore, excess nutrients may runoff and impact ground and surface water. However, in many cases we do not understand the mechanisms controlling soil C and nutrient cycling well enough to predict the magnitude or even direction of changes in response to disturbances. Because soil microorganisms mediate C and nutrient fluxes, we need a better understanding of their role in regulating soil processes in order to predict how ecosystems will respond to changes. My research program is dedicated to developing a mechanistic understanding of terrestrial biogeochemical processes, such as decomposition and nutrient cycling to gain insight into how terrestrial ecosystems function, and to help predict how they will respond to disturbances.


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