Research Interests: Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains two- to three-times more carbon (C) than the atmosphere. Given that human-caused increases in atmospheric CO2 are driving global climate change, there is an urgent need to understand (1) the factors that regulate the ability of soils to sequester C and (2) how these factors will respond to other global environmental changes. Soil organic matter is ultimately derived from plant inputs. Microbes act as filters of SOM formation by metabolizing these inputs; a process which is influenced by the physiochemical soil environment. Thus, understanding SOM dynamics requires knowledge of the interactions between plants, microbes, and their shared soil environment.
I am broadly interested in how plant-microbe-soil interactions influence SOM dynamics at microcosm to global scales. My previous work focused on the role of land use in modulating the impacts of plant invasion on soil C and nitrogen cycling. Currently, I am using a spatially explicit approach to identify the factors which regulate the quantity and stability of C stored in temperate forest soils at multiple spatial scales. Specifically, I am interested in the role of forest community composition, including trees and their associated microbes.
Department of Biology
Jordan Hall Room 245
1001 E. Third St.
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405