Kristen M DeAngelis, PhD
Associate Professor, Microbiology Department
Microbiology Honors Program Director
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Title: Soil Microbes Acclimate to a Warming World
The acceleration of global warming due to terrestrial carbon (C)-cycle feedbacks is likely to be an important, though poorly defined, component of future climate change. Both the sign and magnitude of these feedbacks in the real Earth system are still highly uncertain due to gaps in basic understanding of terrestrial ecosystem processes. This research takes advantage of an ongoing long-term soil warming experiment in which soils at the Harvard Forest LTER in Massachusetts have been heated for 27 years. Our approach includes a combination of soil biochemistry, isotopic labeling, and trait-based modeling methods. By examining this long-term climate warming manipulation, this research targets two of the biggest questions in soil carbon response to climate warming: how will carbon use efficiency and physical protection of carbon alter microbial feedbacks to climate in a warming world?