Kaye Biogeochemistry Laboratory
Our research focuses on changing biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. Biogeochemical cycles control the storage and movement of energy and nutrients. We are particularly interested in the nitrogen cycle.
Some key aspects of the N Cycle.
In unmanaged ecosystems, a lack of nitrogen often limits plant growth and there are fascinating basic science questions regarding interactions among plants, microorganisms, soils, and hydrology. In managed ecosystems, fertilizers alleviate nitrogen limitation, which helps feed the growing human population, but also generates water and greenhouse gas pollution. There are pressing applied questions regarding our ability to sustain yields while reducing nitrogen pollution.
The goals of our research are to:
- increase basic understanding of ecosystem element cycles
- help minimize nitrogen losses from managed ecosystems
- discover how nitrogen losses from managed ecosystems affect and are attenuated by unmanaged
We measure the flow and fate of nitrogen at scales ranging from individual microbial processes, to whole ecosystems and landscapes, to regions. We often study interactions between nitrogen and ecosystem carbon balance to understand how changes in carbon and nitrogen cycling are linked.