Jonah N. Gray

Jonah N. Gray

  • PhD Student, Ecology
  • Co-Advised by: Dr. Jason Kaye and Dr. Estelle Couradeau

Areas of Expertise

  • Nitrogen Cycling in Agroecosystems
  • Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agroecosystems
  • Soil Microbial Ecology
  • Soil Formation


  • B.S. Environmental Science and Agronomy, Iowa State University, 2023

Current Projects:

Climate-smart Agriculture that is profitable, Regenerative, Actionable, and Trustworthy (CARAT)

By connecting dairy producers, industry organizations, government agencies, and scientists, the CARAT project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania dairy production while adding economic value for producers along the supply chain.  The Pennsylvania dairy production system is a complicated network of producers at many levels across the state.  While there are many externalities associated with the dairy cattle themselves, there are also externalities associated with the agricultural system responsible for growing the cattle feed.  In the Kaye Biogeochemistry Lab and Couradeau Lab, we take an ecosystems approach to study potential management solutions for nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils.  Besides studying the effects of management practices on N20 emissions, we will also have a more specific focus on the management effects on the microbial community.  With this additional information, we will discover mechanisms that mediate N20 emissions from agricultural soils.


Jonah Gray is originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  With a passion for protecting the environment, Jonah pursued an Environmental Science degree at Iowa State University.  Not long into his studies at ISU, he recognized the impacts agriculture was having on the environment.  Growing up in Iowa, he was surrounded by intense commercial agriculture that contributes to soil loss, land degradation, and other environmental externalities.  To better understand this system, he added a degree in Agronomy.  While studying at ISU, Jonah worked in a soil lab focusing on nitrogen cycling where he had the opportunity to conduct an undergraduate research project on the temperature sensitivity of denitrification in agricultural soils.  Jonah graduated with honors from Iowa State in May 2023 with degrees in Environmental Science, Agronomy, and a minor in Sustainability. 

Jonah has decided to continue his education at Penn State by pursuing a Ph.D. under the mentorship of Jason Kaye and Estelle Couradeau.  In the future, he plans to remain in academia either as a postdoctoral scholar or a professor.