Edward (Ted) Primka

Effects of topography and associated soil water content on tree fine root dynamics across a watershed

Advisor: David Eissenstat

Funded by DOE TES Program.


Ecology PhD student, 2016 to present

B.S., Biology, Wake Forest University 2015

Research Summary:

Fine root respiration has been found by other studies to heavily impact soil respiration levels across landscapes. Large scale landscape and ecosystems models modeling carbon dioxide flux broadly tend to parameterize soil respiration as increasing linearly with soil water content. However, other studies have shown that anoxic conditions in the soil result in death of fine roots. Fine root death should be correlated with a decrease in soil respiration levels in wetter soils. Variation in fine root dynamics across the landscape should explain some variation in landscape level soil respiration rates. My current research is investigating how soil water content impacts fine root dynamics across a watershed.

Awards and Honors:

2016 George A. Downs Endowed Graduate Fellowship

If interested in collaboration:

I am currently in the process of designing a project based around tree nutrient foraging strategies and soil water content across landscapes. If you are interested in working with me or learning more about my projects, please email me at