Sustainability Leadership Fellow Cohort: 2019-2020
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology and the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
Research Summary: Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas 300x more potent than CO2 and it is dramatically increasing in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic causes. When humans over-fertilize soils with nitrogen (N), microbes consume the excess N and emit N2O as a byproduct. It is challenging to manage N2O emissions because microbes respire N2O in many different ways. My research aims to improve understanding of the diverse ways that microbes emit N2O, and how soil characteristics influence N2O production pathways. Almost 50% of soil N2O emissions come from agriculture, and humanity’s reliance on agroecosystems necessitates developing strategies for controlling N2O emissions.