Congratulations to Sudan Kariuki who will officially be joining Jed Sparks' lab in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at Cornell University in Fall 2018!! Her background in the Gallery lab will serve her well as she seeks to continue studying plant-soil ecological feedbacks in human dominated ecosystems.
I began working at the Southwest Climate Science Center at the University of Arizona as a Communications Graduate Assistant. My primary responsibilities include managing the Climate Science Center's social media accounts and drafting updates for the website. I am excited to continue learning about how science communication is applied in governmental agencies.
The 2017 annual RISE symposium brought together land managers, rangeland ecologists, technicians, and students.
Giving a talk on my interdisciplinary research and exploring nature in Atlanta, Georgia was a rewarding experience.
After extensive planning, Sudan and Emma collected field data at campsites at the Santa Rita Experimental Range.
After working tirelessly to draft the experimental design for her thesis, Sudan presented a poster on proposed research at the Soil Ecology Society meeting. This was a fantastic opportunity to network with soil scientists, policy makers, industry professionals, and non profit representatives about the importance of soil health.
Here, she communicated her research findings to the public as part of the University of Arizona Carson Scholars Science Communication program.
Noelle had the opportunity to present the preliminary findings of her warming experiment at the International Symposium on Microbial Ecology in August 2016.
Dawson collects deep subsurface samples in New Mexico and visits geomicrobiology group in Jena, Germany
Ever thought about how deep life extends into the Earth's crust? That is one of the questions our CZO is exploring after the successful completion of a deep drilling expedition in northern New Mexico (picture at bottom). We are just beginning to discover how deep the surface single extends into the critical zone, the life-giving region on terrestrial earth that ranges from the bottom of aquifers to the tops of trees. These subsurface regions are extremely oligotrophic, meaning they are limited in nutrient and energy inputs. However, microbial life does exist here, and we are using special protocols to extract DNA from rock cores collected from these sensitive deep subsurface samples.
Dawson returned a month ago from a successful training visit as part of the CZO SAVI International Scholars award to visit Kirsten Küsel's geomicrobiology group in Jena Germany. There she learned about how to process and extract DNA from core samples using protocols developed in their lab, allowing better cross-comparisons between sites. The goal was to limit contamination of samples and to successfully obtain DNA from these extremely low DNA environments.
Dawson also gave a talk discussing some of the exciting wildfire research our CZO has been doing, further fostering international exchange of research ideas. She also visited the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry learning about some of the exciting research being conducted there exploring deep subsurface carbon cycling using stable isotopes. She also participated in a 4 day field expedition learning techniques to sample water from deep aquifers. A huge thank you to the host institute and looking forward to future interactions, exchange, and research collaborations.
Core sample collected from 100 ft below Earth's surface. Check out the weathering redox depletion zones! Microbes live in these fractured porous zones of the rock material. This regolith portion of the CZ is an important part of aquifer recharge. Spotted color patterns shown are a product of weathering and biological processes. June 2016
The School of Earth and Environmental Science's Earth Week Research Symposium was last week March 31st & April 1st and was full of Research from the Gallery Lab!
Maggie Murphy (masters student) presented her work with the Critical Zone Observatory entitled: "Dynamics of Soil Microbial Community Nitrogen Cycling in a Post-Wildfire Catchment."
Cait Boyer (undergraduate research assistant) presented her work with the Critical Zone Observatory entitled: "Landscape position controls on microbial and soil properties in a high-elevation sub-alpine catchment."
Noelle Espinosa (PhD student) presented her work entitled: "Response of soil enzymes to a temperature manipulation experiment in a semiarid ecosystem." Her poster won first place for the graduate School of Natural Resources symposium.
Jennifer Hansen (undergraduate research assistant) presented her work entitled: "Examining pH and soil carbon in forest soil affected by fire." Her poster won second place for the undergraduate School of Natural Resources symposium.
Dawson Fairbanks (PhD student, not pictured) gave a talk on her work with the Critical Zone Observatory entitled: "Microbial Biogeochemistry in the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory."
Congratulations to all the great work and well-received research presentations!