The National Science Foundation Division of Environmental Biology has awarded Assistant Professor Teri Balser, Soil Science, a Career Award. The award will provide Balser with five years of support for her proposal titled “Research and education approaches to integrating microbiology and ecosystem functioning in global change ecology.” The work will address issues in interdisciplinary science as well as exploring the response of soil carbon to climate warming.
The project will address both an important scientific issue, and will also help to foster interdisciplinary research in global change ecology. The primary research goal of the project is to understand when or whether carbon sequestered in soil will act as a positive feedback to increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and thus reinforce climate warming. Specifically, the research team will quantify the response of soil decomposers to climate change and measure CO2 output. The education goal is to support interdisciplinary training for ecologists interested in global change issues.