Thea Whitman, assistant professor of soil science, received the Early Career Award from the Soil Ecology Society and gave a plenary address at the society’s annual meeting in late May. The award recognizes a soil ecologist within 5 years of earning their PhD who has begun making, and shows exceptional promise to continue making, outstanding research contributions to the broad field of soil ecology.
Whitman’s research is situated at the nexus of soil biogeochemistry, microbial ecology and global environmental change. She works to understand the processes that control soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics and SOM interactions with microbes and minerals. Her lab combines soil biogeochemistry and microbiology with bioinformatics, molecular work and fieldwork to conduct fundamental and applied research with relevance for land-use management, agroecology and climate change policy.