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Pure Poetry:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

We love Avena

And the sheep do, too.

(version 1)

 

Roses are red

Grasses are green

We love Avena

And the sheep are mean

(version 2)

-the Firestone lab techs and grad students

Research Interests:

         Biophysical interactions of bacteria with the soil environment.

         The microbial community ecology of the processes important to ecosystem Nand C cycling.

         Mechanisms of plant-microbial interaction (outside of the relatively well-defined symbioses).

Current Projects:

         Biophysical ecology of microbial degradation of pollutants.

         Microbial processing of plant carbon to yield humic substances.

         Plant-microbial C and N interactions in the rhizosphere.

Click here for a list of selected publications.

 

Family Photos:

Pool Party

Puerto Rico 2002

Blodgett 2006

Puerto Rico 2006

 

 

 

 

People

Telephone

email

Romain Barnard

510-642-6847

rbarnard@berkeley.edu

Steve Blazewicz

510-642-6847

blazewicz@berkeley.edu

Damon Bradbury

510-643-2402

bradbury@berkeley.edu

Rebecca Daly

510-642-6847

rdaly@berkeley.edu

Laura Dane

510-642-2402

lauradane@berkeley.edu

Katerina Estera

510-642-6847

rinaest@gmail.com

Dara Goodheart

510-642-6847

goodheartd@berkeley.edu

Mary Firestone

510-642-3677

mkfstone@berkeley.edu

Don Herman

510-642-6847

djherman@.berkeley.edu

Erin Nuccio

510-642-6847

enuccio@berkeley.edu

Shengjing Shi

510-642-6847

shengjing.shi@berkeley.edu

Tsu-Ling Wang

510-642-6847

tling_julie@berkeley.edu

 

 

 

The research interests of our soil microbial ecology group include:

         Biophysical interactions of bacteria with the soil environment.  We want to understand how the physical characteristics of the solid matrix determine growth and activity of soil microbes and how indigenous microbes alter the characteristics of their microhabitats in soil.  In the past several years we have focused on soil water relations, biofilms, and physical transport processes controlling the supply of substrates and nutrients to microbes.

         The microbial community ecology of the processes important to ecosystem N and C cycling.  We want to know whether the structure of soil microbial communities control N or C transformations such as nitrification, denitrification, mineralization of organic compounds, and production / consumption of atmoshperically reactive trace gases.  How does microbial community structure vary among soils and how do differences in microbial community structure translate into differences in soil processes?

         Mechanisms of plant-microbial interaction (outside of the relatively well-defined symbioses).  The interactions of plant roots with soil microorganisms are spatially and temporally complex; however, it is becoming increasingly apparent that these interactions are fundamental to soil carbon dynamics and the availability of inorganic and organic N to plants.

Current research projects conducted by our group include:

         Biophysical ecology of microbial degradation of pollutants.  We are currently investigating the mechanisms through which soil desiccation controls bacterial utilization of organic carbon compounds.  The water characteristics of soil control the availability of gas-phase constituents to bacteria as well as directly impacting the physiology of the organisms.  We are looking at the diffusional availability of a variety of organic compounds to bacteria encased in exopolysaccharide habitats.  The physical effects on substrate availability and the effects on cellular physiology combine to produce a range of water potential in soil optimized for bacterial degradation of pollutant compounds.  this type of information may be of value in managing soil systems to promote biodegradation of pollutant compounds.

         Microbial processing of plant carbon to yield humic substances.  The metabolic characteristics of the microbial community and the cellular composition (wall components, extracellular components) may have the potential to determine the rate and dominance of different carbon stabilization pathways.  In this research we ask whether soil microbial communities vary in their carbon processing characteristics.  We are assessing microbial functional and taxonomic diversity, investigating community control over carbon partitioning, and quantifying the contribution of microbial cell walls to stable carbon.  This work incorporates aspects of humus chemistry, soil microbilogy and ecosystem ecology to address the role that microorganisms and microbial diversity play in ecosystem functioning.  Ultimately, this work may have implications for regional carbon cycling models, and for predicting response of soil carbon pools to environmental and land-use change.

Plant-microbial C and N interactions in the rhizosphere.  We are determining the processes and spatial and temporal patterning by which roots alter mineralization of C and N in the rhizosphere.  We are also attempting to understand the mechanisms involved in mineralization of the N from microbial biomass and whether the root zone is an active area of N mineralization and hence an important source of N for soil microbes and plant roots.  these questions about plant-microbial interactions are fundamental to C- and N-cycling and potentially determine ecosystem response to the changing environment.

Emeriti

can be reached at:

Teri Balser

teribalser@yahoo.com

Jeff Bird

Jbird@qc.cuny.edu

Eoin Brodie

ELBrodie@lbl.gov

Kristen DeAngelis

KDeAngelis@lbl.gov

Eric Dubinsky

EADubinsky@lbl.gov

Claire Eustace

claire_eustace2004@yahoo.com

Val Eviner

EvinerV@ecostudies.org

Charles H. Jaeger III

jaeger@arches.uga.edu

Christine Hawkes

chawkes@mail.utexas.edu

Trish Holden

holden@eos.crseo.ucsb.edu

Jason Jaeger

jaeger@arches.uga.edu

Kristine Johnson

kristinekjohnson@hotmail.com

Evaly Long

evaly.long@gmail.com

Ryan Miya

ryanmiya@hotmail.com

Catherine Osborne

 

Jennifer Pett-Ridge

pettridge2@llnl.gov

Sarah Placella

placella@msu.edu

Egbert Schwartz

Egbert.schwartz@nau.edu

Tia Shimada

tiaakemi@gmail.com

Pam Templer

ptempler@bu.edu

Andy Thompson

awt@nature.berkeley.edu

Mark Waldrop

mwaldrop@usgs.gov

 

 

Our mailing address is:  

 Our shipping address is:

ESPM - Ecosystem Sciences

 ESPM Ecosystem Sciences

137 Mulford Hall

 54 Mulford Hall

University of California

 University of California

Berkeley, CA  94720-3114      

 Berkeley, CA 94720

 

 

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Last updated: September 7, 2011