Research Lab


(Brando Lab)


The ECOSTRESS Group focuses on quantifying the vulnerability of terrestrial natural ecosystems to repeated disturbances and prolonged degradation. Research focuses: Identifying ecological thresholds beyond which global changes cause abrupt, prolonged degradation of terrestrial ecosystems by stressing, disturbing, and killing forests; quantifying ecological & climatological boundaries for tropical agricultural expansion and intensification; finding solutions to feed the planet while maintaining  the ecological integrity of terrestrial natural ecosystems.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Czimczik Lab


Claudia Czimczik and her team work to understand the impacts of climate change, alterations in natural disturbance frequencies (i.e. fire), and changes in land use and management (i.e. urbanization) on the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems. The group's research aims to appreciate and predict how human activities will impact the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in the future and how changing terrestrial ecosystems will feedback to the climate system. A major focus of these activities is on high-latitude ecosystems, i.e. arctic tundra and boreal forests.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Davis Research Group


The Davis Research Group works to understand and find ways to meet the challenge of satisfying global demand for energy, food, and goods without emitting CO2 to the atmosphere. Steve Davis and his team are interested in energy technology and policy; emissions and energy embodied in international trade; life cycle assessment; interactions of agriculture and climate; human drivers of greenhouse gas emissions; and socio-economic inertia of climate change.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Druffel Lab


Ellen Druffel and her team investigate why the 14C age of marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is thousands of years old, despite evidence that most of it is produced in the surface ocean during photosynthesis. The group also studies how ocean circulation changed in the tropical and subtropical Pacific during the past millennium.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Goulden Lab


The Goulden Lab focuses on how terrestrial ecosystems work, with an emphasis on what controls the exchanges of gases and energy between land surfaces and the atmosphere.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Mackey Lab


The Mackey Lab conducts research to better understand how photosynthesis shapes, and is shaped by, biological, chemical, and physical processes in the ocean. We study all types of phytoplankton with an emphasis on tiny and ubiquitous cyanobacteria in the genus Synechococcus. Research in the lab is focused on two overarching questions: (1) How do phytoplankton sense, acclimate, and adapt to changes in their environment? and (2) What interplay does this cause between natural populations and their environment, and how does it influence their patterns of diversity and biogeochemical activity? The lab is particularly interested in how phytoplankton will adapt to global change.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Martiny Research Group


Adam Martiny and his team work to identify (i) how microorganisms respond and genetically adapt to environmental variations and (ii) the biogeochemical role of this biodiversity. The results from this research are important for both understanding the basic biology and diversity of globally abundant microorganisms as well as gaining a mechanistic understanding of the biological controls on nutrient cycles.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Moore Modeling Lab


The Moore Modeling Lab is interested in the role of marine biota in global biogeochemical cycles and Earth's climate system. Keith Moore's research focuses on understanding how marine phytoplankton and other ocean biota influence the cycling of key elements (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, iron) in the oceans, and on the biogeochemical links between the ocean, atmosphere, and land through atmospheric transport and riverine runoff.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Primeau Research Group


The Primeau Research Group is interested in the ocean's role in the climate of the Earth. The ocean plays a determining role in the variability of the climate system on inter-annual to millennial timescales. The lab uses global observations and a hierarchy of ocean models together with advanced computational and mathematical techniques to study the ocean. Francois Primeau and his team’s current research is directed in three broad areas: 1) the surface-to-surface transport and ventilation of ocean water masses; 2) inter-annual to decadal variability of the ocean's wind-driven circulation; and 3) global ocean biogeochemical cycles.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Physical Climate


Randerson Research Group


The Randerson Research Group seeks to improve our understanding of global change in terrestrial ecosystems. They use remote sensing data, atmospheric trace gas observations, field measurements, and models in new ways to study feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and climate.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Physical Climate


Saltzman / Aydin Research Group


The oceans produce a diverse array of trace gases that affect the chemistry of the atmosphere and the climate system. The Saltzman / Aydin Research Group’s goal is to understand what controls the production, emissions, and atmospheric chemistry of oceanic trace gases. Eric Saltzman, Murat Aydin, and their team develop trace gas detectors, collect field data from islands and ships and use computer models to simulate natural processes. The group is also interested in the history of trace gas/climate interactions.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry, Biogeochemical Cycles


Trumbore Lab


Susan Trumbore has been at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) since 2009. Trumbore's main research contribution is the application of radiocarbon to study the dynamics of carbon cycling in plants and soils.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


W. M. Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory


In 2001, ESS/CGECR researchers Ellen Druffel, John Southon and Susan Trumbore were awarded $2 million by the W.M. Keck Foundation for the development of an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility – the Keck-Carbon Cycle AMS facility - for radiocarbon measurements in support of carbon cycle research at University of California, Irvine. Related Research Group: Santos Research Group

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles