Project title: Soil carbon cycling in dynamic floodplain systems
Advisor: Marco Keiluweit
Keiluweit Lab website: http://umass-biogeochem.weebly.com/
Soils are a vast reservoir of global carbon, containing more carbon than the atmosphere and plants combined. However, because we do not know the mechanisms that stabilize soil carbon, we cannot predict how soil systems, and the carbon stored therein, will respond to climate change.
As part of a DOE-sponsored effort, Carolyn is working with the Keiluweit Lab and a team of researchers from Stanford University and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to explore an ecosystem heavily impacted by climate change – alpine watersheds. The work investigates how snowmelt events and associated flooding impact carbon dynamics in floodplain soils, through interactions with both minerals and microbes.
Understanding how different carbon sources react with the soil in the changing environment of a floodplain will improve our knowledge of the chemical and biological mechanisms that control soil carbon cycling, which can help us predict the fate of soil carbon in response to climate change.