Category Archives: Presentations

AGU 2013 Session: Linking Microbial Communities and Biogeochemistry to Ecosystem Processes and Environmental Change

I am co-organizing a session at this year’s annual AGU meeting in San Francisco focusing on the microbial influence on atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem processes. We are bringing together a group with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and scientific approaches to share approaches and ideas. We hope to see you there on Friday!

Sessions: B51D (poster), B53D (oral), B54B (oral)

-search the sessions-

microbe-atmosphere

Section/Focus Group:

 

Conveners:

Laura Meredith, MIT, predawn@mit.edu

Catherine Febria, University of Maryland, febria@umces.edu

Jake Hosen, University of Maryland, hosen@cbl.umces.edu

Ed Hall, ed.hall@colostate.edu

Description:

Microbial communities are mediators of all biogeochemical cycles, controlling ecosystem responses to human-induced change. Advances in the molecular characterization of carbon and microbial communities have produced novel datasets that capture large spatiotemporal dynamics. Researchers are now able to address questions about the interactivities of nutrient flux from the microbial community to ecosystem scale. This session will highlight ressearch on the functional role of microbial communities in ecosystem-level biogeochemistry. We encourage contributions that investigate C, N, P, small-scale experiments and syntheses that can inform understanding of ecosystem-level responses to environmental change.

Index Terms:

[0439] BIOGEOSCIENCES / Ecosystems, structure and dynamics
[0470] BIOGEOSCIENCES / Nutrients and nutrient cycling
[0465] BIOGEOSCIENCES / Microbiology: ecology, physiology and genomics
[0428] BIOGEOSCIENCES / Carbon cycling

Share on Facebook

Deepa blogs about AGU 2012

Connecting H2 consumption to life cycles of soil microbes

Deepa’s AGU Poster “Connecting H2 consumption to life cycles of soil microbes”

Read Deepa Rao’s Blog Post

It’s a wonderful piece (highlighted on the EAPS department website) about her first the AGU experience written through her uniquely balanced scientific and artistic perspective. For example, she writes, “Science, nature, life, emergence, and the universe have always inspired my art. And it is the unnecessary beauty of science that makes it deeply mysterious and so inviting to my mind… AGU was an incredible week of reconnecting with friends, advisors, professors, fellow researchers. It was also unexpectedly a way for me to connect a path to a foreseeable future where my two passions can be combined, perhaps even muddled, into an exciting career.”

Share on Facebook

AGU Talk 2012

I was thrilled to give a talk this year at AGU in the full-day, highly subscribed Biosphere-Atmosphere Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems IV session organized by Paul Stoy, Christopher Williams, and Todd Scanlon. I’m looking forward to publishing these results very soon!

AGU 2012 Talk

AGU 2012 Talk

 

Share on Facebook

Thesis Defense!

I defended my thesis entitled “Field Measurement of the Fate of Atmospheric H2 in a Forest Environment: from Canopy to Soil” on October 4, 2012.

It was an incredible relief to finish the thesis document itself (link to .pdfCarl-Gustaf Rossby Prize for best PhD thesis in PAOC for the year). I really enjoyed preparing and giving my thesis defense presentation. It’s not often that one gets to present the culmination of six years of hard work and personal development to colleagues, family, and friends. I am grateful for mentorship from my advisor Ron Prinn, my thesis committee (Steve Wofsy – Harvard, Bill Munger – Harvard, Tanja Bosak – MIT, Colleen Hansel – WHOI, Shuhei Ono – MIT), and many others along the way!

I am continuing at MIT for a short (approximately 9 month) postdoctoral position with Ron Prinn to translate the work described in my thesis to publications. I am currently exploring possibilities for a postdoctoral position at the intersection of microbial ecology and atmospheric chemistry (trace gas cycles or aerosols) by searching advertised positions and writing fellowship proposals.

Share on Facebook

ISME 14 – The power of the small

Presenting a poster on “Physiology of the microbe-mediated soil sink for atmospheric H2″ at ISME in Copenhagen, Denmark. Deepa Rao contributed greatly to this work.

Last week I attended ISME 14 (International Symposium on Microbial Ecology) in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a delight to see the city – its juxtaposed giant modern, cool, sterile buildings surrounding the historic old city. More of a delight was unexpectedly running into friends from the MBL Microbial Diversity summer school (2010) and realizing they are now my colleagues.

Wind turbines and modern architecture outside of Copenhagen

The conference itself was quite good. I appreciated the range of content from very big picture and abstract to focused experimental projects. One message I took away from the community was a sort of -omics backlash, or perhaps whiplash, to the idea that generating more and more -omics data is the sole future for microbial ecology. It seems that presenters coming from both the -omics and experimental side were acknowledging the importance of both tools, and especially of using them together. Those seem to be a lot of tools for any one scientist to master, so I am encouraged that the tone was of collaborative holistic approaches for tackling scientific questions.

Tuborg beer and the Royal Copenhagen porcelain company

I really enjoyed a somewhat unique session. It was a discussion entitled “Frontiers in microbial ecosystem science: Energizing the research agenda” sponsored at this and other conferences by the US National Science Foundation. All sorts of issues were raised in a discussion of “what needs to be done” – what are the important topics and how should we advance microbial ecology. I was struck by how strong the arguments were that microbial ecology is important for understanding, and possibly mitigating, climate change. This is my main interest, but I often find the microbial ecology literature and research interests so focused on minute points (I think my own project included), that it is difficult to see the link between the microbial and global scales. At this session I learned that it is not only because it is difficult to do, but also because the funding agencies seem to push scientists to write grants in one or the other. It is difficult to be interdisciplinary (falling under more than one NSF department). It has been a (fun) challenge for me to try to get a foot in both atmospheric and microbial ecology science, and it was encouraging to hear from the community that the intersection of the two is valued.

 

Share on Facebook

I survived the AGU 2011 Fall meeting

I just returned to Boston after the six weeks of travelling. My two weeks in California, filled with conferences and colleagues, was quite different from the intensive and somewhat isolated period spent in India.

Presenting my poster at AGU - one of 12,000+ posters

First stop was San Diego, where I attended the 44th Meeting of Advanced Global  Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) Scientists and Cooperating Networks at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. Anita Ganesan’s instrument in Darjeeling may pave the way for the first AGAGE site in India, so the crowd was eager to hear her describe our success in deploying her instrument. Her dedicated and diligent work is paying off as she is collecting some of the first high precision direct greenhouse gas measurements in India.

I gave a talk at the AGAGE meeting on my recent work on the flux of H2, CO2 and COS between the soil and atmosphere at Harvard Forest. I focus on the persistence of soil-atmosphere exchange of trace gases across snowpack, which insulates the soil microbial community from freezing air temperatures while allowing trace gases  to diffuse through the porous snow matrix. I’m interested in how strongly the biogeochemical cycling continues throughout the winter and in comparing the behavior of the different cycles in the low temperature ‘incubator’ beneath the snow. Continue reading

Share on Facebook

Atmospheric H2 energetic fertilization to soil microorganisms in a forest ecosystem

Poster presented at the Ecology of Soil Microorganisms conference in Prague, 2011:

Ecology of Soil Microorganisms poster

Ecology of Soil Microorganisms

TopicSoil microorganisms dominate the fate of atmospheric molecular hydrogen (H2 ) and comprise an estimated 75-80% of its global sink. Recent work has linked atmospheric H2 uptake to a novel high-affinity [NiFe]-hydrogenase expressed in active Streptomyces sp. cells [1], and is perhaps not driven by abiotic hydrogenases as was previously thought. Consequently, atmospheric hydrogen may be a 60-85 Tg yr−1 energetic supplement to microbes in Earth’s uppermost soil horizon. Continue reading

Share on Facebook

Molecular hydrogen as a mesospheric hydrogen reservoir and a mesotracer

American Geophysical Union General Assembly, 2010 poster

AGU 2010 - Chemical tracers in the upper atmosphere

AGU 2010 Poster – Chemical tracers in the upper atmosphere

Abstract: A rare glimpse into the chemical and dynamical evolution of the Arctic polar vortex is provided by a suite of in situ balloonborne measurements. A set of mesospheric tracers observed in the late vortex validate theoretical mesospheric chemical profiles, which is especially valuable for the case of mesospheric H2 . Early vortex mesospheric profiles are constructed to explain mixing in tracer-tracer space. Expanding a model to incorporate three mesotracers, H2 , CO, and SF6 , instead of only one, will increase our ability to constrain estimates of the amount of mesospheric air that descended to stratospheric altitudes by vortex end.

Share on Facebook