The Carbon Cycle Science & Technology Group aims to increase understanding of the impacts of global change on managed and unmanaged ecosystems and improve knowledge of possible global change mitigation approaches. The group has three main focus areas.
The CCS&T group is an internationally recognized leader in the development of Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) research facilities. We are interested in the design and management of manipulative experiments that examine the effects of carbon dioxide, ozone, other atmospheric pollutants, temperature and precipitation on natural and managed ecosystems.
At FACE facilities we have studied the mechanisms that underlie the response of photosynthesis and central metabolism to global change. We are now using liquid handling robots to develop high throughput assays for biochemical phenotypes that will help to identify desirable traits in biofuel feedstocks, and crops with increased productivity for our future farms.
Above ground, knowledge of the response of ecosystems to global change is advanced but below ground many fundamental questions remain unanswered because of the technical difficulties of conducting sub-surface measurements. We have developed a method for measuring total soil carbon using a non invasive technique and are now using that system in full scale field studies.