Latest graduate, Casey McGrath, headed to PNNL

Sampling the profile at the deep soil warming trial.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Casey McGrath departs the Crow Lab to (remotely) begin a Post Masters Research Associate – Environmental Data Analyst position at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.  For her M.S. Thesis, Casey established an innovative deep soil warming field experiment at the Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii and measured ecosystem carbon flux for one year of heating.  Unlike any deep soil warming experiment to date, there was no significant respiration response to augmented soil temperatures past the surface layer. Multimodal analysis confirmed the hypothesis that high concentrations of amorphous minerals were the primary driver of the lack of respiration response, followed by high relative soil moisture and low bacterial richness. Casey graduated in Fall 2019 with her M.S. from University of Hawaii Manoa and a manuscript is nearly complete describing the findings. She hands off the field trial to the next student ready to pick up the project and focus the next phase on warming-related changes to microbial community structure and function.  We miss Casey’s inquisitive, driven, and always positive attitude (and her baking) already in the Crow Lab, and wish her all the best in the next phase of her scientific career!

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