IMG_5022Dr. Susan E. Crow is an Associate Professor of Soil Ecology and Biogeochemistry in the Natural Resources and Environmental Management Department within the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and an affiliate of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Hawaii Manoa.  She studies the natural carbon cycle and human impacts on the soil environment and serves as a co-PI of a USGS Powell Center Working Group “What lies below” and member of the Kukaniloko Master Planning Working Group and the state Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force (formerly Carbon Farming Task Force).  Susan is an associate editor for the journal Biogeochemistry and belongs to the American Geophysical Union, Soil Science Society of America, Soil and Water Conservation Society, and International Soil Carbon Network.

IMG_0990Christine Tallamy Glazer – Christine Tallamy Glazer is lab manager of the Soil Ecology and Biochemistry lab. She received her MS in Marine Science, with a concentration in Marine Biology/Biochemistry, from the University of Delaware.  Upon her arrival on Oahu in 2004, she conducted biogeochemical research utilizing stable isotopes to trace microbial nutrient cycles in recirculating aquaculture systems as a research associate at the Oceanic Institute. After two years at the Oceanic Institute, she taught high school math and science for three years, then returned to the lab as an analyst for the Biogeochemical Stable Isotope Facility at the University of Hawaii. Christine was recently certified as a Community Emergency Response Team member.  She enjoys snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and spending time with her husband and two young children.

Current Students:

Bio_WellsJon Wells (Ph.D.) – I am improving the sustainability of bioenergy systems through efficient conversion and carbon economy. My dissertation is titled “UNDERSTANDING CARBON IN LARGE-SCALE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR BIOENERGY IN THE TROPICS: SELECTING SOILS, FEEDSTOCKS, AND CONVERSION PATHWAYS”.




Daniel Richardson (M.S.) – Originally from Oahu, I earned my B.S. through the NREM Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. My research interests are soil microbiology, soil health, and the how soils can relate to global sustainability. I enjoy surfing, hiking, and digging holes.


McGrath_pic2_soilandcarbonCasey McGrath (M.S.) – As a New England native, I received my B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in Hydrology from the University of New Hampshire. During my time at UNH I worked as a state park ranger naturalist, a storm water specialist for the Department of Transportation and a lab technician in both a university global water quality lab and a U.S. Forest Service water and soil lab. Though being a park ranger and storm water specialist was exciting, I found the greatest excitement and satisfaction through my lab and research experiences. During the end of my time at UNH, I had the wonderful opportunity as an undergraduate to study on the effects of land use change on fish and macroinvertebrate biodiversity in Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand.

This experience ignited my passion for more land use and climate change driven research. I became interested in getting involved with research projects focused on the way the biosphere interacts with the atmosphere and developing models for predicting the impacts of climate change. Luckily, I am able to participate in this type of research here at the Crow Lab as a M.S. student in Natural Resources and Environmental Management at UH Manoa! My research involves developing the relationship between experimental tropical soil warming and carbon release into the atmosphere. This study will mimic the warming effect of climate change as predicted for 2100 and provide insight into the changes global temperature rise might bring into the natural carbon cycle. Aside from being interested in the effects of soil warming on carbon flux, I am interested in earth systems modeling and analysis through programs like ArcGIS and MATLAB. When I’m not in the lab or up at the research site at the Lyon Arboretum, I love to go backpacking, swimming and swing dancing! 

Elaine Vizka (Ph.D.) – My research aims to investigate the soil health status across the7021 Hawaiian Islands, optimize soil health metrics for Hawaii by discerning which metrics are critical factors across its diverse landscapes, and understand which management practices are environmentally and economically viable for farmers. Sustainably managing soils while maintaining productivity in Hawaii is particularly challenging due to their diverse nature and use. Healthy soil is of the utmost importance as it can protect Hawaii’s limited resources, enhance ecosystem services, and mitigate climate change.

I received my B.S. in Environmental Biosciences and B.A. in Geoscience from University of Iowa. As an undergraduate, I worked on several research and outreach projects including planning an urban agriculture area, assessing sand quality, and researching a species of diatom found in saturated soils. I continued my academic career at Iowa State University and received two M.S. degrees in Soil Science and Environmental Science with a certificate in Geographical Information Sciences (GIS). My Master’s thesis investigated how soil health varied with differing management systems across landscapes in Iowa. I worked towards optimizing soil health metrics in Iowa by measuring how responsive metrics were to management differences, the quantity of soil samples needed to detect differences in soil health between management practices, and where on the landscape these differences were most easily observed.

I dedicate my home life to scuba diving, hiking, gardening, dancing, yoga, and my pets.

Lab Alumni:

Hannah Hubanks – M.S. 2019 NREM. Bio_Hubanks“Towards a Hawaii soil health index: Identifying sensitive and practical indicators of change across land use and soil diversity.” Hannah’s thesis was an epic tour of the diversity in soils, land use, and management across the islands to determine the range of soil parameters that define a healthy soil in Hawaii.  Her work resulted in a manageable, practical, and sensitive list of potential indicators of soil health across productive systems to develop into a soil health index. Hannah current works as a soil health specialist for Oahu Resource Conservation and Development.

Mathilde Duvallet (intern) – visiting student of ecology and engineering from AgroParis MathildeTech; originally from Normandy, France, Mathilde conducted her international internship requirement in the Crow Lab.  She assisted in the connection of deep soil heating probes through a complex electrical network which creates heat within the deep soil profile using heating cable and installation of the novel temperature sensor network. The temperature network includes wiring the sensors to multiplexors to a data logger in order to collect temperature data. In addition, she assisted in the collection of soil cores, analysis of the microbial communities at the study sit and soil gas flux sampling.

Mika Sebastian (intern) – UC Berkeley undergraduate and local resident of Hawaii. She has a strong biological and environmental sciences background, recently declared an JTex.JPGAnthropology major, and is accepted into UC Berkeley’s New Media certificate program. Mika  conducted surveys of local producers on Oahu and Maui and photo documenting their stories about their land, crops, and what soil health means to each individual.  A resulting web-based story board will help communicate the need for healthy soils for landscape resilience and thriving communities.

Genelle Watkins – M.S. 2018 NREM. Interests in conservation and sustainability took Bio_WatkinsGenelle to Pemba Island in East Africa where she worked with local communities to develop a strategy to conserve and restore mangrove forests to help maintain livelihoods. Her passion for sustainability and hope to better this planet through citizen science research that directly involves people and communities to make a positive global impact will take her far.  As a start, Genelle currently works for Hawaii Green Growth developing content for the Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard.

Kaelin Sylva B.S. 2018 NREM  Kaelin completed her internship assisting with field site IMG_0972planning, maintenance, and characterization for the deep soil warming project at the Lyon Arboretum and transitioned to research assistant, making everything run a little smoother for all of us in the Crow lab.

Annika Little B.S. 2017 NREM Annika conducted her NREM internship in the Crow Lab image1and completed independent research on the distribution of biochar in soil aggregates in a zero-tillage perennial grass system. She currently works for the U.S. Army Medical Command in the Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory and a Specimen Controller.

Steven Leone 2017 Steven worked with the Crow Lab throughout 2017 to help convert stevenan overgrown jungle patch into a Deep Soil Warming field site for a long term, manipulative experiment to test the effect of warmer soil on ecosystem processes and carbon biogeochemistry.  He developed the temperature sensor network for the field site at the Lyon Arboretum and this website.

Adel Youkhana 2011-2016 Postdoctoral Researcher, Junior Researcher “Water and carbon footprint and plant parameters of biofuel production on the HC&S sugarcane lands on Maui, Hawaii”.

Lauren Deem M.S. 2016 NREM “Mechanistic understanding of improvements in yield and sustainability of biochar-amended soil”.  Currently a Crop and Soil Scientist at Kuo Testing Labs, Othello, Washington.

Jabez Meulemans M.S. 2016 NREM “Systems approach to assessing the environmental and economic sustainability of food and fuel crops with biochar soil amendment”. Currently he is the Environmental Services Coordinator for Jefferson Country in Colorado (Denver area). In his job, Jabez tackles sustainability issues through renewable energy initiatives and water/energy efficiency and conservation projects.

Konni Biegert Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, University of Hohenheim, Germany, M.S. 2015 “Biochar effects on greenhouse gas emission from two Hawaiian arable soils”.

Olivia Schubert Technician 2015-2016

Nancy Parker Technician 2015-2016

Michelle Lazaro M.S. 2015 NREM Recipient of the 2013 Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Fellowship in NREM, “Optimization of baseline soil carbon stock assessment across the Hawaiian Islands”.  Presidential Management Fellow (STEM) at the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR.  Currently Natural Resource Specialist, Inventory Reporting and Mapping Team, Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program at the same station.

Whitney Ray M.S. 2015 NREM “Greenhouse gas emission balance of biofuel feedstock for potential carbon trading”.  Currently Manager, Impact-Directed Environmental Accounts at National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, San Francisco, CA.

Hironao Yamazaki M.S. 2013 NREM “Alteration in soil carbon pools following land use and management change for bioenergy feedstock production”.

Meghan Pawlowski (Lind) M. S. NREM 2013 “Greenhouse gas flux and fine root dynamics of sugarcane and Napier grass under deficit irrigation”.  Previously, an Environmental Specialist V for the Texas Department of Transportation. Currently an Ecologist/Project Manager for Cox-McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc., Austin, Texas.

Mataia Reeves M.S. 2012 “The potential carbon sequestration of Eucalyptus grandis in conjunction with its use as a biofuel feedstock”.  Currently a Research Associate at Pioneer Hi-Bred, Waimea, HI.

Yudai Sumiyoshi M.S. 2012 “Belowground carbon cycle of Napier and Guinea grasses grown for sustainable biofuel feedstock production”, degree awarded December 2012.  Awarded “Best NREM Master’s Student Presentation” at the 2011 CTAHR Student Research Symposium. Awarded “2011 Outstanding Student Paper Award” from the Biogeosciences Section of the American Geophysical Union.

Undergraduate Lab Research Assistants Alumni:

Katherine Hiu · Maxim Irion · Sebastian Sievert · Winter Lim · Jeremiah Hasley · Derek Risch · Kimber Troumbley · Eryn Opie · Sean Reseigh · Davis Turner · Nathan Hunter · Erika Mizokuchi · Mark Miller · Heather Kikkawa