Biogeoscience

Members of the new Biogeoscience group investigate living systems as fundamental components of the Earth System and possibly other planetary systems through the integrated study of biology, geochemistry, and geology. In DEES, students have the opportunity to work with faculty in aquatic, wetland and terrestrial ecology, biological oceanography, evolutionary biology, microbial genomics, biogeochemistry, paleobiology and astrobiology. DEES Biogeosciences faculty conduct research on biodiversity and ecosystem function, ecological responses to climate change, biogeochemical cycling and storage of nutrients and carbon, plant physiology and biooptics (both aquatic and terrestrial), and the application of isotopic, fossil and organic geochemical tracers to the study of climate and Earth history. Fieldwork and lab experiments employ diverse analytical, observational and modeling tools to build understanding of the Biosphere and its interactions within the Earth System, in the past, present and future.

Kevin L. Griffin
Personal Information
Kevin
L.
Griffin
Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Biology and Paleo Environment
Contact Information
6 Marine Biology
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8371

Fax: 

(845) 365-8150

Fields of interest: 

Plant respiration; global carbon cycle; forest ecology

After more than 150 million years of isolation the podocarps that dominate the forests of the west coast of the south island of New Zealand have remarkably slow growth rates by comparison to most other forest tree species. The question is, why? In New York, the aging eastern deciduous forests continue to rapidly accumulate carbon. Could this be the result of the high levels of atmospheric N deposition this area receives? When plants are grown in elevated CO2 photosynthesis is stimulated initially but often this enhancement does not last and given time, a strong acclimation to the new growth environment can occur. Is there a reason why some plants acclimate to CO2 and others do not? Plant respiration is often thought of as the processes by which plants loose carbon during the night. How then can we estimate the contribution of respiration to the carbon balance of arctic plants which never experience night during the growing season? Plant cells from leaves of plants grown in elevated CO2 tend to have twice the number of mitochondria and chloroplast as cells from plants grown in ambient CO2. Is there a link between this structural observation and physiological function?

These are a few examples of the type of research questions my lab is currently working on. The objective of this research is to explain processes in plant and ecosystem ecology in terms of the physiological, biochemical and biophysical processes involved. Ultimately we hope to increase our understanding of both the role of the Earth's vegetation in the global carbon cycle and the interactions between the carbon cycle and the Earth's climate system.

Some of my projects include:

  • Environmental Controls on Tree Growth: A Comparison between the Cascade Brook Watershed of Black Rock Forest, NY and a Native New Zealand Forest.
  • Effects of developmental changes on the physiological processes that regulate photosynthetic responses to climate change.
  • Land-Water Interactions at the Catchment Scale: Linking Biogeochemistry and Hydrology.
Education
Ph.D.
Duke
1994
M.E.S.
Yale
1987
Bachelor of Arts
Whittier
1985
Selected Publications:
Leaf respiration is differentially affected by leaf vs. stand-level night-time warming, Griffin, K. L.; Turnbull, M.; Murthy, R.; Lin, G. H.; Adams, J.; Farnsworth, B.; Mahato, T.; Bazin, G.; Potasnak, M.; Berry, J. A. Global Change Biology May, Volume: 8, Issue: 5 p.: 479-485 (2002)
Canopy position affects the temperature response of leaf respiration in Populus deltoides, Griffin, K. L.; Turnbull, M.; Murthy, R. New Phytologist Jun, Volume: 154, Issue: 3 p.: 609-619 (2002)
Leaf dark respiration as a function of canopy position in Nothofagus fusca trees grown at ambient and elevatedCO(2) partial pressures for 5 years, Griffin, K. L.; Tissue, D. T.; Turnbull, M. H.; Schuster, W.; Whitehead, D. Functional Ecology Aug, Volume: 15, Issue: 4 p.: 497-505 (2001)
Peter M. Eisenberger
Personal Information
Peter
M.
Eisenberger
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Biology and Paleo Environment
Contact Information
110 Geoscience
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8550

Fax: 

(845) 365-8150
Education
Ph.D.
Harvard
1967
Bachelor of Science
Princeton
1963
Natalie T. Boelman
Personal Information
Natalie
T.
Boelman
Lamont Associate Research Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Biology and Paleo Environment
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Contact Information
6A Marine Biology
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8480

Fax: 

(845) 365-8150

The main goals of my research are to better understand:

  • the ways in which the composition, physical structure, and phenology of Arctic vegetation are changing in response to climate change

  •  how these changes impact resident and migratory animals and in turn how animals mediate climate-induced change in the region 

  • how near and remote-sensing techniques can be used to study dynamics in ecological form and function

 

Education
Ph.D. in Earth & Environmental Sciences
Columbia University
09/2004
M.A. in Earth & Environmental Sciences
Columbia University
06/2001
Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography
McGill University
1999
Victoria Diaz-Bonilla (former Senior Thesis student, DEES)
Elizabeth Tupper (former Senior Thesis student, Barnard College)
Adam Formica (current Senior Thesis student, DEES)
Lacey-Harris-Coble (current Senior Thesis student, E3B)
Case Prager (current PhD Student, E3B)
Jess Gersony (current Senior Thesis student, E3B)
Rebecca Gibson (current Senior Thesis student, E3B)
Selected Publications:
NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra, Sweet, S.; Asmus, A.; Rich, M.E.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J.C.; Boelman, N.T. Ecological Applications (2015)
Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends the annual period of maximum tundra greenness and increases modeled net CO2 uptake, Sweet, S.; Griffin, K.L.; Steltzer, H.; Gough, L.; Boelman, N.T. Global Change Biology (2015)
Tall deciduous shrubs offset delayed start of growing season through rapid leaf development in the Alaskan arctic tundra, Sweet, S. K.; Gough, L.; Griffin, K. L.; Boelman, N. T. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 09/2014, Volume: 46, Issue: 3 p.: 16 (2014) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-46.3.682
Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra, Boelman, N.T., L.;Gough, J.C.,Wingfield; S., Goetz, A. Asmus; H.E., Chmura; J.S., Krause; J.H., Perez; S.K., Sweet; K.C., Guay Global Change Biology (2014)
Maximum photosynthetic electron transport decreases down slope in a small Arctic watershed, Griffin, K.L.; D.J. Epstein; Boelman, N.T. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Volume: 45, Issue: 1 p.: 10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-45.1.39
Arctic arthropod assemblages in habitats of differing shrub dominance, Rich, M.E.; L. Gough; Boelman, N.T. Ecography, Volume: 36 (2013) 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.00078.x
Urban heat island effect in New York City promotes growth in Northern red oak seedlings, Searle, S.Y.; M. H. Turnbull; Boelman, N.T.; William S.F. Schuster; Dan Yakir; and K.L. Griffin. Tree Physiology, Volume: 32, Issue: 4 p.: 11 (2012) 10.1093/treephys/tps027
Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?, Boelman, N.T., Gough, L., McLaren, J.R., Greaves, H. Environmental Research Letters, Volume: 6 (2011)
Understanding burn severity sensing in Arctic tundra: Exploring vegetation indices, sub-optimal assessment timing and the impact of increasing pixel size, Boelman, N.T., Rocha, A.V. and Shaver, G.R. International Journal of Remote Sensing, Volume: iFirst p.: 1-24 (2011)
Multi-trophic invasion resistance in Hawaii: Bioacoustics, field surveys, and airborne remote sensing, Boelman, N. T.; Asner, G. P.; Hart, P. J.; Martin, R. E. Ecological Applications Dec, Volume: 17, Issue: 8 p.: 2137-2144 (2007)
Inter-annual variability of NDVI in response to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge and tussock tundra, Boelman, N. T.; Stieglitz, M.; Griffin, K. L.; Shaver, G. R. Oecologia May, Volume: 143, Issue: 4 p.: 588-597 (2005) DOI 10.1007/s00442-005-0012-9
Photosynthesis and reflectance indices for rainforest species in ecosystems undergoing progression and retrogression along a soil fertility chronosequence in New Zealand, Whitehead, D.; Boelman, N. T.; Turnbull, M. H.; Griffin, K. L.; Tissue, D. T.; Barbour, M. M.; Hunt, J. E.; Richardson, S. J.; Peltzer, D. A. Oecologia Jun, Volume: 144, Issue: 2 p.: 233-244 (2005) DOI 10.1007/s00442-005-0068-6
Response of NDVI, biomass, and ecosystem gas exchange to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge tundra, Boelman, N. T.; Stieglitz, M.; Rueth, H. M.; Sommerkorn, M.; Griffin, K. L.; Shaver, G. R.; Gamon, J. A. Oecologia May, Volume: 135, Issue: 3 p.: 414-421 (2003) DOI 10.1007/s00442-003-1198-3

Pages