Kolby Jardine studies plant and microbial metabolism by working at the interface of biochemistry, ecology, and atmospheric sciences (Biochemical Ecology) and is a research scientist in the Ecology Department within the Climate & Ecosystem Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The primary goal of the research is to characterize quantitative relationships between biochemical, optical, and volatile organic signals emitted by plants during climate extremes in order to characterize processes and mechanisms of potentially high global importance. This presents exciting opportunities for the development of new methods for the continuous local and global monitoring of the physiological, energetic, and oxidative status of plants and ecosystems and their associated cycling of carbon and water.
Field, greenhouse, and laboratory methods are developed for the quantification of carbon dioxide and gas-phase volatile organic compound concentrations, fluxes, and isotopic composition from leaves to ecosystems and seconds to seasons. Methods include IR spectrometry, proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), and thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS).
- Working with Phase 2 of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) Tropics project in the Brazilian Amazon, Kolby installed an isotope trace gas laboratory and maintains a small research group at the National Institute for Amazon Research in Manaus, Brazil to study photosynthesis, respiration, and defense. Prior to returning to Berkeley Lab, he was based in Manaus where he led the BrazilianAIR campaign (5 mo), the terrestrial ecosystem component of the GoAmazon project (4 yr), and NGEE Tropics Phase I (2 yr).
More Brazil Research Photos (Dropbox)
360 Degree Tropical Research Videos (YouTube)
- Together with postdoc Rebecca Dewhirst and collaborators at the Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI) and Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE BER early career research project (ECRP) is underway entitled, “O-Acetylation and methylation engineering of plant cell walls for enhanced biofuel production”. Also known as the poplar esterified cell wall transformations and metabolic integration (PECTIN) study, this project studies the metabolism of cell wall esters and their roles in forest response to climate in the emerging biofuel tree species California poplar (Populus trichocarpa). See PECTIN project website.
- Exploring the role of volatile organic compounds in soil biogeochemistry.