Rose Abramoff is broadly interested in the effect of global change on biogeochemical cycling in soils. As part of her doctorate research at Boston University, Dr. Abramoff studied root growth and turnover in a temperate northeastern forest and the effect of root exudates on the extracellular enzyme activity of soil microbes, using a combination of field, lab, and modeling studies.
Dr. Abramoff works with numerical models of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition with a focus on microbial physiology, nutrient stoichiometry, substrate diffusion, and substrate availability. Transformations of C and N by soil microbes are affected by environmental factors (e.g., temperature, soil moisture, mineral surface area) and biotic factors (e.g., plant inputs, competition between microbes). These factors can be combined into mechanistic hypotheses of how ecosystems function using numerical models, and tested using empirical data from field studies.
Dr. Abramoff’s work at LBL will synthesize field data from a deep warming experiment into numerical models of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization. She will focus on mechanisms that determine the rate of SOM turnover, such as sorption of SOM to mineral surfaces, aggregate formation, and microbial activity. The ultimate goal of this work is to derive general principles of SOM turnover and apply these principles at the global scale using fully-coupled terrestrial biosphere models.