Three Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) scientists have been selected as recipients of the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science Early Career Research Award out of a pool of ~700. This is a very prestigious award with each scientist expected to receive awards of up to $2.5M over five years. This funding opportunity supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines. Berkeley Lab received a total of five awards. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

Below are the three EESA scientists and their project description, selected by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

Nick Bouskill

Nick Bouskill, a microbiologist in the Ecology Department, will conduct field and laboratory experiments and computational modeling to understand the role of microbial communities in stabilizing soil organic matter under different water availability conditions in tropical soils. The results of this project will increase our understanding of the effects that microbes have on the global geochemical and nutrient cycles. Project title, “Microbial environmental feedbacks and the evolution of soil organic matter.”

Charlie Koven

Charlie Koven, an Earth System scientist in the Climate Sciences Department, will seek to better understand the role of climate extremes, particularly high temperature and reduced precipitation, on shaping ecosystem-level responses and feedbacks to climate change via changes to vegetation, including forest mortality. Project title, “Vegetation dynamical responses to multivariate extremes in the Western US.”

Neslihan Tas Baas

Neslihan Taş Baas, a microbiologist in the Ecology Department, will use field experiments, laboratory manipulations, and multi‐omics approaches to examine how microbial processes, biogeochemical transformations, and hydrology interact during permafrost thaw in Alaska to determine how these factors drive biogeochemical cycles in Arctic soils. Project title, “Awakening the sleeping giant: Multi-omics enabled quantification of the microbial controls on biogeochemical cycles in permafrost ecosystems.”

Read the official Berkeley Lab news release by clicking here.