Current Team Members

Margaret Torn

Margaret Torn is Lead Principal Investigator and Laboratory Research Manager for this project. She oversees research, budget, personnel and reporting, and ensures project success. She also is Task 1 lead.

Eoin Brodie

Eoin Brodie serves as Task 2 lead. He is a microbiologist and ecologist specializing in soils. He studies feedbacks among microbial composition, physiology and metabolism, and the physical and chemical properties of the environment. He’ll oversee in-situ quantification of microbial carbon use efficiency, turnover, and functional trait distributions related to variance in soil profile physical-chemical properties and in response to warming, nutrients and water.

Peter Nico

Peter Nico serves as Task 3 lead. Peter brings deep expertise in molecular scale soil studies. He specializes in soil chemistry’s mechanisms and processes important to carbon and metal cycling in soils. He is leading the Task 3 efforts for characterization, experimentation and synthesis, and coordinating interactions between Task 3 activities and other tasks and key external partners.

Bill Riley, portrait

Bill Riley

Bill Riley serves as Task 4 lead. Bill is a terrestrial ecosystem modeler with over20 years experience developing, testing and analyzing land models. His work in numerical models covers soil microbial dynamics, effects of abiotic processes such as mineral surface interactions, nutrient competition between microbes and plants, watershed-scale hydrological and biogeochemical processes, and climate -scale carbon and nutrient cycle processes.

Jasquelin (Jackie) Peña

Jackie Pena is a Faculty Scientist in EGD and Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering at UC Davis. She investigates interfacial processes relevant to carbon, nutrient and metal cycling in soils. She brings her expertise in molecular and environmental biogeochemistry to Task 3 of the project and is developing research on the impacts of wildfire to belowground biogeochemistry.

Jeffrey Beem-Miller

Jeff Beem-Miller studies timescales of soil carbon cycling using radiocarbon, models, and soil fractionation techniques. His current focus is a synthesis of data from soil warming experiments worldwide to better understand depth-resolved controls on soil C storage and losses in a warming world.

Niklas Blanadet

Niklas Blanadet is a Research Associate for the project and interested in ecology, biogeochemistry, and plant physiology. He completed his B.S. in Molecular and Environmental Biology at UC Berkeley, where he researched the effect of fire on plant water use using stable isotopes.

Christin Buechner

Christin Buechner is the Program Manager for this project, responsible for budget tasks, hiring support, operational strategy, meeting organization, reporting, and coordination tasks.

Cristina Castanha

Cristina Castanha is Principal Research Associate for this project, working on field sites and in the Soil Laboratory.

Kelsey Crutchfield-Peters

Kelsey combines plant ecophysiological methods with biogeochemical techniques to explore how critical elements, such as nitrogen and carbon, are cycled within plant rhizospheres. Her PhD research focused on dynamic cycling of nitrogen by a deep forest rhizosphere in weathered bedrock at the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory. Now, as a postdoc in the Belowground Biogeochemistry SFA, Kelsey studies the impact of changing soil redox conditions on the stability of carbon in grassland ecosystems in response to soil warming and water table dynamics.

Ricardo J. Eloy Alves

Ricardo J. Eloy Alves is a postdoctoral researcher working on microbial ecology, evolution, physiology and metabolism, and their roles in soil biogeochemistry. Ricardo is investigating how interactions among microbial community dynamics and functional traits, plants, and soil properties affect soil biogeochemical processes and their responses to disturbances. His work combines field, laboratory, and bioinformatic approaches.

Katerina Georgiou

Katerina Georgiou is a Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow at at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She completed her her doctoral work with UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Her work on this project focusses on experiments and modeling associated with Tasks 1, 3 and 4.

Kolby Jardine
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Kolby Jardine focuses on plant physiological responses to temperature and moisture stress including quantifying net carbon assimilation and growth as well as transport of photosynthate below ground.

Steve Kwatcho Kengdo

Steve is a postdoctoral researcher, studying soil biogeochemistry under warming conditions within Task 1.

Anne Marie Panetta

Anne Marie Panetta is a Research Associate in the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division. Her expertise is in plant ecology, evolution, and large-scale transplant experiments. She is particularly interested in how interactions between climate warming and wildfire affect vegetation dynamics and terrestrial feedbacks to climate change.

Mike C. Rowley


Mike C. Rowley is a postdoctoral researcher working for this project. He is a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellow working on Task 3 with Peter and Jasquelin.

Elaine Pegoraro

Elaine F. Pegoraro is a Scientific Engineering Associate in the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division. She is interested in the ecological applications of stable and radioactive C isotopes to investigate soil C dynamics and terrestrial feedbacks to global climate change.

Rachel Porras

Rachel Porras is a Senior Research Associate, whose expertise is in stable isotope geochemistry, soil carbon, radiocarbon analysis, and environmental geochemistry and biogeochemistry cycling.

Jing Tao


Jing Tao is a project scientist in the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division. Dr. Tao works on terrestrial ecosystem modeling with a focus on the coupled interactions between eco-hydrological and biogeochemical processes, particularly the water and carbon cycles and their feedback to climate change. For this project, she works on soil biogeochemistry and carbon cycle modeling (Task 4).

Past Team Members

Rose Abramoff

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Rose Abramoff is a postdoctoral fellow who studies the effect of global change on biogeochemical cycling in soils. Her work will synthesize field data into numerical models of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization, focusing on mechanisms that determine the rate of SOM turnover, such as sorption of SOM to mineral surfaces and microbial activity. The ultimate goal of her work is to derive general principles of SOM turnover and apply these principles at the global scale using terrestrial biosphere models. She is participating in Task 4.

Jennifer Soong

Jennifer Soong studies soil ecology, biogeochemistry and ecosystems, and collaborated on the soil warming experiment as a postdoctoral fellow. She is now at Corteva Agriscience, investigating the soil carbon sequestration potential of regenerative land management and is a Faculty Affiliate at Colorado State University.

Caitlin Hicks Pries

Caitlin Hicks Pries collaborated on expanding soil experiments at Blodgett. Dr. Pries, who is now an assistant professor at Dartmouth College, was an LBNL postdoctoral researcher when she participated in setting up earlier warming experiments during Phase 1 of the TES project.