- University Distinguished Professor
Dr. Sharon Billings' research characterizes the features governing nitrogen, carbon and water fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, and how these dynamics are influenced by environmental change.
Our research investigates how forest and grassland biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nutrients, and water is influenced by climate, vegetation, nutrient availability, and natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes. We explore scales ranging from microorganisms to the whole ecosystem. As such, we invoke tools from a wide range of disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, ecophysiology, microbial ecology and soil science. We quantify pools and fluxes of carbon and nutrients in soils and vegetation to assess how ecosystems respond to environmental conditions, often using stable isotopic signatures in biomass, soil organic matter, and multiple greenhouse gases to infer driving mechanisms.