It has been a while since our last update — we’ve been busy!
In large part due the gallant efforts of Dr. Medvedeff we completed 3 sampling trips to MN this past summer. We have some great net flux numbers (CO2 and CH4) for 3 different Sphagnum-dominated peatlands in MN. These rates are part of a much larger sampling project that includes porewater chemistry, stable isotopes analysis, microbial community profiling and in-situ rates of microbial decomposition. As our sites begin to freeze for a long winter, we look forward to compiling these numbers and talking to colleagues about what they all mean.
We’re not just crunching numbers though! We have a number of exciting lab experiments moving forward this fall. Dr. Medvedeff is exploring the role of Sphagnum extracts as potential inhibitors of microbial decomposition, and overseeing a student project investigating potential carbon mineralization in our 3 peatland sites. I’m continuing to work with students on humic reduction projects and am teaching my Ecosystems course, which once again is focused on carbon storage in local salt marsh soils.
We’re making great project and hitting that “sweet spot” in the semester where students are finding their footing and taking ownership of their projects. As always, we have a great group and I’m already terrifically happy with their progress.
In all the excitement of new projects, however, I’m also regretting the inevitable turnover that comes about when working with students. I’ve been tremendously lucky to work with some amazing folks over the past few years (Kim, Jes, Morgan, Kellie, Chelsea, Kylle if you read this, I’m looking at all of you). They’ve all moved on to new things and are going to continue making the lab proud for years to come, but I sure miss having them around.