Our Atmospheric (Trace gas) Biogeochemistry Laboratory quantifies sources and sinks of environmentally important trace gases, determines the biological and environmental controls on those fluxes, identifies the biochemical and abiotic mechanisms involved, and assesses impacts of land use and climate change on emissions.
Trace gases are central to global environmental issues (climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and the atmospheric oxidation capacity) as well as regional air pollution (urban smog and acid rain). They also serve as indicators and regulators of ecosystem function and health (net primary production, ecosystem stress, plant communication).
Our trace gas biogeochemistry research addresses questions at all of these scales, from mechanistic studies at the molecular scale, to fluxes measured at the plant to ecosystem scale, to an understanding of atmospheric sources and sinks at the global scale. Our recent work focuses on the biogeochemistry of halocarbons, hydrocarbons, and reduced sulfur compounds. These are radiatively active compounds, either directly as greenhouse and/or ozone-depleting compounds, or indirectly through the production of ozone and/or aerosols. This work is essential to understanding how these chemicals move and interact in the global environment, and this knowledge is a prerequisite to making sound policy decisions to protect ecosystem and human health.
(March 17, 2023) Just published: new collaborative paper by Chen et al. detailing the unique biogeochemistry of South Carolina ghost forests that experience increased saltwater intrusion associated with sea level rise, appearing in the inaugural issue of Soil & Environmental Health.
(December 31, 2022) This fall was a busy teaching semester. Professor Rhew taught 3 classes this fall, and was fortunate to co-teach the two major courses with outstanding instructors: Communicating Climate Science (Geog 147 with Emily Weiss), Introduction to Environmental Science (ESPM 15 with Dr. Patina Mendez) and the Global Environment Theme House seminar (NatRes24).
(July 1, 2022) Rob completed his 5-year appointment as the Faculty Director of the Central Sierra Field Stations (Sagehen Creek Field Station, Central Sierra Snow Lab, Onion Creek Experimental Forest, North Fork Association Lands, and the Chickering Reserve).
(March 31, 2022) We are delighted to report that Dr. Yi Jiao (PhD 2021) is a recipient of the prestigious Marie Curie fellowship to support his postdoctoral research at the University of Copenhangen, Denmark.
(March 29, 2022) Robs presentation to the UCB Learning in Retirement Seminar series discussed how the Central Sierra Field Stations are currently working towards understanding and addressing major environmental issues facing California, with a focus on severe wildfires and climate change.