Congrats Will!

Congratulations to Will Argiroff for completing his dissertation in SEAS! Will has been in and around the lab for many years, starting as an undergrad working with one of our postdocs (Zac Freedman), then as research technician doing crazy amounts of qPCR and finally as a PhD student. Will’s work for his PhD research broadly looked at linking microbial communities to decomposition and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems, but specifically he studied some of the more recalcitrant forms of carbon (lignin and soil organic matter) and the microbes involved in degrading them to make them accessible for other organisms, which have long term consequences for how carbon is stored in these systems as well how nitrogen affects can aid or slow this process. He looked at communities that decay fine roots in both experimentally elevated nitrogen-addition sites, as well as natural forest systems that have a mineralization gradient. He also studied how certain mycorrhizae (ECM) contribute to decay over a span of nitrogen availability. Spoilers – increased nitrogen in the environment slowed root (and lignin) decay leading to SOM accumulation furthermore ECM that can decay SOM effectively declined with increasing N availability, also contributing to slower decay of SOM/lignin. His dissertation is titled “Fungal Community Composition Regulates Fine Root Decay: Implications for the Cycling and Storage of Carbon in Terrestrial Ecosystems”. He will be starting his post-doc at Oak Ridge National Lab in July. Thanks so much Will for all the great memories and all the amazing work!

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