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M Derek MacKenzie, PhD

Associate Professor, Soil Plant Relations

Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

Renewable Resources

About Me

Job/Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: My research program examines how above- and below-ground processes are affected by both natural and anthropogenic disturbance. Four basic principles guide my research and these are: 1. soil organic matter (SOM) stability is an ecosystem trait that has spatial dependence; 2. SOM stability mediates nutrient bioavailability for plants and microbes; 3. disturbance is a stochastic ecosystem event, which causes temporal and spatial fluctuations in these ecosystem processes; 4. fire creates pyrogenic carbon which is an evolutionary cue and has long-term effects on soil biogeochemistry. Many research questions can be derived from these four basic principles. If this interests you, please see my lab web-site for opportunities.