Gretchen Keppel-Aleks

Carbon Cycle Research Group

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Welcome

Atmospheric greenhouse gases provide the largest anthropogenic climate forcing. The concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases will change over the next century, due to both human activity and feedbacks in the carbon cycle. In particular, feedbacks between climate and terrestrial ecosystem carbon storage will have large effects on the atmospheric composition and hence radiative forcing.

Our research group uses atmospheric and remote sensing observations to develop an understanding of processes that govern the exchange of carbon among reservoirs in the atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial ecosystems. We employ observations to test and improve process-based models ranging in complexity from simple box models to Earth System Models.

Addressing these issues is crucial for science and for society and requires creative insights from young scientists. Our field is especially in need of diverse scientists whose perspectives cut across race, gender, class, and nationality. Please contact me if you are interested in carbon cycle research at UM at the undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral level.

News

April 2020

PhD student Zach Butterfield has a new paper on interannual variations in plant productivity in Remote Sensing of Environment.

Former PhD student Samantha Basile has a new paper on how variations in climate and plant productivity affect heterotrophic respiration. Together, these efforts are contributing to a greater understanding of how we can leverage atmospheric CO2 observations and satellite data for a full accounting of the carbon cycle. Congratulations Zach and Sam!

January 2020

Postdoctoral scholar Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi shows that we can use novel remote sensing datasets, including chlorophyll fluorescence, to monitor the success of afforestation policies in drylands in a new paper in One Earth. Congratulations, Cynthia!

September 2019

PhD student Anthony Torres' paper on understanding sources of variability in OCO-2 observations of atmospheric CO2 was published by JGR-Atmospheres. Congratulations, Anthony! Welcome, Daniel Muccio, who is joining our research group as a PhD student this fall!

August 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Samantha Basile, who successfully defended her PhD! Dr. Basile will be moving on to a prestigious Mirzayan science and policy fellowship in Washington D.C.. We look forward to seeing how she will change the world!

July 2019

Dr. Keppel-Aleks received the Global Environmental Change Early Career Award from AGU and will be honored at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco!

Congratulations to Dr. Matt Wozniak, who successfully defended his PhD! Dr. Wozniak is wrapping up a paper on interannual variability in photosynthesis in a multilayer canopy model, then going on to a fellowship at GFDL to work on Blue Carbon!

Congratulations to Anthony Torres, whose paper using OCO-2 and TCCON observations to understand fine-scale flux and transport-driven variations in atmospheric column CO2 was accepted at JGR-Atmosphere! The preprint is available here.

Samantha Basile's paper on heterotrophic respiration is online in Biogeosciences-Discussion.

April 2019

Former undergraduate researcher Allison Hogikyan was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Congratulations, and best wishes as you continue your PhD research at Princeton!

January 2019

Welcome to Morgan Cheatham, who is joining our research group from the Applied Physics program!

December 2018

The whole group presents their research at the AGU Fall Meeting! Dr. Keppel-Aleks has an invited talk on ecosystem memory, Samantha Basile has a talk on using atmospheric observations to benchmark heterotrophic respiration, Zachary Butterfield presents his work on interannual variability in vegetation productivity,Anthony Torres has a poster on a geostatistical approach to evaluate variance in satellite observations, and Xin Lin has a poster on drivers of long-term CO2 amplification.

October 2018

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presents on Anthony's work on deriving a variance budget for satellite trace gas retrievals and Zach's work on vegetation fluorescence at the OCO-2 Science Team meeting in Boulder

Dr. Keppel-Aleks travels to Nanjing for a Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium. She presented an invited talk on Carbon Monitoring and Verifications following the Paris Accord.

September 2018

Our paper on "Behavioral adaptation to climate change in wildfire-prone forests" was published in WIREs Climate Change! Congratulations to former postdoc Dr. Matt Hamilton!

August 2018

Congratulations to the OCO-2 Science Team for its NASA Group Achievement Award! Dr. Keppel-Aleks and PhD student Anthony Torres have been working to quantify the variance budget of XCO2 measured by the satellite.

Welcome to Yifan Guan, who is joining our research group as a PhD pre-candidate!

June 2018

Welcome to Dr. Xin Lin, a new postdoctoral scholar joining our group from LSCE in France. Dr. Lin will be working on a NASA-funded project to understand why the mean annual cycle of CO2 has increased with time.

April 2018

PhD student Samantha Basile and Dr. Keppel-Aleks have a paper on benchmarking tropical ecosystem carbon fluxes published in Earth Interactions.

March 2018

Welcome to Dr. Ke Xu, who will be a visiting scholar in our lab while doing postdoctoral research for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)!

PhD students Zach Butterfield and Anthony Torres co-organized and presented their research at the Michigan Geophysical Union conference.

February 2018

Dr. Keppel-Aleks and Dr. Scott Doney at the University of Virginia were selected for another three years on the OCO-2 science team! We will use satellite observations of XCO2, terrestrial productivity, and ocean climate to resolve interannual variability in carbon fluxes.

January 2018

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presents an invited talk at the AMS annual meeting, showcasing work on how mesoscale transport affects XCO2 observations from OCO-2. This work is part of Anthony's PhD research.

December 2017

The whole group presents results at the AGU fall meeting in New Orleans.

October 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks started a two-year term as co-chair of the Biogeochemistry Working Group for CESM.

Dr. Keppel-Aleks, Zachary Butterfield, and Anthony Torres all present at the OCO-2 science team meeting in Boulder, Colorado. OCO-2 now has three years of data!

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presented a seminar on research conducted with formal postdoctoral fellow, Jessica Liptak, at the University of California, Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center.

September 2017

Welcome to new postdoctoral fellows Thiago Dos Santos and Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi. Thiago will be working jointly between the Keppel-Aleks lab and the Steiner lab to study relationships between soil moisture, carbon, and energy fluxes using SMAP. Cynthia will be working jointly between our lab and the Ruf lab to use CYGNSS data to understand vegetation-water relationships.

August 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presents research done by group members Zach Butterfield, Emily Gargulinski, and Allison Hogikyan at the 10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference (ICDC) in Interlaken, Switzerland.

July 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presents on the use of satellite CO2 data for evaluating emissions at a meeting on Next Generation Carbon Data in Norwich, UK.

June 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presents on links between Pacific and Atlantic climate oscillations on tropical carbon cycling at the CESM Annual Meeting in Boulder.

The group bids a fond farewell and best wishes to Dr. Jessica Liptak, who is moving on to an exciting new job as a research computing specialist at Engility/GFDL in Princeton! We'll miss you, Jessica!

May 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks and PhD student Zach Butterfield are headed to central Iowa to set up Photospec spectrometers to measure chlorophyll fluorescence in corn and soy fields as part of a NASA-funded research campaign in collaboration with Caltech and UCLA.

Congratulations to PhD student Anthony Torres on winning a prestigious NASA NESSF graduate fellowship!

Congratulations to PhD students Samantha Basile and Anthony Torres on passing Phase 2 of their candidacy exams!

April 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks is looking for a new postdoctoral scholar to work on a NASA-funded project on high latitude carbon cycling as part of the ABOVE campaign.

March 2017

Dr. Keppel-Aleks leads a break-out session on how we can use OCO-2 observations to develop a better understanding of global carbon dynamics at the NACP meeting.

Postdoctoral scholar Jessica Liptak's paper on long-term drivers of CO2 amplification is published in Biogeosciences!

Dr. Keppel-Aleks presents at the CESM Biogeochemistry Working Group meeting in Boulder on diurnal carbon cycling in CLM.

February 2017

Undergraduate researcher Emily Gargulinski earns the CLASP Distinguished Achiement Award! Congratulations!

Dr. Keppel-Aleks and Dr. Allison Steiner are looking for a postdoctoral scholar to work on a NASA-funded project to use SMAP soil moisture observations to study links between the water, energy, and carbon cycles.

Dr. Keppel-Aleks speaks on a panel at the AAAS meeting in Boston on Global Climate Science Imperatives in a Post-Paris Agreement World

I am always interested in hearing from bright, motivated students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Please email me if you are interested in carbon cycle science at UM.