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Jeffrey Bird

Professor, Chairman School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Soil Biogeochemistry/ Ecosystem Ecology

Science Building, Room E220
Phone: 718-997-3332
Personal Home Page

Research Interests

Professor Bird’s biogeochemistry research group is focused on belowground C, N and S cycling in terrestrial ecosystems.  Soils are critical controllers on the flow of matter and energy in the environment and are considered especially important in the Earth's response to Global Change.  Soils act as both a significant source of atmospheric greenhouse gases (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) and as a sizable stable sink for plant C and N inputs.  Bird’s research group investigates how soil microbial communities, plants, climate and mineralogy interact to control the turnover, loss or stabilization of soil C and N in temperate and tropical ecosystems.  The Bird lab uses stable isotopic tracers (13C and 15N) to follow C and N among plants, soil microbes, and mineral surfaces to better understand how soils support ecological productivity and environmental quality. 

The Bird terrestrial biogeochemistry research group is involved in several field and laboratory research projects that focus on the biological, chemical and physical controls on C and N cycling in temperate and tropical ecosystems.

Focus areas:

·    Pyrogenic organic matter (black carbon) decomposition and transport dynamics in temperate ecosystems               

·    The effect of N deposition on soil C turnover

·    How plant roots interact with soil C cycling and affect soil microbial activity

·    The role of microbial community structure on soil C dynamics

·    The contribution of above versus belowground plant C input on soil C dynamics

·    The stabilization mechanisms of soil C and N (physical and chemical)


Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:

EnSci 100: Our Planet in the 21rst Century (with lab)

Ensci  200: Earth Systems Science

HMNS 225: Seminar 3: Environmental Science and Technology in NYC

Ensci 203: Environmental Microbiology

Geol 318: Soils in the Environment (with lab)

Geol 370: Biogeochemistry

Graduate Courses:

Geology 768: Soils, Wetlands and Biodegradation

Graduate Seminar 799: Current topics in Biogeochemistry

Graduate Seminar 799: Molecular Methods in Environmental Microbiology


Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Environmental Science BA, BS degrees

School of Earth & Environmental Sciences Queens College, CUNY   (2011-present)

Research group website:



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