Dr. Ben Sullivan I'm a soil scientist and biogeochemist. While I enjoy working and playing in mountains, I feel at home in vast desert expanses. Fortunately, the Great Basin has both, and sometimes at the same time. I want to learn how this amazing world works at a molecular level.
Google Scholar citation indices: 760 citations, h-index 14 (May 2018) View full Google Scholar profile HERE Professional CV Here:
Cody Reed, PhD Student Cody Reed comes to the lab from Quincy, CA where she co-runs Five Foot Farm. Cody is leading research on greenhouse gas fluxes and soil carbon dynamics in restored and unrestored Sierra Nevada meadows. These meadows are the headwaters of the California water supply, and they provide many ecosystem services to these mountain regions. This research is a partnership between the Sullivan Lab and Plumas Corporation, and is part of a broader research partnership funded by the California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Ryan Kasten, MS Student Ryan received his BS in Forest Management and Ecology from UNR in 2016, and worked with us as an undergraduate assistant in 2015-2016. His research seeks to elucidate how aboveground and belowground carbon stocks change from forests to meadows, and especially in areas of woody plant growth in meadows. Ryan hails from Donner Summit, CA, and is working in forests and meadows in his native Sierra.
Cordi Craig, MS Student Cordi has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and worked as an Americorps volunteer with our partners at the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). As an Americorps volunteer, Cordi discovered an interest in soil-plant feedbacks and ecology. Cordi started her MS thesis in Fall 2017 studying GHG fluxes in the central Great Basin. Cordi enjoys endurance running, river running, and preparing soil carbon samples - her Costech burritos are 5-star.
Jordin Jacobs, MS Student An interest in plant ecology led to my spending the past four years in the Sierra Nevada surveying for rare plants and more recently, collecting data for research investigating the effects of severe wildfire on plant and pollinator populations. Observing plants in the field sparked my interest in understanding more about the below ground abiotic and biotic factors influencing plant life and the reverse - the way in which plants affect soil, microbial and fungal communities. Free time stuff I enjoy: drawing, skiing, superb swimming holes, mountain biking, and kicking it with my dog.
Brian Morra, PhD Student Brian joins the lab after a MS degree in Geochemistry from the University of Maine and a BS in Geology from the University of Idaho. Brian is studying how soil C accumulates and is lost from Nevada meadow ecosystems. When not coring soil or developing soil CO2 flux sensors, Brian enjoys riding his bike and skiing in the backcountry.
Jacob Anderson, Postgraduate lab technician Jacob received his BS in Forestry in 2018 from UNR. His research curiosities include the greater mechanics, trends and patterns of large scale environmental change and understanding the changes brought about by invasive species, with a dash of curiosity about terra forming. Extracurricular interests include Anime, creative writing, extreme sports, pole vault, woodworking, puzzles, inventing/creating, hiking, axe throwing, obstacle courses.
Former Lab Members
Darden Mueller, Postgraduate student research assistant Darden received his BS in Environmental Science from UNR in 2016. Out of the lab he enjoys skiing, cycling, and exploring the mountain ranges around Nevada. I love working in the field and plan to pursue a MS degree in order to continue exploring the intricacies of soil science!
Stephanie Freund, Field and Lab Technician Stephanie has two degrees in Geography: a Bachelor's from Virginia Tech, where she pursued a concentration in geospatial and environmental analysis, and a M.S. from UNR, where she studied biological soil crusts in Great Basin sagebrush and pinyon-juniper communities. Her interests outside of soil and ecosystem science include painting, printmaking, and hiking.
Sarrah Dunham-Cheatham Sarrah is a biogeochemist and science educator. She received her BS from Purdue University in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences focusing on soils and hydrology, and her geochemistry Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame focusing on effects of bacteria on the mobility of mercury and precipitation of uranyl and lead phosphates. Sarrah has worked at the DOE IFRC Rifle, CO field site via Stanford University, and has taught full-time at Colorado Mesa University and Washington University in St. Louis, as well as as a K-12 science educator at the St. Louis Science Center. Prior to joining our lab, she worked as a postdoctoral scientist at UNR, investigating the coupled dynamics of Fe minerals and C and how different biogeochemical variables affect the stability of Fe-bound organic carbon in soils. Her current research is aimed at understanding the plant-soil feedbacks in abandoned agriculture fields and how these feedbacks affect vegetation restoration efforts.
Emily Carlson, Lab Manager Emily has a BS in Biology from Humboldt State University and a MS in Soils and Biogeochemistry from UC Davis. Emily has worked in central America studying soil and acquatic ecosystems and worked with lab collaborators Drs. Eliska Rejmankova and Sudeep Chandra. Emily now works at the Nevada department of environmental protection keeping our water safe and lean.
Kelsey Casey Kelsey completed her B.S. in Environmental Science in May, 2016. Kelsey was an integral member of our lab during the summer and fall of 2015. Kelsey now works in Reno at the WETLAB environmental testing lab.
Wayne Grosjean Wayne (at right) is currently working on a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Nevada Reno and expects to graduate in 2017. Wayne assisted us in collecting greenhouse gas and soil samples. Wayne was also invaluable to the lab because he processed Exetainers by the hundreds to prepare us for field work and processed soil bulk density samples in his sleep. Wayne's interests outside of the lab are fishing, hiking, and camping.
Megan Ludwig Ecohydrology (2012-2015) Megan has been invaluable in helping build this lab. In fact, this very website owes its existence to her. Megan was supported by the National Science Foundation as a Research Experience for Undergraduates student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Megan completed her BS in Ecohydrology in December, 2o15 and is now attending graduate school in Hydrologic Sciences at the University of British Colombia, Kelowna! Good luck, Megan, congrats, and come back to visit often for backcountry ski adventures.
Elizabeth Huenupi, Lab Manager Elizabeth has a PhD from Universidad de Chile in Santiago, specializing in biotechnology processes. She has a strong background in mining biotechnology: After getting a BSc in Chemical Engineering, she worked in the mining industry for several years. She worked as a postdoc in Dr. Evelyn Soo's lab at NRC in Halifax, Canada for several years before moving to Reno in 2009. Since 2010, Elizabeth worked at the Soils lab at Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences/DRI in Reno. She now joined our lab and the lab of Dr. Paul Verburg in the Fall of 2015. While she is not busy reading a good novel, listening or dancing to her favorite tunes, Elizabeth likes to travel and learn first hand about other cultures. Elizabeth now works in the lab of Rich Phillips at Indiana University-Bloomington.
Morgan McLeod, Lab Manager, Emeritus Morgan set the tone for the lab by getting us ready for the work to come. Morgan works at the MPG Ranch in Montana and has a MS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. But don't let that fool ya; she's no lizard-squeezer. Morgan has worked in some of the best biogeochemistry labs in the west, including labs overeseen by Cory Cleveland (University of Montana), Steve Hart (then NAU, now UC Merced), Steve Perakis (USGS & OSU), and now here at UNR. We were lucky to have her help us get off the ground.