Applying 13C Stable Isotope Probing and the pufM Gene to Investigate Anoxygenic Phototrophs in the Pink Layer of a Salt Marsh Microbial Mat (Microbial Diversity training course at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole): Anoxygenic phototrophs are key C-fixing members of the Great Sippewissett salt marsh microbial mats. The diversity and presence of these microbes in mats, C fixation, and the diversity of the pufM gene in purple sulfur and non-sulfur bacteria were investigated using 454 sequencing, 13C stable isotope probing (SIP), and pufM clone libraries. Nearby mats are relatively similar at the class level, and anoxygenic phototroph communities differ between young and old mats, although anoxygenic phototrophs in the pink layer of the mat may only represent a few percent of the population. Anoxygenic phototrophs are likely fixing C in the pink layer of the mat, although SIP results are somewhat equivocal and pufM sequences resemble sequences from diverse known taxa. Future investigations could include development of the pink layer communities over time and deeper investigation of C cycling dynamics in these layers and the role of anoxygenic phototrophs therein.
Report on Building Agricultural Resilience to Climate Change: The Cases of Jordan and Lebanon (World Bank): I worked as a Short-Term Consultant on this report, and was responsible for the sections on the effects of predicted climate changes on Jordanian and Lebanese agriculture. The purpose of this report is to help people of Jordan and Lebanon understand the specific challenges and opportunities posed by climate change in the agricultural sector and to develop local-level priorities, informed by stakeholder input, to build agricultural resilience in Jordan (Jordan River Valley) and Lebanon (Bekaa Valley). The objectives of this study were threefold: 1) To improve the understanding of climate change projections and impacts on rural community livelihoods in select regions of Jordan and Lebanon; 2) to engage local communities, farmers, local experts, and local and national government representatives in a participatory fashion in helping craft adaptation agricultural response options to climate change; and 3) to develop local and regional climate change Action Plans that formulate recommendations for investment strategies and interventions in local agricultural systems.
Report on Biochar Systems for Smallholders in Developing Countries (World Bank): I worked as a Short-Term Consultant on this report, and was responsible for much of the scientific review and background information about biochar. This report offers a review of what is known about opportunities and risks of biochar systems, including soil impacts, climate change impacts, social impacts, and competing uses of biomass. The report benefited from a wide survey conducted in December 2010 to capture the diversity of projects, at different stages of advancement, in the developing world. New life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of 3 biochar systems with data collected from relatively advanced biochar projects were conducted for this report. Existing barriers to implementing promising systems and the status of knowledge regarding biochar systems are considered, to determine potential implications for future involvement in biochar research, policy and project formulation for development institutions like the World Bank and the UN-REDD programme.