Lake and mountains


Increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases are changing global climate. The concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will change over the next century, due to both human activities such as fossil fuel burning and landscape management, and from feedbacks in the carbon cycle that modify ecosystems and the ocean. In particular, these feedbacks between climate and terrestrial ecosystem carbon storage may have a profound impact on climate and on ecosystems. 

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. 

Our goal is not only to understand our beautiful planet, but to provide actionable information on topics such as air quality and wildfires that can help societies respond to the ongoing environmental crisis.

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.


May 2023

Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Torres, who defended his PhD to better understand how ecosystems and atmospheric transport affect atmospheric carbon dioxide as measured from satellites. Well done!

April 2023

Congratulations to Dr Yifan Guan, who successfully defended her PhD! Her paper on interannual variability in satellite observations of carbon dioxide was just published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

March 2023

Prof. Keppel-Aleks was awarded the College of Engineering’s Raymond J. and Monica E. Schultz Outreach and Diversity Award. There is still a lot of work to be done.

February 2023

Congratulations to Dr. Morgan (Cheatham) Loechli who successfully defended her PhD! Dr. Loechli will start this fall at Kalamazoo College as an Assistant Professor of Physics. Her paper on the growing season net flux of carbon was just published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

May 2022

We have a new interdisciplinary postdoc position open on wildfire-climate interactions. The successful candidate will work with the Western Forest and Fire Initiative (WFFI) to understand climate-fire risk in the context of broader the broader socio-ecological system. See the announcement for more details.

January 2022

Prof. Keppel-Aleks is awarded a Martin Luther King Spirit Award at UM in recognition for her work related to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

May 2021

PhD candidate Daniel Muccio earns a NASA FINESST graduate fellowship to study the role of changing photosynthesis and respiration on the Arctic carbon cycle!

March 2021

Postdoctoral scholar Thiago dos Santos’ paper on soil moisture-carbon relationships in the temperate-to-boreal transition zone is published in JGR-B. Congratulations!

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