Paige Stanley (2018 – 2022): Graduate Student, now a postdoc with Francesca Cotrufo at Colorado State University
Paige is a PhD graduate from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, co-advised by Drs. Tim Bowles and Lynn Huntsinger. Prior to Berkeley, she received an MS in Animal Science at Michigan State University and a BS in Cellular Biology with a dual major in Economics from Georgia College & State University.
Grazing by ruminant livestock takes place on one-third of Earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface. Grazing lands provide myriad ecosystem services beyond animal production, including the regenerative potential for soil C sequestration and climate change mitigation. Beef from these animals is an important dietary component and a significant contributor to rural livelihoods. However, it is also a source of high GHG emissions and land-based degradation. Thus, the long-term goal of Paige’s research is to identify grazing methods that reduce the environmental impacts of beef production and regenerate ecosystems while improving rancher livelihoods. Specifically, her current dissertation research aims to understand the role of grazing animals in diversified farming systems, and how we can combine knowledge about animal behavior, grazing ecology, soil science, and rancher decision making to increase soil carbon sequestration on rangelands in California. She is particularly interested in the use of adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing by ranchers to sequester soil carbon, its impacts on soil carbon permanence, and the mechanisms behind this process. Core to her work is centering ranchers throughout the research process, ensuring that her research contributes to solving their on-the-ground challenges.