Last week, our project’s Dr. Jennifer Pett-Ridge of LLNL was featured on The Economist Radio’s Podcast episode titled “Go with your gut – the hidden secrets and powers of microbiomes”. In the episode, Dr. Pett-Ridge spoke with host, Kenneth Cukier, about the complexity of soil microbial communities, their diverse and vastly unknown functions, and their ability to make soils a net CO2 source or sink.
“If we could figure out a way to store more carbon in soils, we would be able to achieve some of our targets in terms of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and there are many folks who have suggested different solutions.”
Congratulations to our project affiliate, Dr. Christina Hazard for being awarded an Early Career Grant from the French National Research Agency (ANR). Dr. Hazard’s grant titled: “Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi interactions in the nitrogen cycle for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from agroecosystems” was one of six grants funded this year!
We would like to congratulate one of our project affiliates, Dr. Mia Sungeon Lee, who successfully completed and defended her PhD Thesis: ” Virus-host interactions across a soil pH gradient at the community and individual scale” this past September! Dr. Lee was advised by Dr. Graeme Nicol and Dr. Christina Hazard in the department Laboratoire Ampère at the École Centrale de Lyon, University of Lyon. Congratulations again!
In an essay from The Economist this month titled, “The Viral Universe,” CKI’s work at the Hopland Research and Extension Center is mentioned as part of their story about the way viruses have big impacts on ecology and evolution as well as human health. Read from an excerpt below:
For such profound propinquity, move from the free-flowing oceans to the more structured world of soil, where potential self-sacrificers can nestle next to each other. Its structure makes soil harder to sift for genes than water is. But last year Mary Firestone of the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues used metagenomics to count 3,884 new viral species in a patch of Californian grassland. That is undoubtedly an underestimate of the total diversity; their technique could see only viruses with RNA genomes, thus missing, among other things, most bacteriophages.
The Economist, Aug 2020
We’re elated to have our work shared with the public through this essay shedding light on the immense importance of the extreme diversity that can be found in the soil-microbe world.
Congratulations to these two exceptional researchers on the CKI team for their outstanding achievements! This is an impressive and certainly well-deserved accomplishment.
Erin Nuccio (LLNL) and Joanne Emerson (UC Davis) are two of 76 scientists that received this recognition and award from the Department of Energy today based on rigorous peer review from outside science experts.
Erin was awarded for her work on “Crosstalk: Interkingdom interactions in the mycorrhizal hyphosphere and ramifications for soil C cycling”.
Joanne was awarded for her work on “Infective viruses and inert virions: illuminating abundant unknowns in terrestrial biogeochemical cycles”.
We can’t wait to see where this takes their work next!