Stefania Mambelli

Stefania Mambelli

Lab Scientist

Department of Integrative Biology and Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry
Office: 4007 Valley Life Science Building
Phone: (510)–6421054 or (510)–6431748/9; Fax: (510) – 6421054

Research Interests:
My research questions focus on understanding how plants respond to their environment, and how plant properties affect processes at the ecosystem scale. In particular, I am interested in the physiological mechanisms that control plant responses to the availability of resources such as water, light, nitrogen; the role of vegetation in carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycles, including processes such as decomposition and carbon sequestration; the use of the natural variation of stable isotopes of N, C, H and O in plants and their environment to infer processes linked to resource cycling in the biosphere at various spatial and temporal scales.


Ph.D. Agronomy and Crop Physiology, 1986-1990, University of Bologna, Italy.
B.S. Plant Biology, 1983, University of Bologna, Italy.

– Associate Researcher, Department of Integrative Biology and Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry, University of California at Berkeley, January 2000 to present. My position involves research, teaching and university and public service. As an associate member of the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry at UC Berkeley I am involved in tutoring and training graduate students in Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences on aspects of stable isotope techniques and use of stable isotope mass spectrometry.
– Visiting Scientist, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, 1999.
– Faculty, Department of Agronomy, University of Bologna, Italy, 1992-1998. I was involved in research focused on physiological responses of crop species to water stress and nutrients. In 1997, 1998 and 1999 I also designed and taught the graduate course “Physiology of crop plants” for the Plant Biotechnology Program, University of Bologna, Italy.
– NATO and Italian Research Council Fellow, Department of Soil, Crop and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1993, 1996, 1997. In collaboration with Prof. TL Setter I was involved in a project aimed to understand the cellular and physiological bases for altered reproductive growth in plants subjected to water deficit. In particular, I studied the role of the hormone abscisic acid in the inhibition of cell division in developing maize endosperm.

– Spring Semester, offered alternate years: Graduate course IB c227, Stable Isotope Ecology, Laboratory.
– Every Fall: Graduate course IB c226, Seminar in “Isotopics”.
– 2006 to 2010, Spring Semester, offered alternate years: Graduate course IB c227, Isotope Biogeochemistry, Laboratory.
– During Fall 2001, 2002 and 2003 I also designed and taught the graduate course IB 256, Methods in Ecology and Environmental Biology.

Recent publications:

Mambelli S, Brooks PD, Sutka R, Hughes S, Finstad K, Nelson JP and Dawson TE. 2016. High throughput method for simultaneous analysis of N, C and S stable isotopes and contents in organics and soils. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 30, 1743–1753.

Templer HP, Weathers CK, Ewing HA, Dawson TE, Mambelli S, Lindsey AM, Webb J, Boukili VK, Firestone MK, 2015. Fog as a source of nitrogen for redwood trees: evidence from fluxes and stable isotopes. Journal of Ecology, 103, 1397–1407.

Hynson NA, Mambelli S, Amend AS and Dawson TE, 2012. Measuring carbon gains from fungal networks in understory plants from the tribe Pyroleae (Ericaceae): a field manipulation and stable isotope approach. Oecologia: Volume 169, Issue 2, 307-317.

Mambelli S, Bird JA, Gleixner G, Dawson TE and Torn MS, 2011. Relative contribution of foliar and fine root pine litters to the molecular composition of soil organic matter after in situ decomposition. Organic Geochemistry, 42, 9, 1099-1108.

Ma S, Baldocchi DD, Mambelli S and Dawson TE, 2011. Are temporal variations of leaf traits responsible for seasonal and inter-annual variability in ecosystem CO2 exchange? Functional Ecology, 25, 1, 258-270.





Professional Memberships:
Ecological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, California Botanical Society.

I enjoy cultural activities, traveling, gardening, Pilates and hiking.