Sarah Davis


Adjunct Assistant Professor

Bioenergy Feedstocks Analyst

Energy Biosciences Institute

143 IGB




Ph.D., 2007, West Virginia University
B.A. and B.S., 1999, Frostburg State University




My approach to ecosystem ecology combines empirical measurements of physiological processes and biogeochemistry with quantitative models of interacting variables in the soil, plant canopy, and atmosphere. I use comparative analyses of carbon and nitrogen cycling in ecosystems dominated by different species and different environmental conditions to estimate plant growth dynamics and terrestrial greenhouse gas emissions.

Management of terrestrial resources affects the carbon and nitrogen cycling of ecosystems through changes in the plant community, canopy architecture, soil properties, and microbial communities. Complex ecosystem process models enable us to aggregate these effects and project relative responses of difference ecosystem types to management and climate change.

Energy bioscience is a new field that necessitates the integration of many scientific disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, to accurately evaluate feedstock production chains. Systems analysis is inherent to both energy biosciences and ecosystem science such that these research disciplines may be applied in parallel to questions about land management. ;




Davis, S.C., W.J. Parton, F.G. Dohleman, C. M. Smith, S. Del Grosso, A. D. Kent and E.H. DeLucia. 2010. Comparative biogeochemical cycles of bioenergy crops reveal nitrogen-fixation and low GHG emissions in a Miscanthus x giganteus agro-ecosystem. Ecosystems 13: 144-156.

Davis, S.C., K.J. Anderson-Teixeira, E.H. DeLucia. 2009. Life-cycle analysis and the ecology of biofuels. Trends in Plant Science 14: 140-146.

Davis, S.C., A.E. Hessl, C. Scott, M.B. Adams and R.B. Thomas. 2009. Forest carbon sequestration changes in response to harvest. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 2101-2109.