Wendy H. Yang

Assistant Professor
Departments of Plant Biology and Geology
Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
639 Morrill Hall


Ph.D. 2010, University of California, Berkeley
B.A., 2003, Harvard University


IB 100, Biological Sciences
IB 488, Environmental Stable Isotopes


I am broadly interested in how human activities are changing how natural and managed ecosystems function and how ecosystem responses to global change can feedback to drive or slow future global change. My research is in terrestrial biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology with a focus on determining process rates and drivers of chemical transformations in the environment. I am particularly interested in the controls on greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of nitrogen deposition on soil nitrogen retention and loss, the effects of plant community composition shifts on soil nitrogen and carbon dynamics, and the coupling of biogeochemical cycles beyond carbon and nitrogen.  An important component of my research is the development of novel methodological approaches using tracer and natural abundance stable isotope techniques, in particular to quantify soil dinitrogen emissions and gross fluxes of greenhouse gases.


My current research projects include: (1) investigating the controls on iron reduction coupled to anaerobic ammonium oxidation (termed Feammox) in upland soils, (2) exploring soil redox controls on gross production and consumption of nitrous oxide and methane in temperate peatlands and coastal salt marshes in California, and (3) characterizing patterns in gross fluxes of greenhouse gases during the growing season in agricultural land (e.g., corn fields).
Graduate students can join my lab through the Department of Plant Biology, Department of Geology, or the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation. Please contact me if you are interested in working the lab as an undergraduate, graduate student, postdoc, or technician.


Yang, WH, Liptzin, D, High potential for iron reduction in upland soils. Ecology, in press.


Yang, WH, Traut, BH, Silver, WL, Microbially-mediated nitrogen retention and loss in a salt marsh soil. Ecosphere, 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00179.1


Yang, WH, McDowell, AC, Brooks, PD, Silver, WL (2014) New high precision approach for measuring 15N-N2 gas fluxes from terrestrial ecosystems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 69, 234-241.