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Jeffrey Bird
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Queens College
Phone: (718) 997-3332
Degrees/Diplomas: University of California, Davis, CA (1996-2001) PhD, Soil Biogeochemistry 2001; University of Vermont, Burlington, VT (1990-1992) MS, Plant and Soil Science 1992; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1987-1989) BS with honors, Soil Science 1989
Research Interests: soil science; terrestrial biogeochemistry; soil microbiology; plant-microbial interactions; pyrogenic organic matter; soil organic matter stabilization; ecosystem ecology; organic matter-mineral interactions; stable isotopes; carbon cycling; climate change; N cycling; carbon sequestration
Professor Bird’s biogeochemistry research group is focused on belowground C, N and S cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Soils are critical controllers on the flow of matter and energy in the environment and are considered especially important in the Earth's response to Global Climate Change. Soils act as both a significant source of atmospheric greenhouse gases (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) and as a sizable stable sink for plant C and N inputs.

Bird's research group investigates how soil microbial communities, plants, climate and mineralogy interact to control the turnover, loss or stabilization of soil C and N in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The Bird lab uses stable isotopic tracers (13C and 15N) to follow C and N among plants, soil microbes, and mineral surfaces to better understand how soils support ecological productivity and environmental quality.

Recent Publications:

Gibson, C.D., P.J. Hatton, J.A. Bird, K.J. Nadelhoffer, C.P. Ward, R.E. Stark, T.R. Filley. 2018. Interacting controls of pyrolysis temperature and plant taxa on the degradability of PyOM in a fire-prone Northern Temperate forest soil.  Soil Systems  2:48-65.  (Feature article in Special Issue on SOM Dynamics) doi:10.3390/soilsystems2030048


Brigham, B., G. O’Mullan, J.A. Bird. 2018. Acetate additions stimulate CO2 and CH4 production from urban wetland soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal. (online 8-2-18) doi: 10.2136/sssaj2018.01.0034


Gibson, C.D., P.J. Hatton, J.A. Bird, K.J. Nadelhoffer, T.R. Filley. 2018. Tree taxa and pyrolysis temperature interact to control pyrogenic organic matter induced native soil organic carbon priming. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 119:174-183. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.022


Pries, C. H., J.A. Bird, C. Castanha, P.J. Hatton, M.S. Torn. 2017. Long term decomposition: The influence of litter type and soil horizon on retention of plant carbon and nitrogen in soils. Biogeochemistry Letters 34:5-16. doi: 10.1007/s10533-017-0345-6


Hatton, P.J., S. Chatterjee, T.R. Filley, K. Dastmalchi, A.F. Plante, S. Abiven, X. Ga, C.A. Masiello, S.W. Leavitt, K.J. Nadelhoffer, R.E. Stark, J.A. Bird.  2016. Tree taxa and pyrolysis temperature interact to control the efficacy of pyrogenic organic matter formation. Biogeochemistry 130: 103-116. doi: 10.1007/s10533-016-0245-1


Santos, F., K.J. Nadelhoffer, J.A. Bird. 2016. Rapid fine root C and N mineralization in a northern temperate forest soil. Biogeochemistry 128:187-200. doi: 10.1007/s10533-016-0202-z