Mark P Waldrop, Ph.D.
My research expertise is in soil microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in response to global change phenomenon. I lead a team focused on studies of microbial, chemical, and biophysical controls on carbon cycling in permafrost, boreal, and wetland ecosystems of Alaska as well as forest and grassland ecosystems of the Western U.S.
University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D., Soil Science, 2002
University of California at Berkeley, M.S., Soil Science, 1997
New Mexico State University, B.S. Biology/Ecology, and B.S. Soil Science, 1995
2013- current Project Chief, Mechanisms of Soil Carbon Sequestration
2007- current Research Soil Scientist, USGS, Menlo Park, CA.
2005-2007 Mendenhall Research Fellow, USGS, Menlo Park, CA.
2002-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Michigan
USGS Menlo Park Science Advisory Council Member
US Permafrost Association President
Affiliate/Graduate Faculty, University of Alaska Fairbanks & University of Guelph
Click here to see my full list of publications
Scopus author ID: 7006756470
Science and Products
Radiocarbon measurements of microbial metabolites using a moving wire interface: A new method to reveal microbial contributions to stabilized soil organic carbon
The overall goal of this project is the development and application of the moving-wire AMS technique to measure the radiocarbon content of microbial metabolites. Data to be used for improved understanding and modeling of carbon stabilization and destabilization in soils.
Next Generation of Ecological Indicators: Defining Which Microbial Properties Matter Most to Ecosystem Function and How to Measure Them
While it is widely recognized that microorganisms are intimately linked with every biogeochemical cycle in all ecosystems, it is not clear how and when microbial dynamics constrain ecosystem processes. As a result, it is know clear how to apply the value of increasingly detailed characterization of microbial properties to our understanding of ecosystem ecology. Several recent papers have...
Towards determining spatial methane distribution on Arctic permafrost bluffs with an unmanned aerial system
Arctic permafrost stores vast amounts of methane (CH4) in subsurface reservoirs. Thawing permafrost creates areas for this potent greenhouse gas to be released to the atmosphere. Identifying ‘hot spots’ of methane flux on a local scale has been limited by the spatial scales of traditional ground-based or satellite-based methane-sampling methods....Oberle, Ferdinand K. J.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Erikson, Li H.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Swarzenski, Peter W.
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen release from boreal Holocene permafrost and seasonally frozen soils of Alaska
Permafrost (perennially frozen) soils store vast amounts of organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) that are vulnerable to mobilization as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and dissolved organic and inorganic nitrogen (DON, DIN) upon thaw. Such releases will affect the biogeochemistry of permafrost regions, yet little is known about the chemical...Wickland, Kimberly P.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Aiken, George R.; Koch, Joshua C.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Striegl, Robert G.
Soil microbial community composition is correlated to soil carbon processing along a boreal wetland formation gradient
Climate change is modifying global biogeochemical cycles. Microbial communities play an integral role in soil biogeochemical cycles; knowledge about microbial composition helps provide a mechanistic understanding of these ecosystem-level phenomena. Next generation sequencing approaches were used to investigate changes in microbial functional...Chapman, Eric; Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby; Childers, Daniel L.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Waldrop, Mark P.
Microbial survival strategies in ancient permafrost: insights from metagenomics
In permafrost (perennially frozen ground) microbes survive oligotrophic conditions, sub-zero temperatures, low water availability and high salinity over millennia. Viable life exists in permafrost tens of thousands of years old but we know little about the metabolic and physiological adaptations to the challenges presented by life in frozen ground...Mackelprang, Rachel; Burkert, Alexander; Haw, Monica; Mahendrarajah, Tara; Conaway, Christopher H.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Waldrop, Mark P.
The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale
Soil microbial communities control critical ecosystem processes such as decomposition, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter formation. Continental scale patterns in the composition and functioning of microbial communities are related to climatic, biotic, and edaphic factors such as temperature and precipitation, plant community composition,...Waldrop, Mark P.; Holloway, JoAnn M.; Smith, David; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Drenovsky, R.E.; Scow, K.M.; Dick, R.; Howard, Daniel M.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Grace, James B.
Grand challenges for integrated USGS science—A workshop report
Executive SummaryThe U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long history of advancing the traditional Earth science disciplines and identifying opportunities to integrate USGS science across disciplines to address complex societal problems. The USGS science strategy for 2007–2017 laid out key challenges in disciplinary and interdisciplinary arenas,...Jenni, Karen E.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Baron, Jill S.; Bristol, R. Sky; Cantrill, Mary; Exter, Paul E.; Focazio, Michael J.; Haines, John W.; Hay, Lauren E.; Hsu, Leslie; Labson, Victor F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Ludwig, K.A.; Milly, Paul C. D.; Morelli, Toni L.; Morman, Suzette A.; Nassar, Nedal T.; Newman, Timothy R.; Ostroff, Andrea C. ; Read, Jordan S.; Reed, Sasha C.; Shapiro, Carl D.; Smith, Richard A.; Sanford, Ward E.; Sohl, Terry L.; Stets, Edward G.; Terando, Adam J.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Tischler, Michael A.; Toccalino, Patricia L.; Wald, David J.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Wein, Anne; Weltzin, Jake F.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
A decade of boreal rich fen greenhouse gas fluxes in response to natural and experimental water table variability
Rich fens are common boreal ecosystems with distinct hydrology, biogeochemistry and ecology that influence their carbon (C) balance. We present growing season soil chamber methane emission (FCH4), ecosystem respiration (ER), net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and gross primary production (GPP) fluxes from a 9-years water table manipulation experiment in...Olefeldt, David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Kane, Evan S.; McGuire, A. David; Waldrop, Mark P.; Turetsky, Merritt R.
Soil data for a thermokarst bog and the surrounding permafrost plateau forest, located at Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site, Interior Alaska
Peatlands play an important role in boreal ecosystems, storing a large amount of soil organic carbon. In northern ecosystems, collapse-scar bogs (also known as thermokarst bogs) often form as the result of ground subsidence following permafrost thaw. To examine how ecosystem carbon balance changes with the loss of permafrost, we measured carbon...Manies, Kristen L.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Jones, Miriam C.; Waldrop, Mark P.; McGeehin, John P.
Potential carbon emissions dominated by carbon dioxide from thawed permafrost soils
Increasing temperatures in northern high latitudes are causing permafrost to thaw, making large amounts of previously frozen organic matter vulnerable to microbial decomposition. Permafrost thaw also creates a fragmented landscape of drier and wetter soil conditions that determine the amount and form (carbon dioxide (CO2), or methane (CH4))...Schädel, Christina; Bader, Martin K.-F.; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Biasi, Christina; Bracho, Rosvel; Čapek, Petr; De Baets, Sarah; Diáková, Kateřina; Ernakovich, Jessica; Estop-Aragones, Cristian; Graham, David E.; Hartley, Iain P.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Kane, Evan S.; Knoblauch, Christian; Lupascu, Massimo; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Natali, Susan M.; Norby, Richard J.; O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Šantrůčková, Hana; Shaver, Gaius; Sloan, Victoria L.; Treat, Claire C.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Wickland, Kimberly P.
Seasonal electrical resistivity surveys of a coastal bluff, Barter Island, North Slope Alaska
Select coastal regions of the North Slope of Alaska are experiencing high erosion rates that can be attributed in part to recent warming trends and associated increased storm intensity and frequency. The upper sediment column of the coastal North Slope of Alaska can be described as continuous permafrost underlying a thin (typically less than 1–2 m...Swarzenski, Peter W.; Johnson, Cordell; Lorenson, Thomas; Conaway, Christopher H.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Erikson, Li H.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Waldrop, Mark P.
Differential response of carbon fluxes to climate in three peatland ecosystems that vary in the presence and stability of permafrost
Changes in vegetation and soil properties following permafrost degradation and thermokarst development in peatlands may cause changes in net carbon storage. To better understand these dynamics, we established three sites in Alaska that vary in permafrost regime, including a black spruce peat plateau forest with stable permafrost, an internal...Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Edgar, C.W.; Turetsky, M.R.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Harden, Jennifer W.
Linking microbial community structure and microbial processes: An empirical and conceptual overview
A major goal of microbial ecology is to identify links between microbial community structure and microbial processes. Although this objective seems straightforward, there are conceptual and methodological challenges to designing studies that explicitly evaluate this link. Here, we analyzed literature documenting structure and process responses to...Bier, R.L.; Bernhardt, Emily S.; Boot, Claudia M.; Graham, Emily B.; Hall, Edward K.; Lennon, Jay T.; Nemergut, Diana R.; Osborne, Brooke B.; Ruiz-Gonzalez, Clara; Schimel, Joshua P.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Wallenstein, Matthew D.