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Meet The Team

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Benton Taylor

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

The Arnold Arboretum

Our research focuses on how terrestrial ecosystems respond to various global change drivers such as rising CO2, nutrient pollution, human land use, and extreme weather events, and how these ecosystem responses, in turn, influence the trajectory of global change. Our work spans from tropical rainforests to the tundra and encompasses scales from physiology to ecosystems. The influence of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing plants on ecosystem dynamics, the below-ground responses of trees to elevated CO2, and the processes that drive soil carbon storage are particular foci of our work. We combine field and greenhouse experimental manipulations, large-scale observational studies, and global data analyses to illuminate the web of interactions between human activity, terrestrial ecosystem processes, and global change.

Contact Information
email: bentontaylor@fas.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
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Lindsay McCulloch

Postdoctoral Fellow

Harvard University

Brown University, Ph.D.

Colgate University, B.S.

Lindsay is an ecologist interested in how species interact to affect biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem function. She uses greenhouse studies, field experiments, DNA sequencing, and quantitative analyses to probe how the environment (soil nutrient, water, and/or light availability) influence how plants interact with other organisms and the implications this has for forest function and global change. 

Contact Information
email: lmcculloch@fas.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
 
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Cecilia Prada

Postdoctoral Fellow

Harvard University

Brown University, Ph.D.

Colgate University, B.S.

Ceci's research focuses on the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on tree species composition, distribution, and biogeochemical processes, with a specific emphasis on filling research gaps in soil-plant-fungi interactions in tropical forests.

Contact Information
email: cpradacordero@fas.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
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Calvin Heslop

Graduate Student

Harvard University

University of Alaska Fairbanks, M.S.

Western Washington University, B.S.

Calvin is an ecosystem ecologist interested in the effects of nitrogen fixing plants on both above and below ground community structure and function. His research interests are focused on the linkage of the N and C cycle in high latitude ecosystems. More specifically, he studies how the N-fixing shrub Siberian alder influences community composition, N cycling, and C balance in arctic Alaska. He is also a proponent of information theoretic approaches to statistical inference in ecological research.

Contact Information
email: cheslop@g.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
 
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Nikhil Chari

Graduate Student

Harvard University

UC Berkeley, B.S. 

Nikhil is a Ph.D. student interested in carbon and nutrient cycling governing terrestrial ecosystems. His current research interrogates the relationships between climate change, plant root exudation, and soil organic matter dynamics.

Contact Information
email: nchari@g.harvard.edu 
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
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Carina Berlingeri

Graduate Student

Harvard University

Cornell University, B.S.

Carina is engaged in several projects studying how different global change drivers (nutrient pollution, disturbance, and rising CO2) alter below-ground symbioses and plant resource-acquisition strategies. Her research is motivated by understanding how below-ground dynamics will influence ecosystem responses and processes in the face of global environmental change.

Contact Information
email: carinaberlingeri@g.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
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Lauren Church

Research Assistant

Harvard University, B.A. 

Lauren is the lab's research assistant, and helps with sample processing, data analysis, as well as field work (her favorite part). Lauren completed her thesis in the Taylor lab looking at the impacts of fertilizer treatments on soil bacterial communities, plant health and soil nutrients. Her research interests include sustainable agriculture, global change biology, and human-environmental interactions. 

Contact Information
email: laurenchurch@college.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
 
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Nick Daley

Undergraduate Researcher

Harvard University

Nick is a senior at Harvard College completing his thesis in the Taylor lab. He spent his summer in northern Alaska collecting data on tundra plant community composition relative to alder. 

Contact Information
email: ndaley@college.harvard.edu 
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
 

Lab Alumni

WENYING LIao,
post-doctoral fellow, '22

Katie DeGroot, undergraduate researcher, '22

Ben tibbets,
Darin-Butz intern, '22

Arturo Aguilar, undergraduate researcher, '21

Millie Harding,
Darin-Butz intern, '21

Aunnesha Bhowmick,
Darin-Butz intern, '21

Joseph fadule,
undergraduate researcher, '22

 
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Julissa Gutierrez

Research Assistant and Collaborator

University of Costa Rica, Licenciatura

Juli is a collaborator on multiple Costa Rica- based projects in the lab. She assists with field work as well as sample processing and analysis, both at La Selva Research Station and in Boston. Juli's research interests and experience includes frog research conservation, and community outreach and conservation. She continues to work in community outreach in Costa Rica. 

Contact Information
email: jgutierrezfigueroa@fas.harvard.edu
Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
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