Grad Student Opportunities in Global Change Ecology and Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

The Yang Lab in Global Change Ecology and Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry ( in the Departments of Plant Biology and Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks creative and motivated graduate students to join the lab in Fall 2019. We explore how human activities change the functioning of natural and managed ecosystems and how ecosystem responses to global change can feed back to fuel or slow future global change.
We currently have graduate research assistantship funding to investigate (1) how microbial diversity controls nitrous oxide reduction in soils, and (2) plant-soil-microbe interactions that regulate soil nitrogen cycling in bioenergy cropping systems. The latter project is part of a large interdisciplinary effort by the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) to develop the predictive capability to determine which feedstock combinations, regions and land types, market conditions, and bioproducts have the potential to support the ecologically and economically sustainable displacement of fossil fuels ( Other themes in our research program include controls on redox-sensitive processes in upland soils, such as denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, and iron reduction; and plant community composition effects on biogeochemical processes, including woody polycultures as a sustainable agricultural system, mycorrhizal mediation of soil carbon and nitrogen cycling, and invasive species effects on ecosystem nitrogen dynamics. Students will be encouraged to develop their own research related to these themes.
There are multiple opportunities to join the lab to pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. degree:
(1) Department of Plant Biology ( – Deadline January 1
(2) Department of Geology ( – Deadline January 15
(3) Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology ( – Deadline December 15
If you are interested in joining the lab, please email Dr. Wendy Yang ( with a brief statement of your research interests and your CV.