How does one scientist tie her interests in to real-world problems?

How does one scientist tie her interests in to real-world problems?

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Clip Guide

: Here you will find clear descriptions of what you just saw, how they know what they said they knew, why they know it to be trustworthy information. Finally we will ask the question, "So what!" and explore why the information is important.

WHAT

In this clip from a 2009 interview, Kimberley Epps describes some of the real world issues that relate to her field of research: biogeochemistry. This interview was conducted by AGCI during a workshop on the State of the Global Phosphorus Cycle.

WHO

Dr. Epps is a biogeochemist whose introduction to the realm of soil fertility and P cycling in tropical soils came during service in Cameroon, Central Africa. While evangelizing the merits of N-fixing trees and shrubs, she discovered farmers' greater concern over P fertility. She entered the programs of International Agricultural Development and Soil Science at the University of California in Davis, where her master's research entailed ranking the susceptibility of freshwater marshes in Belize to phosphorus loading by sediment type. Her doctoral work at the University of Florida centered on exploring the relationship between the chemical diversity of tree species and litter decomposition in the context of the highly diverse Atlantic Forest of Bahia, Brazil. She is currently exploring several new topics including relating the molecular sequence of carbon transformation of degrading organic matter to microbial activity, as well as contrasting the P acquisition strategies of invasive and native N-fixing and non-fixing species in highly P-limiting environments.

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Further Reading
Further Reading: 

At the 2009 AGCI workshop, Dr. Epps gave a presentation entitled "What regulates recovery time of water bodies following cessation of P loading?"  Her PowerPoint slides from this presentation can be found by clicking here

Epps, K. Y., Comerford, N. B., Reeves, III, J. B., Cropper, Jr., W. P. and Araujo, Q. R. (2007), Chemical diversity – highlighting a species richness and ecosystem function disconnect. Oikos, 116: 1831–1840. doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2007.15853.x