Forest image purchased from Shutterstock
Washington, DC—New powerhouse scientific talent with broad expertise ranging from marine and freshwater biogeochemistry to terrestrial ecosystem science to climate change adaptation and...
Explore this Story
Nuclear power cooling towers image purchased from Shutterstock.
Washington, DC—Nuclear power generation can play a crucial role in helping the world reach a key goal of zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, especially in countries with low...
Explore this Story
Chris Field
Washington, DC— The founding Director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology and former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II has been...
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Joseph Berry
Washington, DC— The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, has elected...
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Palm trees rise in front of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Washington, DC—California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced $20 million in his 2023 fiscal year budget to support Carnegie’s new research facility in Pasadena. The proposed budget...
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Thomas Lovejoy
Washington, DC—The founding chair of the Carnegie Scientific Advisory Council (CSAC), Thomas Lovejoy, a renowned ecologist and conservationist who is credited with coining the term “...
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Margaret McFall-Ngai
Washington, DC—Pioneering microbiome specialist Margaret McFall-Ngai has been named the inaugural director of Carnegie’s newly launched research division focused on life and environmental...
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Anna Michalak
Washington, DC—Carnegie Department of Global Ecology Director Anna Michalak will be honored with the American Geophysical Union’s Simpson Medal. It will be presented at the organization...
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Pages

Coral reefs are havens for marine biodiversity and underpin the economies of many coastal communities. But they are very sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry resulting from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to pollution, warming waters, overdevelopment, and overfishing. Reefs use a mineral...
Explore this Project
Until now, computer models have been the primary tool for estimating photosynthetic productivity on a global scale. They are based on estimating a measure for plant energy called gross primary production (GPP), which is the rate at which plants capture and store a unit of chemical energy as biomass...
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Anna Michalak’s team combined sampling and satellite-based observations of Lake Erie with computer simulations and determined that the 2011 record-breaking algal bloom in the lake was triggered by long-term agricultural practices coupled with extreme precipitation, followed by weak lake...
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Ken Caldeira was a Carnegie investigator from 2005 to 2020 and is world renowned for his modeling and other work on the global carbon cycle; marine biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography, including ocean acidification and the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle; land-cover and climate change; the long...
Meet this Scientist
Joe Berry has been a Carnegie investigator since 1972. He has developed powerful tools to measure local and regional exchanges of carbon over spaces of up to thousands of square miles. He uses information at the plant scale to extrapolate the carbon balance at regional and continental scales....
Meet this Scientist
Anna Michalak joined Carnegie in 2011 from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. She was named Director of the Department of Global Ecology in 2020. Her research focuses on characterizing complexity and quantifying uncertainty in environmental systems...
Meet this Scientist
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Washington, D.C.— Forest conservation is an issue of major concern to communities large and small around the globe. But gathering the monitoring data needed to make the right decisions has proven...
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Artificially manipulating Arctic climate by 'whitening' the ocean's surface to reflect sunlight back into space will fail, Carnegie's Ken Caldeira tells The Independent. More
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Washington, D.C.—Carnegie investigator Greg Asner has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He is one of 60 new members. The honor is given “to individual AGU members who...
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Explore Carnegie Science

Forest image purchased from Shutterstock
March 8, 2022

Washington, DC—New powerhouse scientific talent with broad expertise ranging from marine and freshwater biogeochemistry to terrestrial ecosystem science to climate change adaptation and mitigation are burnishing the already sterling reputation of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology for addressing the most urgent questions surrounding the sustainability of the Earth System.

Four new faculty are joining the department in 2022, and one Carnegie Department of Plant Biology staff member recently assumed a new joint position.

“Carnegie scientists were involved in establishing the discipline of ecology in the early 1900s at our former Desert Laboratory in

Nuclear power cooling towers image purchased from Shutterstock.
February 14, 2022

Washington, DC—Nuclear power generation can play a crucial role in helping the world reach a key goal of zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, especially in countries with low wind resources, according to new work in Nature Energy from Lei Duan and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology.

Human activity is spewing carbon pollution into the atmosphere, affecting the global carbon cycle and causing warming, as well as altered precipitation patterns. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to minimize catastrophic climate impacts, it’s important that humanity work to keep the global mean temperature increase

Chris Field
January 26, 2022

Washington, DC— The founding Director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology and former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II has been awarded the 2022 Japan Prize in the field of "Biological Production, Ecology/Environment."

The Japan Prize is awarded annually to scientists and engineers from around the world who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology, “furthering the cause of peace and prosperity” for all of humanity.

Each year, two different scientific disciplines are selected as the focus of the prizes. The 2022 honorees were selected from 346

Joseph Berry
January 26, 2022

Washington, DC— The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, has elected Carnegie ecologist Joseph Berry to the newest class of AAAS Fellows, among the most distinct honors within the scientific community and part of a tradition that started in 1874.

The 2021 class of AAAS Fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines who are being recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements. 

“AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS Fellow to some of today’s brightest

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Coral reefs are havens for marine biodiversity and underpin the economies of many coastal communities. But they are very sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry resulting from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to pollution, warming waters, overdevelopment, and overfishing. Reefs use a mineral called aragonite, a naturally occurring form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3, to make their skeletons.  When carbon dioxide, CO2, from the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean, it forms carbonic acid—the same stuff that makes soda fizz--making the ocean more acidic and thus more difficult for many marine organisms to grow their shells and skeletons and threatening coral reefs globally.

Anna Michalak’s team combined sampling and satellite-based observations of Lake Erie with computer simulations and determined that the 2011 record-breaking algal bloom in the lake was triggered by long-term agricultural practices coupled with extreme precipitation, followed by weak lake circulation and warm temperatures. The bloom began in the western region in mid-July and covered an area of 230 square miles (600 km2). At its peak in October, the bloom had expanded to over 1930 square miles (5000 km2). Its peak intensity was over 3 times greater than any other bloom on record. The scientists predicted that, unless agricultural policies change, the lake will continue to experience

Until now, computer models have been the primary tool for estimating photosynthetic productivity on a global scale. They are based on estimating a measure for plant energy called gross primary production (GPP), which is the rate at which plants capture and store a unit of chemical energy as biomass over a specific time. Joe Berry was part of a team that took an entirely new approach by using satellite technology to measure light that is emitted by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis as shown by the artwork.

The plant produces fluorescent light when sunlight excites the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll. Satellite instruments sense this fluorescence yielding a direct

Ken Caldeira was a Carnegie investigator from 2005 to 2020 and is world renowned for his modeling and other work on the global carbon cycle; marine biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography, including ocean acidification and the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle; land-cover and climate change; the long-term evolution of climate and geochemical cycles; climate intervention proposals; and energy technology.

 Caldeira was a lead author for the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 report and was coordinating lead author of the oceans chapter for the 2005 IPCC report on carbon capture and storage. He was a co-author of the 2010 US National Academy America

Joe Berry has been a Carnegie investigator since 1972. He has developed powerful tools to measure local and regional exchanges of carbon over spaces of up to thousands of square miles. He uses information at the plant scale to extrapolate the carbon balance at regional and continental scales.

According to ISI's Web of Science, two of Joe Berry's papers passed extremely high, rarefied citation milestones. The 1980  paper “A biochemical model of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in leaves of C3 species,” has had over 1,500th citations. His 1982 paper “On the relationship between carbon isotope discrimination and the intercellular carbon dioxide

Anna Michalak joined Carnegie in 2011 from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. She was named Director of the Department of Global Ecology in 2020. Her research focuses on characterizing complexity and quantifying uncertainty in environmental systems to improve our understanding of these systems and our ability to forecast their variability. She is looking at a variety of interactions including atmospheric greenhouse gas emission and sequestration estimation, water quality monitoring and contaminant source identification, and use of remote sensing data for Earth system characterization.

The common theme of her research is to develop