I am interested in how carbon and other nutrients cycle through terrestrial ecosystems, and how these cycles can be altered by disturbances like planetary warming, invasive species, drought, and land-use change. Much of my research is focused at the intersection of soil biogeochemistry and microbial ecology—specifically the role of the soil microbial community in controlling the formation and decomposition of soil organic matter. The overarching aims of this work are to improve our ability to model and predict the global carbon cycle, and to manage and conserve soils to help mitigate climate change.
Ph.D., Ecology, Yale University, 2018
B.S., Plant Biology, University of Guelph, 2009
Sokol, N.W., Bradford, M.A. 2019. Microbial formation of stable soil carbon more efficient from belowground than aboveground input. Nature Geoscience 12: 46–53.
Sokol, N.W., Sanderman, J. Bradford, M.A. 2019. Pathways of mineral-associated soil organic matter formation: integrating the role of plant carbon source, chemistry, and point-of-entry. Global Change Biology 25: 12–24.
Sokol, N.W., Kuebbing, S.E., Karlsen-Ayala, E., Bradford, M.A. 2019. Evidence for the primacy of living root inputs, not root or shoot litter, in forming soil organic carbon. New Phytologist 221: 233–246.
Maynard, D.S., Covey, K.R., Crowther, T.W., Sokol, N.W., Morrison, E.W., Frey, S.D., van Diepen, L.T.A., Bradford, M.A. 2018. Species associations overwhelm abiotic conditions to dictate the structure and function of wood-decay fungal communities. Ecology. 99: 801–811.
Sokol, N.W., Kuebbing S.E., Bradford M.A. 2017. Impacts of an invasive plant are fundamentally altered by a co-occurring forest disturbance. Ecology 98: 2133–2144.
Crowther, T.W., Todd-Brown, K.E.O., Rowe, C.W., Wieder, W.R., Carey, J.C., Machmuller, M.B., Snoek, B.L., Fang, S., Zhou, G., Allison, S.D., Blair, J.M., Bridgham, S.D., Burton, A.J., Carrillo, Y., Reich, P.B., Clark, J.S., Classen, A.T., Dijkstra, F.A., Elberling, B., Emmett, B., Estiarte, M., Frey, S.D., Guo, J., Harte, J., Jiang, L., Johnson, B.R., Kröel-Dulay, G., Larsen, K.S., Laudon, H., Lavallee, J.M., Luo, Y., Lupascu, M., Ma, L.N., Marhan, S., Michelsen, A., Mohan, J., Niu, S., Pendell, E., Peñuelas, J., Pfeifer-Meister, L., Poll, C., Reinsch, S., Reynolds, L.L., Schmidt, I.K., Sistla, S., Sokol, N.W., Templer, P.H., Treseder, K.K., Welker, J.M., Bradford, M.A. 2016. Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming. Nature 540, 104–108.
Wood, S.A., Sokol, N.W., Bell, C.W., Bradford, M.A., Naeem, S., Wallenstein, M.D., Palm, C.A. 2016. Opposing effects of different soil organic matter fractions on crop yields. Ecological Applications 26: 2072–2085.
Crowther, T.W., Sokol, N.W., Maynard, D.S., Oldfield, E.E., Thomas, S., Bradford, M.A. 2015. Microbial stress response limits soil organic matter formation. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 85: 153–161.
Oldfield, E.E. Felson, A.J., Auyeung, N., Crowther, T.W., Falxa-Raymond N., Harada, Y. Maynard, D.S., Sokol, N.W., Warren, R.J., Hallett, R.A., Bradford, M.A. 2015. Growing the urban forest: tree performance in response to biotic and abiotic land management. Restoration Ecology 23: 707–718.
- Soil Science Society of America – Truog Outstanding Soil Science Dissertation Award (2019)
- National Science Foundation – Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (2017)
- Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies – Doctoral Dissertation Grant Improvement Grant (2016)
- Ecological Society of Award (Soil Ecology Section) – Student Travel Award (2016)
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – Yale/Sewanee Collaborative for Place-Based Studies Award (2015)
- Connecticut Association for Wetland Science – Michael LeFor Doctoral Research Award (2015)
- Federation for European Microbiology Societies – Conference Travel Award (2015)
- Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies – Doctoral Pilot Study Award (2013, 2014)
- National Science & Engineering Research Council of Canada – Post Graduate Doctoral Scholarship Award (2013–2016)
- National Science & Engineering Research Council of Canada – Post Graduate Master’s Scholarship Award (2012–2013)
- National Science Foundation – Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention (2012, 2013)
- National Science & Engineering Research Council of Canada – Undergraduate Student Research Award (2009)
- National Science Foundation – Research Experience for Undergraduates (2008)
- University of Guelph – Dean’s List; graduated with distinction (2004–2009)
- University of Guelph – Entrance Scholarship (2004)