Katja's recent publication, "Carbon...
Welcome to the Zhang Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Lab
The Zhang laboratory seeks to understand microbial nutrient and energy transfer in past and present environments. Our interdisciplinary approach, which draws inspiration from culture-based microbiology, molecular microbial ecology, and stable isotope geochemistry, is imbued by strong consideration of microbial metabolism at cellular and community scales and involves research in both laboratory and field settings.
Metalloproteins are a central theme in our research as they catalyze nearly all energy transfers in biology. Despite their importance, much remains to be understood about what controls metalloprotein activity in the environment. This fundamentally limits our ability to address changes in climate, elemental cycling, and the energy landscape. We believe that viewing metalloprotein activity in the context of broader metabolic fluxes within and between cells will aid in resolving long-standing questions in microbial biogeochemistry.
Opportunities for microbe lovers at both graduate and post-doc levels are available! Postdoc positions are available for benthic N2 fixation, methane,and alternative nitrogenase related projects. Undergrads interested in gaining research experience should take a look at summer internships in the Zhang lab funded by the The High Meadows Environmental Institute (see http://environment.princeton.edu/undergrads/internships/opportunities/).
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.Contact Information: Princeton University, Department of Geosciences, M47 Guyot Hall, Princeton NJ 08544 Phone: (609) 258-2489 E-mail: email@example.com
4D imaging reveals mechanisms of clay-carbon protection and release
Soil absorbs about 20% of anthropogenic carbon emissions annually, and clay is one of the key carbon-capture materials. Although sorption to clay is widely assumed to strongly retard the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter, enhanced degradation of clay-associated organic carbon has been observed under certain conditions. The...
Critical inundation level for methane emissions from wetlands
Global methane (CH4) emissions have reached approximately 600 Tg per year, 20-40% of which are from wetlands. Of the primary factors affecting these emissions, the water table level is among the most uncertain. Here we conduct a global meta-analysis of chamber and flux-tower observations of CH4 emissions and employ a mechanistic model to show...
The role of oxygen in stimulating methane production in wetlands
Methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, is the second most important greenhouse gas contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide (CO2). The biological emissions of CH4 from wetlands are a major uncertainty in CH4 budgets. Microbial methanogenesis by Archaea is an anaerobic process accounting for most biological CH4 production in nature,...
Biological nitrogen fixation by alternative nitrogenases in terrestrial ecosystems: a review
Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), a key reaction of the nitrogen cycle, is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase. The best studied isoform of this metalloenzyme requires molybdenum (Mo) at its active center to reduce atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) into bioavailable ammonium. The Mo-dependent nitrogenase is found in all diazotrophs and is the only...