The McNicol Lab focuses on connections between terrestrial biogeochemistry, ever changing environmental gradients, and the Earth’s climate, with a focus on carbon cycling, greenhouse gas emissions, microorganism interactions specifically in restored wetlands, pristine temperate rainforests, and emerging waste systems. Some of the various locations the lab’s work is located are; Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, IL, The James Woodworth Prairie in Glenview, IL and Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL.

We utilize various methods to measure, understand, and predict biogeochemical processes, combining soil science, ecosystem ecology, and Earth systems science. In the laboratory, we manipulate soil conditions to understand the micro-scale controls of processes like decomposition, micro-ecosystem interactions and rates of greenhouse gas emissions just to name a few. In the field, we make long-term measurements of gas exchanges to quantify the unique greenhouse gas signatures of wet ecosystems and how they respond to land-use, natural gradients and global-scale environmental changes. At regional to global scales, we use data science and machine learning to synthesize big data from global scientific and sustainable development networks.

Current collaborators include eddy covariance flux scientists from AmeriFlux (FLUXNET-CH4), an NSF-funded coastal rainforest margin’s research coordination network (CRMRCN), and SOIL, a research and development non-governmental organization providing sanitation services in Haiti.