For my second postdoc I worked with the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center at UA Southeast. I collaborated with ecologists, soil scientists, and modelers within the NSF Coastal Margin Research Coordination Network which aims to build an icefield-to-ocean perspective on biogeochemistry and ecology in the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia. My focus was a baseline carbon assessment, now published in Environmental Research Letters, to map and quantify carbon stored in biomass and soils across this transboundary region.
Our understanding of kinetics
is being changed by a growing realization that catalysis is not limited to complex polymers of amino acids or RNA with sequences adapted to highly specifc reactions. Even the biological monomers and small polymers have been found to possess catalytic activity and we have proposed that catalysis was continuously provided during the emergence of life by a hierarchy of
molecules, starting in the monomer world and passing through stages of longer and more organized polymerization.
Harold Morowitz & Eric Smith