Soil BioME

Soil BioME
Professor Ernakovich's students in a summer outdoor lab 2021

Soil BioME: Center of Soil Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology

Dive into the dynamic world of soils with us! We explore the hidden world of soil microbes across diverse landscapes — from farms to forests and even the Arctic. Our goal is to understand the impact of environmental change in these ecosystems and tackle global challenges like ecosystem degradation, soil-climate feedbacks, and sustaining agricultural productivity.

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Research Themes




Microorganisms make the world go ‘round. Well, that’s not strictly true — the world goes ‘round because of the gravitational pull of the sun. But, microorganisms — including bacteria, fungi, archaea, viruses, and protists — are responsible for cycling the Earth’s major elements ‘round.

more About Microbes

Researcher collecting soil samples from under fall leaves


A single teaspoon of soil can have the surface area of a football field. Zooming in, we can look at the microscopic world where the soil biogeochemical and microbial processes that control ecosystem productivity, crop yields, and the global soil carbon cycle begin.

More about Biogeochemistry

Researchers digging in the ground in a wooded area for fungi



An ecosystem is an ecological system of organisms interacting with the environment. Examples include temperate forests, Arctic tundra, and agroecosystems. Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services on which society depends, including food, fuel, and fiber production, water storage and purification, and atmospheric regulation.

more About Ecosystems

Ecosystems research plot in the wood



Cool, cold, and a vision of the future

Jessica Ernakovich and Sean Shaefer are interviewed by New Hampshire Public Radio about why they are studying the Arctic.
September 8, 2023 - New Hampshire Public Radio
Full Article

Our future climate depends partly on microbes

Long-term global change experiments maintained by Frey Lab used to understand how resilient soil microbes are to rising temperatures.
January 1, 2023 -
Full Article

Diverse Crop Rotations Can Help

Research in Grandy Lab shows that complex crop rotations encourage nitrogen build-up in soil.
November 9, 2022 - Morning Ag Clips
Full Article