• Our research examines how soil organisms interact with their environment to regulate ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, organic matter turnover, trace gas emissions, and productivity. This research encompasses multiple spatial scales and lies at the interface of soil ecology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem science. While we use a range of fundamental laboratory methods, which include molecular chemical and microbiological approaches, we always have an eye towards applying our results to improve ecosystem processes and management.

    Much of our current work focuses in some capacity on the feedbacks between plants, organic matter dynamics, and soil biological communities. We are particularly interested in examining the main pathways in which decomposer communities influence soil organic matter formation. We also have several projects examining the drivers of N cycling and availability in agricultural soils, and are specifically interested in finding ways that we can improve the synchrony between soil N availability and crop N requirements. Our research spans sites in the Northeast, Midwest, and West and includes different agriculture, forest, and mountain ecosystems.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2020 Ramped thermal analysis for isolating biologically meaningful soil organic matter fractions with distinct residence timesSOIL.  6:131-144. 2020
    2020 Long-Term Evidence Shows that Crop-Rotation Diversification Increases Agricultural Resilience to Adverse Growing Conditions in North AmericaONE EARTH.  2:284-293. 2020
    2020 Rapid and distinct responses of particulate and mineral-associated organic nitrogen to conservation tillage and cover cropsGeoderma.  359:114001-114001. 2020
    2019 Anthropogenic N deposition alters soil organic matter biochemistry and microbial communities on decaying fine roots.Global Change Biology.  25:4369-4382. 2019
    2019 Small soil C cycle responses to three years of cover crops in maize cropping systemsAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  286:106649-106649. 2019
    2019 Beyond Static Benchmarking: Using Experimental Manipulations to Evaluate Land Model Assumptions.Global Biogeochemical Cycles: an international journal of global change.  33:1289-1309. 2019
    2019 Substrate quality and concentration control decomposition and microbial strategies in a model soil systemBiogeochemistry: an international journal.  144:47-59. 2019
    2019 Warming alters fungal communities and litter chemistry with implications for soil carbon stocksSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  132:120-130. 2019
    2019 Managing Agroecosystems for Soil Microbial Carbon Use Efficiency: Ecological Unknowns, Potential Outcomes, and a Path Forward.Frontiers in Microbiology.  10:1146. 2019
    2018 Manganese limitation as a mechanism for reduced decomposition in soils under atmospheric nitrogen depositionSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  127:252-263. 2018
    2017 Changes in substrate availability drive carbon cycle response to chronic warmingSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  110:68-78. 2017
    2017 Comparison of measured multi-decadal rainfall variability with farmers' perceptions of and responses to seasonal changes in western UgandaRegional Environmental Change.  17:1127-1140. 2017
    2017 Applying population and community ecology theory to advance understanding of belowground biogeochemistry.Ecology Letters.  20:231-245. 2017
    2017 Reconciling opposing soil processes in row-crop agroecosystems via soil functional zone managementAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  236:99-107. 2017
    2016 Direct evidence for microbial-derived soil organic matter formation and its ecophysiological controls.Nature Communications.  7:13630. 2016
    2016 Beyond microbes: Are fauna the next frontier in soil biogeochemical models?Soil Biology and Biochemistry.  102:40-44. 2016
    2016 Biogeochemical drivers of microbial community convergence across actively retreating glaciersSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  101:74-84. 2016
    2016 Precision control of soil nitrogen cycling via soil functional zone managementAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  231:291-295. 2016
    2016 Eleven years of crop diversification alters decomposition dynamics of litter mixtures incubated with soilEcosphere.  7:e01426. 2016
    2016 Nitrogen alters microbial enzyme dynamics but not lignin chemistry during maize decompositionBiogeochemistry: an international journal.  128:171-186. 2016
    2016 Going with the flow: Landscape position drives differences in microbial biomass and activity in conventional, low input, and organic agricultural systems in the Midwestern USAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  218:1-10. 2016
    2015 Organic amendment effects on potato productivity and quality are related to soil microbial activityPlant and Soil: international journal on plant-soil relationships.  386:223-236. 2015
    2015 Representing life in the Earth system with soil microbial functional traits in the MIMICS modelGeoscientific Model Development.  8:1789-1808. 2015
    2014 A Scale-Explicit Framework for Conceptualizing the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Land Use ChangesSustainability.  6:8432-8451. 2014
    2014 Chronic nitrogen additions suppress decomposition and sequester soil carbon in temperate forestsBiogeochemistry: an international journal.  121:305-316. 2014
    2014 Crop rotation complexity regulates the decomposition of high and low quality residuesSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  78:243-254. 2014
    2014 Temperature and peat type control CO2 and CH4 production in Alaskan permafrost peats.Global Change Biology.  20:2674-2686. 2014
    2014 Long-term stabilization of deep soil carbon by fire and burial during early Holocene climate changeNature Geoscience.  7:428-432. 2014
    2014 Does agricultural crop diversity enhance soil microbial biomass and organic matter dynamics? A meta-analysis.Ecological Applications.  24:560-570. 2014
    2014 Integrating microbial physiology and physio-chemical principles in soils with the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) modelBiogeosciences.  11:3899-3917. 2014
    2014 Interactions between leaf litter quality, particle size, and microbial community during the earliest stage of decayBiogeochemistry: an international journal.  117:153-168. 2014
    2014 Structural Equation Modeling Facilitates Transdisciplinary Research on Agriculture and Climate ChangeCrop Science: a journal serving the international community of crop scientists.  54:475-483. 2014
    2013 The biological basis for nitrogen management in agroecosystemsMicrobial Ecology in Sustainable Agroecosystems.  113-132. 2013
    2012 Permanganate Oxidizable Carbon Reflects a Processed Soil Fraction that is Sensitive to ManagementSoil Science Society of America Journal.  76:494-504. 2012
    2012 The Effects of Soil Bacterial Community Structure on Decomposition in a Tropical Rain ForestEcosystems.  15:284-298. 2012
    2012 Optimization of hydrolytic and oxidative enzyme methods for ecosystem studies (vol 43, pg 1387, 2011)Soil Biology and Biochemistry.  44:151-151. 2012
    2011 Controls over soil microbial biomass responses to carbon amendments in agricultural systems: A meta-analysisAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  144:241-252. 2011
    2011 Human-Soil Relations are Changing Rapidly: Proposals from SSSA's Cross-Divisional Soil Change Working GroupSoil Science Society of America Journal.  75:2079-2084. 2011
    2011 Management intensity alters decomposition via biological pathwaysBiogeochemistry: an international journal.  104:365-379. 2011
    2011 Optimization of hydrolytic and oxidative enzyme methods for ecosystem studiesSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  43:1387-1397. 2011
    2011 The oribatid mite Scheloribates moestus (Acari: Oribatida) alters litter chemistry and nutrient cycling during decompositionSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  43:351-358. 2011
    2007 Isotopologue effects during N2O reduction in soils and in pure cultures of denitrifiersJournal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences.  112. 2007
    2007 Land-use intensity effects on soil organic carbon accumulation rates and mechanismsEcosystems.  10:58-73. 2007
    2006 Initial cultivation of a temperate-region soil immediately accelerates aggregate turnover and CO2 and N2O fluxesGlobal Change Biology.  12:1507-1520. 2006
    2006 Aggregation and organic matter protection following tillage of a previously uncultivated soilSoil Science Society of America Journal.  70:1398-1406. 2006
    2006 Do productivity and environmental trade-offs justify periodically cultivating no-till cropping systems? (vol 98, pg 1377, 2006)Agronomy Journal.  98:1665-1665. 2006
    2006 Do productivity and environmental trade-offs justify periodically cultivating no-till cropping systems?'Agronomy Journal.  98:1377-1383. 2006
    2006 Long-term trends in nitrous oxide emissions, soil nitrogen, and crop yields of till and no-till cropping systems.Journal of Environmental Quality.  35:1487-1495. 2006
    2002 Organic amendment and rotation crop effects on the recovery of soil organic matter and aggregation in potato cropping systemsSoil Science Society of America Journal.  66:1311-1319. 2002
    2000 Suitability of the anthrone-sulfuric acid reagent for determining water soluble carbohydrates in soil water extractsSoil Biology and Biochemistry.  32:725-727. 2000

    Conference Paper

    Year Title
    2018 Effects of global warming on plant diversity-soil carbon relationships and implications for assembly of plant-associated microbiomesPhytopathology: International Journal of the American Phytopathological Society. 77-78. 2018
    2010 Biological and biochemical pathways of litter decomposition and soil carbon stabilizationGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. A351-A351. 2010

    Principal Investigator On

  • Collaborative Research: Mineral-associated organic matter: an overlooked source and mediator of bioavailable nitrogen  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2021 - 2024
  • Acquisition of UHPLC-MS-MS Instrumentation to Strengthen Interdisciplinary Research on Biomolecules and Emerging Contaminants in Agroecosystems  awarded by US DA, Department of Agriculture 2021 - 2023
  • Tracking Early Season Nitrogen Flows from Started Fertilizers  awarded by AG Spectrum Co 2021 - 2022
  • Enhancing the Rhizosphere Microbiome and Soil Health to Increase Yield Resilience to Stress  awarded by University of California at Berkeley (UCB) 2017 - 2022
  • Models Collaborative Research EaSM-3: Decadal Prediction of Sustainable Agriculture and Forest Management-Earth System Prediction Differs From Climate Prediction.  awarded by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2015 - 2021
  • Collaborative Research EaSM-3: Decadal Prediction of Sustainable Agriculture and Forest Management-Earth System Prediction Differs From Climate Prediction  awarded by US DA, Department of Agriculture 2014 - 2020
  • Nitrogen Synchrony at the Crop-Soil Interface: Optimizing Rootmicrobe Interactions to Minimize Environmental N Losses  awarded by US DA, Department of Agriculture 2014 - 2018
  • The Root Cause: Quantifying and Characterizing Root Contributions to Soil C Dynamics in Biofuel Cropping Systems  awarded by University of Wisconsin 2012 - 2018
  • Precision Zonal Management Systems for Resilient Cereal Yields and Ecosystem Services under Variable Climates  awarded by University of Minnesota 2011 - 2017
  • Benchmarking and Improving Microbial-Explicit Soil Biogeochemistry Models  awarded by University of Colorado 2015 - 2016
  • Snow and Snowpack Controls on Dissolved Organic Carbon Production, Transport and Stabilization in Northern Forest Soils  awarded by Michigan State University 2014 - 2015
  • Linking Microbial Ecophysiology to Soil Organic Matter Abundance and Stabilization  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2013 - 2014
  • Microbial Control of Litter Decay at the Cellulose-Lignin Interface  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2011 - 2014
  • Multi-Scale Consequences of Rotational Diversity in Midwestern Agricultural Systems  awarded by Michigan State University 2011 - 2014
  • Row-Crop Ecosystems in a Changing Climate: Enhancing Ecosystm Services at Field, Farm, and Watershed Scales  awarded by Michigan State University 2011 - 2014
  • Carbon Cycling Dynamics in Response to Pine Beetle Infection and Climate Variation  awarded by University of Colorado 2012 - 2013
  • Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Bridge Proposal: Soil Carbon Dynamics in Biofuel Cropping Systems  awarded by University of Wisconsin 2012
  • Soil Carbon Dynamics Following Landscape-Scale Conversion of Grasslands to Biofuel Crop Production  awarded by University of Wisconsin 2011 - 2012
  • Teaching Activities

  • Professional Perspective NR Taught course
  • Sem/ExplArtificialIntelligence Taught course
  • Chemistry of the Environment Taught course 2023
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2023
  • Chemistry of the Environment Taught course 2022
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2022
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2021
  • Chemistry of the Environment Taught course 2021
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2020
  • Chemistry of the Environment Taught course 2020
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2020
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2019
  • Chemistry of the Environment Taught course 2019
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2018
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2018
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2017
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2016
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2016
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2015
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2015
  • Approach to Research Taught course 2014
  • Environmental Soil Chemistry Taught course 2014
  • Sem/Global Soil Change Taught course 2014
  • Education And Training

    Full Name

  • A. Stuart Grandy