SSSA International Annual Meeting
Cassie and Maddie were able to attend the 2023 Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meeting, located in St. Louis, Missouri! They both attended sessions, presented posters, and networked with fellow soil science researchers. Maddie was awarded 2nd place in the Pedology graduate student poster competition! The lab is proud that Maddie and Cassie were able to showcase their work at this year's SSSA meeting!
EMSL Annual User Meeting
The lab recently made a visit to the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the EMSL Annual User Meeting! It was a spectacular opportunity for the team to learn about EMSL capabilities, network with EMSL and visiting scientists, and get excited for future research! Rebecca presented as a keynote speaker in her talk, titled, “Cross-scale analyses of soil, fungi, and carbon delivered by advanced analytical capabilities.” Dragos delivered a flash talk on the topic, “Exploring the complexity of biological weathering with EMSL-based biogeochemical and mineralogical capabilities.” Maddie and Cassie both presented posters and discussed their research goals with local and visiting researchers. Thank you to EMSL for hosting our team! (Read more about the 2023 EMSL User Meeting here: https://www.emsl.pnnl.gov/events/2023-emsl-user-meeting).
EMSL User Proposal Funded
A User Proposal by Rebecca, Cassie, Maddie, and Dragos at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been accepted! The team plans to work closely with EMSL researchers over the next two years to utilize advanced methodologies such as Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-MS), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT). Congratulations everyone! (Read more about the award here: https://www.emsl.pnnl.gov/news/emsl-awards-funding-32-large-scale-research-projects).
Welcome to Sólveig Sanchez! Sólveig will be joining our lab this fall as a visiting scholar from Iceland. She is studying a Ph.D. on Ecological Restoration and Soil Science at the Agricultural University of Iceland, and is visiting as a part of the U.S Fulbright Research Program. Her work investigates carbon and hydrology in soils of birch woodlands in Iceland. She has brought some of her soil samples to Davis and plans to experiment with the SEM and learn new lab techniques during her time at UC Davis. We are glad to have you, Sólveig!
Professional Soil Scientists Annual Meeting
Rebecca, Maddie, and Cassie attended the Professional Soil Scientists Association of California Annual Meeting in June! This once-in-a-lifetime field meeting took place at Santa Cruz Island and included discussions and field excursions. Everyone had a blast networking with fellow soil scientists and exploring the rugged terrain as a group! A huge thanks to our host Dr. Lyndal Laughrin and the presenters and coordinators who made this trip possible! Cassie and Maddie were both able to attend the meeting by earning scholarships from PSSAC to cover the cost of registration. Congrats to Cassie and Maddie, and thank you to PSSAC! Check out the meeting summary for more information here: https://pssac.org/meetings/2023-annual-meeting
Soils Field Course
The lab celebrates a successful soils field course! This summer, Rebecca co-instructed SSC 105/205, a summer field course in which students travel across the state learning about the properties and formation processes of a diverse range of soils. Some notable sites included the Ecological Staircase and Pygmy Forest, Central Valley chronosequence, and Sierra Nevada bioclimosequence. Graduate students Maddie and Cassie attended the 3-week course along with 12 other undergraduate and graduate students. Planning for the 2024 offering of the course is already underway! Dr. Rebecca Lybrand will be teaching the course in Summer 2024 with plans to visit the Pygmy Forest Ecological Staircase near Mendocino, the Sierra Soils Transect, Redwoods Forest, and more!
Tenure at UC Davis
Congratulations to Rebecca for earning tenure at the University of California, Davis! She is especially thankful to her spouse, parents, family, friends, students, colleagues, letter writers, & mentors for the endless support!
Congratulations to Cassandra who was awarded a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America! Her research will focus on exploring the influence of rock type on fungal distribution and interactions in the soil environment.
Welcome Cassie and Maddie
The lab welcomes two new graduate students this fall! Cassandra Collins will be pursuing her M.S. degree in Soils and Biogeochemistry. Her work will focus on fungal-driven weathering of minerals in the coastal temperate rainforest of Alaska. Madison Morris will also be joining the lab as a Ph.D. student. Her work will focus on incipient mineral weathering processes in field samples deployed along a bioclimate gradient. Read more about them in our team page. Welcome to UC Davis and the Lybrand lab, Cassie and Maddie!
The lab celebrates Erin Rooney's successful defense "The Impact of Freeze-Thaw Cycles on the Physical and Biogeochemical Properties of Alaskan Permafrost Soils." Congratulations to Dr. Rooney! Erin will be heading to Knoxville, Tennessee to start her NSF postdoctoral research fellowship this summer.
The lab also celebrates the acceptance of Erin and Rebecca's article "The impact of freeze-thaw history on soil carbon response to experimental freeze-thaw cycles" into the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. Congratulations to Erin and Rebecca!
The lab celebrates Erin Rooney's (very first) first-author publication in Geoderma, "Soil pore network response to freeze-thaw cycles in permafrost aggregates." Congratulations to Erin and Rebecca!
Erin Rooney was awarded an NSF Office of Polar Programs Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for 2022-2024! Following Spring 2022 graduation, Erin will be studying freeze-thaw cycles in Arctic permafrost soils with Dr. Beth Herndon and the Phosphorus-Iron team at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Congratulations to Julia Fleiner on a successful MS thesis defense! Julia persevered during the pandemic, adapting to difficult research conditions in order to conduct density fractionations and soil analyses. Julia's research coupled imaging and chemical analyses to identify carbon partitioning across lithologies in Southeast Alaska. This fall, Julia will be starting her PhD in Soil Science at the North Carolina State studying saltwater intrusion. Congratulations Julia!
Congratulations to Jennifer Fedenko on a successful MS thesis defense! After machete-ing her way through the wild foliage of Southeastern Alaska, Jennifer compiled an awesome thesis focusing on soil development and soil organic carbon stocks across differing lithologies. Jennifer will be joining the USDA-NRCS as a soil scientist in Fall 2021 in Pasco, Washington. Congratulations Jennifer!
The Lybrand Lab is moving to UC Davis! Rebecca started a new
faculty position with Land, Air & Water Resources with UC Davis
on November 1st. Rebecca has transitioned into a Courtesy Faculty
appointment with OSU and continues to mentor the excellent
team of students finishing in her program at Oregon State!
Rebecca was interviewed about her and Jennifer's most recent publication about interactions between ground-nesting bees and soil! Read the news article here: https://www.soils.org/news/science-news/studying-interactions-between-ground-nesting-bees-and-soils
Congratulations to Julia Fleiner who received a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America for her research of carbon in the soils of the coastal perhumid temperate rainforest in Juneau, Alaska.
Welcome to Julia Fleiner! Julia finished a double major BA in Environmental Earth Science and Biology at Miami University and will be working on her MS in soil science. Congratulations, Julia!
Erin began her OSU-PNNL Distinguished Graduate Fellowship with Dr. Vanessa Bailey at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Erin will be studying impacts of freeze-thaw cycles on spatial distribution of stable isotopes in permafrost soils.
This fall, many of us presented at conferences including the ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Texas and AGU in San Francisco. Jennifer presented her poster of preliminary lab data from her field work in Juneau this past summer. Ben Pierce presented a poster of his undergraduate research from Juneau.
Jennifer traveled to Juneau, Alaska this summer to complete field work for her research. Potential sample sites in three different lithologies of the Tongass National Forest were surveyed. To access her sites, Jennifer and a fearless crew of scientists macheted through the omnipresent Oplopanax horridus (known all to well by many of us as Devil’s Club) and climbed up steep (up to 70% slopes) game trails in the forests. Once a site was found, a soil pit was dug, the pedon described and sampled. Lab analyses of over 100 samples are now in progress with a focus on carbon, nitrogen and particle size analysis, pH, bulk density, XRF, and XRD.
The Coastal Rainforest Margins Network published an article about Jennifer's summer field work:
Rebecca and Jennifer traveled to Juneau, Alaska to attend the 3rd annual Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network workshop. This year’s subject was “Transformation and Transport of Elements and Compounds from Terrestrial to Aquatic Systems”. Our field day included excursions to a poor fen, bog, peatlands, Holocene terraces, and a dig for ancient clams deposited several thousand years ago. The remainder of the workshop included lectures and research planning of new and exciting research by scientists across research disciplines and international borders. https://coastalmarginsnetwork.org/
Congratulations to Jennifer who was awarded a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America and was as selected as a 2019 NSF CZO SAVI summer intern for her research!
Erin traveled to Svalbard, Norway to attend the Permafrost and Periglacial Environments course. Erin spent over six weeks in Longyearbyen learning about Arctic permafrost from a variety of Arctic researchers. Subjects covered included permafrost dynamics, talus slopes, frost heave, rock glaciers, and ice-wedge polygons.
Link to paper published in late March 2019 by Rebecca, Erin and Jennifer on developing a method to assess nano-scale weathering in minerals utilizing helium ion microscopy and scanning electron microscopy:
Erin traveled to Italy and Switzerland to study high Alpine permafrost with Dr. Michele Freppaz, Dr. Christian Hauck, and Dr. Christin Hilbich. Study areas included pedology, geomorphology, and geophysics. Funding was awarded through the CZO SAVI scholarship.
Erin and Rebecca attended the Arctic Soil Field Tour. The course was an intensive ten day exploration of Alaskan soil features throughout the permafrost gradient of southern to northern Alaska. After the course, Erin and Rebecca conducted fieldwork in the Fairbanks area within a permafrost-affected catena.
Jennifer traveled to southeast Alaska with where she collected preliminary samples with Dr. Dave D'Amore for her M.S. project on carbon, and differing lithologies, along soil catenas of the rainforest. You can read about her travels to Juneau in OSSS's (Oregon Society of Soil Scientists) summer newsletter by clicking here.
Congratulations to Jennifer Fedenko! This fall she will begin her M.S. degree at OSU! Jennifer will be working in Southeast Alaska with Dr. David D'Amore, looking at soil catenas of the perhumid subzone of the coastal temperate rainforest.
Dr. Paul McDaniel, a professor at the University of Idaho, led a soils tour in northern Idaho in September 2017. Members of Oregon State University’s Landscape Pedology Lab joined Paul and his students to admire Andisols, Spodosols, and Histosols across northern Idaho. One highlight of the trip was stopping near the Idaho-Montana border to visit the site where a glacial ice dam once impounded Glacial Lake Missoula. It was an incredible sight and offered an exciting perspective on the intensity of the Missoula floods!
Below is a short video of our adventure:
Rebecca recently returned from a trip to Southeast Alaska where she is partnering with Dr. David D'Amore and the Pacific Northwest Research Station on a project titled, "Critical Zone Science along the Pacific Coastal Margin." Rebecca joined David on site selection and soil sampling field outings in the Heen Latinee Experimental Forest located outside of Juneau, Alaska.
Did you know that one of the many benefits that soil provides to our society is promoting native bee activity by providing suitable ground for nesting activities? Jennifer Fedenko, a member of the Lybrand Lab, has been recruited to work on an "Agriculture, Bees, and Soil" project where she is studying native bee activity, documenting nests, collecting soil samples, and performing lab analyses. Jennifer is working under the leadership of Dr. Lybrand and Dr. Rao, a field crop entomologist, with funding from the Agricultural Research Foundation.
The Lybrand Lab will be conducting research on cross-scale mineral weathering processes in partnership with the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Lab. This work is part of Dr. Lybrand's cross-CZO research initiative to better understand the drivers of mineral weathering in humid to semiarid landscapes and has been funded through EMSL's Science Theme user proposal opportunity.
Congratulations to Ruben Aleman who was awarded a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America to pursue his research on the impacts of sea salt aerosols on organic mater turnover in the Pacific Northwest.
Welcome to Erin Rooney! She will be joining our lab as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2017. Erin was recently awarded a 2017-2018 Provost's Distinguished Graduate Fellowship that will jump-start her graduate career at Oregon State University- Congratulations!
A very warm welcome to Ruben Aleman who is joining our lab this September to complete his master's degree!
Congratulations to Stephen Kirkley, was selected as a 2016 SAVI summer intern for his cross-CZO research!
We are excited to have Alex Eifrig and Eleanor Wershow, two exceptional undergraduate students who will help out in the lab this summer with their own research projects!
Welcome to Jennifer Fedenko and Stewart Simmons! Both are undergraduate students who have joined the pedology lab as lab assistants. There is lots of work to be done to organize the lab for analysis on inbound soil samples this spring and summer!
Also, a warm welcome to Stephen Kirkley who came on board to work on his graduate degree. We are so excited to see how his research progresses here at Oregon State University!
Rebecca has accepted an Assistant Professor of Pedology position at Oregon State University.
She starts in December 2015 and is excited to join an excellent team of scientists.
Rebecca will teach Soil Landscape Analysis (CSS 468/568) and Soil Morphology & Classification (CSS 466/566) starting in 2016.
Photo on right: The view from the Agricultural and Life Sciences Building on Oregon State's campus.
Photo credit: Molly Tanksersley at the Rainforest Coastal Network in Juneau
Soil profile in Alaska North Slope with cryotrubation
Soil profile in Juneau, Alaska
Tour of northern Idaho with the University of Idaho
Scouting for bees in the blooming fields
Perfect autumnal day on the Oregon State University campus
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations shares "Soil, Not Dirt" YouTube video!
The FAO shared Rebecca's "Soil, Not Dirt" CLIMAS outreach video as a blog post in celebration of the International Year of Soils 2015.
Rebecca has enjoyed connecting with soil enthusiasts all over the world as a result of the video and blog!
Learn more here:
FAO's Blog Post on Soil, Not Dirt