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Rich Conant



  • Higher Ed: Science 


Dr. Richard Conant's research focuses on understanding the feedbacks between human activities and ecosystem biogeochemistry. Specifically, he is interested in how land use and land management practices impact carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural and grassland ecosystems. He believes that knowledge about the relationship between human activities and ecosystem ecology can empower policy makers to make wise decisions with respect to biogeochemistry and ecosystem services. He is involved in efforts to develop indicators of ecological condition for ecosystems close to home and contributes to state, national, and international efforts to develop tools to accurately quantify human impacts on the carbon cycle. Dr. Conant has been at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory in the Warner College of Natural Resources since earning his Ph.D at Arizona State University in 1997. He is the Assistant Director of Research for CSU's new School of Global Environmental Sustainability. 


carbon cycle; decomposition 


Plante, A. F., A. Kougentakis, A. M. Sen, C. Slominski, J. Six, E. A. Paul, and R. T. Conant. 2009. Does physical protection of soil organic matter attenuate temperature sensitivity? Soil Science Society of America Journal 73:1168-1172.
Stewart, C. E., K. Paustian, R. T. Conant, A. F. Plante, and J. Six. 2009. Soil carbon saturation: Implications for measurable carbon pool dynamics in long-term incubations. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 41:357-366.
Steinweg, J. M., A. F. Plante, R. T. Conant, E. A. Paul, and D. L. Tanaka. 2008. Patterns of substrate utilization during long-term incubations at different temperatures. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 40:2722-2728.
Conant, R. T., J. M. Steinweg, M. L. Haddix, E. A. Paul, A. F. Plante, and J. Six. 2008. Experimental warming shows that decomposition temperature sensitivity increases with soil carbon recalcitrance. Ecology 89:2384-2391.
Ngugi, M. K., and R. T. Conant. 2008. Ecological and social characterization of key resource areas in Kenyan rangelands. Journal of Arid Environments. 72:820-835.
Conant, R.T., R.A. Drijber, M.L. Haddix, W.J. Parton, E.A. Paul, A.F. Plante, J. Six, J.M. Steinweg. 2008. Sensitivity of organic matter decomposition to warming varies with its quality. Global Change Biology. 14:868-877.
Stewart, C. E., K. Paustian, R. T. Conant, A. F. Plante, and J. Six. 2008. Soil carbon saturation: Linking concept and measurable carbon pools. Soil Science Society of America Journal 72:379-392.