Faculty Profiles

Adrien Finzi

Adrien Finzi

Professor of Biology

PhD, University of Connecticut, 1996
Areas of interest: forest ecology and biogeochemistry
(617) 353-2453

Current Research

In general, I am interested in the factors regulating productivity and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Research in my lab tends to focus on biogeochemistry and global change in forest ecosystems. My research is primarily field based using observational and experimental approaches. I am particularly interested in how interspecific differences in resource uptake and loss affect the distribution of carbon and nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems. I am also interested in the interaction between microbial activity and forest dynamics. Thus my perspective is generally integrative, focusing on how the different components of an ecosystem (soils, microbes, plant species) interact with the physical environment to affect biogeochemical cycling.

My interest in global change stems from the fact that human activity is transforming the basic function of the terrestrial biosphere at an accelerating rate. Fossil fuel combustion is increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Fixation of atmospheric N by humans now exceeds the rate of non-anthropogenic N fixation. Changes in land use and the introduction of invasive species have legacy effects on carbon storage and biogeochemical cycling that last decades.

Graduate students in my lab work on many different research projects. I encourage incoming students to tackle questions that are of interest to them whether they be related to my current projects or otherwise. If you are interested in graduate work with me, please contact me, I am more than happy to describe ongoing research projects and possibilities in my lab.

Courses Taught

  • BI 303 Ecology
  • BI 443/643 Terrestrial Biogeochemistry (cross-listed in Earth Sciences)
  • BI 945 Research in Forest Ecology

Selected Publications

  • Brzostek ER and AC Finzi. (2011). Substrate supply, fine roots and temperature control proteolytic enzyme activity in temperate forest soils. Ecology 92:892-902
  • Averill CM and AC Finzi. (2011). Increasing plant dependence on organic nitrogen along an elevation gradient is reflected in nitrogen uptake rates and ecosystem δ15N at Mount Eisenhower, NH, USA. Ecology 92:883-891.
  • Phillips RP, AC Finzi and ES Bernhardt. (2011). Enhanced root exudation induces microbial feedbacks to N cycling in a pine forest under long-term CO2 fumigation. Ecology Letters 14(2): 187-194.
  • Drake JE, Budynek AE, Hofmockel KR, Bernhardt ES, Billings SA, Jackson RB, Johnsen KS, Lichter J, McCarthy HR, McCormack L, Moore DJP, Oren R, Palmroth S, Phillips RP, Pippen JS, Pritchard SS, Treseder KK, Schlesinger WH, DeLucia EH and Finzi AC. (2011) Increases in the flux of carbon belowground stimulate nitrogen uptake and sustain the long-term enhancement of forest productivity under elevated CO2. Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01593.x
  • Finzi AC, Doney SC, Jackson RB, Holland EA, Cole J. (2011). Research frontiers in the analysis of coupled biogeochemical cycles. Invited Special Feature Article in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 74–80. doi:10.1890/100137
  • Finzi AC and VL Rodgers (2009). Bottom-up rather than top-down processes regulate the abundance and activity of nitrogen fixing plants in two Connecticut old-field ecosystems. Biogeochemistry 95:309-321.
  • Finzi AC (2009). Decades of enhanced atmospheric N deposition do not increase the occurrence of P limitation or N saturation in two southern New England forests. Biogeochemistry 92(3):217-229.
  • Anne Gallet-Budynek, Brzostek E, Rodgers VL, Talbot JM Hyzy S, Finzi AC (2009). Amino acid uptake in northern hardwood-conifer forests. Oecologia 160(1):129-138.