Faculty Profiles

Adrien Finzi

Adrien Finzi

Professor of Biology

PhD, University of Connecticut, 1996
Areas of interest: forest ecology and biogeochemistry
afinzi@bu.edu
(617) 353-2453

Current Research

Our work focuses on 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 although we have recently expanded into peatland research in northern MN. Our work is a combination of field studies and experiments, data synthesis from the literature and numerical and simulation modeling. At present we have a significant focus on plant C allocation, plant-microbe interactions, and belowground element cycling. The research spans micron-to-global scales. As such, our 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.

Our work 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. While the broad-scale patterns of ecosystem and planetary change are well understood, there remains as much uncertainty in model representation of underlying processes as there is in the behavior of humans over the next decades to centuries. Through our research we hope to reduce the uncertainty in models by providing high-level data constraints for model development.

Graduate students in my lab work on many different types of research projects. I encourage incoming students to tackle questions of interest to them and to have overlapping interests with my area of research expertise. 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. Thank you.

Courses Taught

  • BI 303 Ecology
  • BI 306 Biology of Global Change
  • BI 443/ GRS 643 Terrestrial Biogeochemistry (cross-listed in Earth & Environment)
  • GRS 719 Colloquium in Biogeoscience
  • GRS 720 Practicum in Biogeoscience
  • BI 945 Research in Forest Ecology

Selected Publications

  • Finzi AC, Abramoff RZ, Brzostek ER, Darby BA, Spiller KS, Kramer MA, Phillips RP (2015) Rhizosphere Processes are Quantitatively Important Components of Terrestrial Carbon and Nutrient Cycles. Global Change Biology
  • Abramoff RZ, Finzi AC (2015) Are above- and below-ground phenology in sync? New Phytologist 205:1054-106.
  • Averill CM, Turner BL, Finzi AC (2014) Mycorrhiza-mediated competition between plants and decomposers drives soil carbon storage. Nature doi:10.1038/nature12901
  • Drake JE, Darby BA, Giasson MA, Kramer MA, Phillips RP, Finzi AC (2013) Stoichiometry constrains microbial responses to root exudation: insights from a model and experiment in a temperate forest. Biogeosciences 10:821-838
  • Giasson, MA, Ellison AM, Bowden RD, Crill PM, Davidson EA, Drake JE, Frey SD, Hadley JL, Lavine M, Melillo JM, Munger JW, Nadelhoffer KJ, Nicoll L, Ollinger SV, Savage KE, Steudler PA, Tang J, Varner RK, Wofsy SC, Foster DR, Finzi AC (2013) Soil respiration in a northeastern US temperate forest: a 22-year synthesis. Ecosphere 4 Article Number: UNSP 140, DOI: 10.1890/ES13.00183.1
  • Raymer PCL, Orwig DA, Finzi AC (2013) Hemlock loss due to the hemlock woolly adelgid does not affect ecosystem C storage but alters its distribution. Ecosphere 4(6) Article 63
  • 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, 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
  • Brzostek ER and Finzi AC (2011) Substrate supply, fine roots and temperature control proteolytic enzyme activity in temperate forest soils. Ecology 92:892-902