Jeffrey R. White
Professor of Environmental Sciences
Aquatic Chemistry, Biogeochemistry, and Limnology
Office: MSBII S2-412
- Ph.D., 1984, Syracuse University
- M.S., 1979, Rutgers University
- B.A., 1977, Gettysburg College
White and his group are interested in processes controlling the cycling of elements in aquatic and terrestrial systems and in the potential impact of human activity on element cycles. They study cycling of elements in freshwater ecosystems, wetlands and terrestrial soils from temperate agricultural landscapes to remote Arctic ecosystems. Their tools range from stable isotopes to high-throughput genomics.
The research focuses on understanding human impacts on feedbacks of environmental systems, particularly aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Since 1990, the group has been studying greenhouse gas emissions in northern landscapes under changing climate. Current research includes a NASA-funded project investigating greenhouse gas cycling in lakes, wetlands and soils at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The role of local climate (temperature, insolation, and water level) in controlling methane budgets of northern landscapes is studied using chemical mass balances, stable isotopic analyses, genomic sequencing of soil microbial communities, and continuous records of climatic variables. The results are used to refine mechanistic models that describe methane cycling in detail and which will allow prediction of responses of natural rates of methane production to climatic change. They are also working in Alaska on the role of fungi in affecting plant community responses to permafrost thaw in the sub-Arctic.
Other areas of research include: the development of stable isotopes of nitrogen as a "fingerprinting" tool to identify the sources of ammonia and nitrate in surface water; improvement of sampling and analysis techniques for trace metals in gravel sediments; and development of new isolation techniques for microbial communities inhabiting wetland sediments.
Turetsky, M.R., Kotowska, A., Bubier, J., Dise, N.B., Crill, P., Hornibrook, E., Minkinnen, K., Moore, T.R., Myers-Smith, I.H., Nykänen, H., Olefeldt, D., Rinne, J., Saarnio, S., Shurpali, N., Tuittila, E., Waddington, J.M., White, J.R., Wickland, K., and Wilmking, M. 2014. "A Synthesis of Methane Emissions from 71 Northern, Temperate, and Subtropical Wetlands." Global Change Biology v. 20, 2183–2197. DOI
Tang, J., Zhuang, Q., Shannon R.D. and White, J.R. 2010. "Quantifying Wetland Methane Emissions with Process-Based Models of Different Complexities." Biogeosciences v. 7, 3817-3837.
White, J. R., Shannon, R.D., Weltzin, J.F., Pastor, J., and Bridgham, S.D. 2008. “Effects of Soil Warming and Drying on Methane Cycling in a Northern Peatland Mesocosm Study,” J. Geophysical Research v, 113 G00A06. DOI
Herrman, K.S. and White, J.R. 2008. “Denitrification in a constructed wetland: comparison of mass balance and stable isotopic methods,” Applied Geochemistry. DOI
Keller, J.K., White, J.R., Bridgham, S.D., Pastor, J. 2004. "Climate Change Effects on Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization in Peatlands Through Changes in Soil Quality." Global Change Biology v. 10, 1053-1064.
Avery, B., Shannon, R.D., White, J.R., Martens, C.S., and Alperin, M.J. 2002. "Controls on Methane Production in a Tidal Freshwater Estuary and a Peatland: Methane Production via Acetate Fermentation and CO2 Reduction." Biogeochemistry v. 62, 19-37.
Avery, B., Shannon, R.D., White, J.R., Martens, C.S., and Alperin, M.J. 1999. "Effect of Seasonal Changes in the Pathways of Methanogenesis on the δ13C Values of Pore Water Methane in a Michigan Peatland." Global Biogeochemical Cycles v. 13, 475-484.
White, J.R., and Shannon, R.D. 1997. "Modeling Organic Solutes in Peatland Soils Using Acid Analogs." Soil Science Society of America Journal v. 61, 1257-1263.
Walter, B.P., M. Heimann, Shannon, R.D., White, J.R. 1996. "A process-based model to derive methane emissions from natural wetlands." Geophysical Research Letters v. 23, 3731-3734.
Shannon, R.D., and White, J.R. 1996. "The Effects of Spatial and Temporal Variations in Acetate and Sulfate on Methane Cycling in Two Michigan Peatlands." Limnology and Oceanography v. 41(3), 435-443.
Shannon, R.D., White, J.R., Lawson, J.E., and Gilmour, B.S. 1996. "Methane efflux from emergent vegetation in peatlands" J. Ecology v. 84, 239-246.
Shannon, R.D. and White, J.R. 1994. "A three-year study of controls on methane emissions from two Michigan peatlands," Biogeochemistry v. 27, 35-60.
Shannon, R.D., and JWhite, J.R. 1991. "The Selectivity of a Sequential Extraction Procedure for Iron Oxyhydroxide and Sulfides in Freshwater Sediments" Biogeochemistry v. 14, 193-208.
Gubala, C.P., Engstrom, D.R., and White, J.R. 1990. "Effects of Iron Cycling on 210Pb Dating of Sediments in an Adirondack Lake, U.S.A." Canadian J. Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences v. 47, 1821-1829.
White, J.R. and Gubala, C.P. 1990. "Sequentially Extracted Metals from Adirondack Lake Sediment Cores," J. Paleolimnology v. 3, 243-252.
White, J.R., Gubala, C.P., Fry, B., Owen, J., and Mitchell, M.J. 1989."Sediment Biogeochemistry of Iron and Sulfur in an Acidic Lake," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta v. 53, 2547-2559.