Julia B Gaudinski
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Julia B Gaudinski


Current Work

I have largely jumped out of academia and created my own startup company called Mobile Ranger.

Mobile Ranger provides inspiring stories and fun information about the natural and human history of places and their people. Be it mobile apps or blog posts, our mission is to create locally sourced, compelling natural and human history content that is easy to find, use and digest. 

The philosophy at Mobile Ranger is that people are motivated to act when they feel a connection to a person or place. If we can show people the human stories and natural wonders that are an integral part of every landscape, they will create a personal connection to it. These connections help people care more deeply about a place specifically, but also tend to foster the desire to steward their local places in particular, and the planet in general.

Please check out Mobile Ranger!

Academic Research

My research, from 1997 - 2010, focused on terrestrial carbon cycling particularly in forests. The residence time of carbon in forest ecosystems depends on how carbon is allocated by plants and the rate of decomposition of plant tissues and their alteration products in soils. By taking advantage of changing atmospheric radiocarbon (14C) concentrations in the atmosphere due to testing of above-ground nuclear weapons in the early 1960's (often referred to as bomb-carbon), the cycling rates of plant tissues and soil carbon on timescales of several years to centuries can be estimated.

Arguably, my biggest contribution to carbon cycle science was quantifying the dynamics of fine root systems. New-root production and the flux of live-root tissue to soils via root mortality are two large, yet very uncertain, fluxes in ecosystem carbon budgets. My early work with bomb-carbon showed that a significant fraction of fine root biomass may live longer than the largely accepted 1 year lifespan. I hypothesized that root lifespans actually represented a continuum from days to decades and the shape of this distribution and how it was modeled to calculate fine root fluxes needed further investigation. A one pool model was likely not adequate.

My later work, in collaboration with others, investigated this theory with several field sites, differing sampling techniques and numerical models. The results supported the initial hypothesis. Multi-pool models are indeed needed to increase accuracy of flux calculations of live-root tissue to soils via root mortality.

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