Michelle Bohnen

MS student

[email protected]

Current Research Interests

I research greenhouse gas exchange between the soil surface and the atmosphere. My research takes place in the Mesocosm Facility where emissions are measured such as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and ammonia. Specifically, my research focuses on nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture and management of these systems as well as the climate change impacts on agricultural nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide can be harmful for the environment due to it being an ozone depleting substance as well as its high global warming potential. Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer utilization causes water contamination by leaching and runoff as well as air pollution by volatilization into the atmosphere through soil microbial processes of denitrification and nitrification which can increase nitrous oxide emissions. Two of my goals are to test a soil amendment with a bacterial inoculant for its effectiveness on producing a substantial corn yield while using a reduction in fertilizer and to analyze the benefit of reduced emissions this practice could provide.

Additionally, climate change will increase freeze-thaw cycles on soils by increasing temperature. Freeze-thaw cycles on soil contribute a disproportionate amount of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere. This creates a positive feedback cycle that is detrimental to the environment. Another one of my goals is to quantify these emissions while examining the mechanisms and controls of this phenomenon. Water, soil, plant, and air sampling in these projects allows for analysis of reactive nitrogen cycling. These projects will aid in improving mitigation strategies for greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural ecosystems that are a consequence of anthropogenic activities and climate change.

Educational Background

Bachelor of Science: Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management major; Climatology minor, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2022