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Rich Conant


Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Contact Information:

Office: B229 Nesb
Phone: (970) 491-1919


Richard Conant is an ecosystem ecologist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, professor in the Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Department, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Warner College of Natural Resources. He is also an adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia and a Sr Research Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute. Dr. Conant is a participant in national and international efforts to quantify human impacts on carbon cycling. He earned his Ph.D. at Arizona State University in 1997.

Interests & Studies:

Dr. Conant's research focuses on understanding the feedbacks between human activities and ecosystem biogeochemistry. Specifically, Dr. Conant is interested in how land use and land management practices impact carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural and grassland ecosystems. He has worked closely with scientists from diverse disciplines to understand the characteristics of scientific information that best informs decision making, and has worked to integrate those conclusions into his own research.


PhD in Botany from Arizona State University , Tempe, AZ , 1997

BA in Environmental Biology from University of Colorado , Boulder, CO , 1990

Awards, Honors, Grants:

NREL Best Advisor , 2006

Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of the IPCC , 2007

Warner College Distinguished Scientific Research Award , 2008

Queensland Smart Futures Fellow , 2010


Effects of soil moisture on the temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration vary seasonally in an old-field climate change experiment
Global Change Biology 18:336-348 , 2012
Suseela V., R.T. Conant, M.D. Wallenstein, and J.S. Dukes

A litter-slurry technique elucidates the key role of enzyme production and microbial dynamics in temperature sensitivity of organic matter decomposition
Soil Biology & Biochemistry 47:18-26. , 2012
Wallenstein, M. D., M. L. Haddix, D. L. Lee, R. T. Conant, and E. A. Paul

Sequestration through forestry and agriculture
Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 2:238-254 , 2011
Conant, R. T.

Reliable methods are fundamental for legitimate terrestrial offset programs
. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3:169-173. , 2011
Conant, R. T., S. M. Ogle, E. A. Paul, and K. Paustian

Temperature and soil organic matter decomposition – synthesis of current knowledge and a way forward
Global Change Biology 17:3392-3404 , 2011
Conant, R. T., M. G. Ryan, G. I. Ågren, H. E. Birge, E. A. Davidson, P. E. Eliasson, S. E. Evans, S. D. Frey, C. P. Giardina, F. Hopkins, R. Hyvönen, M. U. F. Kirschbaum, J. M. Lavallee, J. Leifeld, W. J. Parton, M. Steinweg, M. D. Wallenstein, J. A. M. Wetterstedt, and M. A. Bradford

Regionally-differentiated N2O emissions estimated by Bayesian inversion of inventory data
Global Change Biology 18:928-935 , 2011
Berdanier, A. B., and R. T. Conant


American Geophysical Union

Soil Science Society of America

Ecological Society of America