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Hannah Naughton

RELP Cohort: 2019
Department of Earth Systems Science
School: Sustainability

Hannah is a PhD candidate in the Earth System Science department at Stanford University. She researches the mechanisms determining carbon flow through soils. Given the abundance of soil carbon, an amount surpassing atmospheric carbon, her goal is to improve parameterization of models predicting soil carbon stocks and fluxes with the atmosphere over time and under changing climate and land management. She performs laboratory and field experiments to determine how carbon quantity and quality, microbial community composition and function, and thermodynamic energy available for microbial metabolism regulate carbon decomposition rate and pathways in soils. The project is globally extensible, with study sites including the tropical Mekong River floodplain, Cambodia, agricultural soils of the temperate Willamette Valley, OR, and the subalpine seasonal floodplain of the East River, CO. This work has been recognized by an invited talk (2018 DOE TES/SBR PI meeting) and an ARCS scholarship. Her post-Ph.D. plan is to pursue a career in research at the university or federal agency level with an emphasis on mentoring and outreach.

Prior to Stanford, Hannah received an MS in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan. Her Masters thesis used green algae phylogenetic diversity to predict community stability and biomass, with applications extending to biofuel production, invasive species management, and aquatic ecosystem health. This work was recognized by an NSF-GRFP award and admittance to the Marine Biology Lab’s Microbial Diversity short course. Before Michigan, Hannah received a BS in Chemistry and Biology at the College of William & Mary, VA. At W&M, Hannah completed an Honors thesis in physical organic chemistry testing the stability of a cholesterol-sensing drug under changing solvent polarity and acidity. Hannah was honored to receive a Monroe Scholarship, Howard Hughes Freshman Research grant, Alsam Foundation scholarship, PBK society membership, and the William George Guy Prize in Chemistry. Hannah especially prioritizes teaching and mentoring.