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Research in the Menge lab bridges ecosystem ecology, theoretical ecology, biogeochemistry, and evolutionary ecology. We are located in the E3B department at Columbia University. Please click on the links above to learn more about who we are and what we do.
Puerto Rico field work:
Ben has become one with the nodules:
Sian is a fan of Volcano:
Hawaii's a rough place to work:
The nene are concerned about greenhouse gas fluxes:
This seemed more repeatable than having Palani stand on Amy:
Alex measuring NO gas in Tanguro ... or is she?
Alex tells the calcium carbide how it is:
Tom, clearly doing science:
October Black Rock field work:
Sian loves sampling gas:
Andrés and Rachel measuring Robinia height:
Rachel's audition shot for Ghostbusters:
Gas sampling at Black Rock:
Ben, happy that his plants were alive so he could kill them:
Richard, one with local fauna:
Amy hard at work:
Ben and Richard hard at work:
Some nice Waiakea dirt:
Rachel fertilizing greenhouse plants:
Setting up the Black Rock site for the N fixation strategies project:
Black Rock 2013-2014:
Ben measures Taylor's bh. Nodules!
October 2017: New paper out online in Ecology with new hypotheses for the latitudinal gradient of nitrogen-fixing trees. Menge et al. 2017.
September 2017: Science wrote a nice blurb about Ben's PNAS paper: Nitrogen-fixing trees: Friend or foe?
September 2017: Palani and Emily have arrived at Columbia. Welcome!
August 2017: Anika, Sian, Andrew, Ben, Eleen, Alex, Amy, and Tom gave great presentations at ESA in Portland.
July 2017: Ben's paper showing that nitrogen-fixing trees inhibit the regeneration of Costa Rican forests is out in PNAS. Congrats! Taylor et al. 2017.
July 2017: Here's a nice Columbia news piece about Amy's PNAS paper.
July 2017: Paper out in Ecology Letters showing that nitrogen-fixing trees have similar relative diversity across latitude in North America. Menge et al. 2017.
June 2017: Amy, Sian, Palani, and Duncan had a successful field trip to Hawaii, despite the best efforts of the pigs.
June 2017: Paper on rhizosphere priming, plant N demand, and different mycorrhizal types out online in Ecology Letters. Sulman et al. 2017.
May 2017: Sian was awarded research funding from Sigma Xi. Congratulations!
May 2017: Eleen's paper showing that nitrogen-fixing trees are likely to become more abundant in much of North America as it warms is out online in Global Change Biology. Congrats! Liao et al. 2017.
May 2017: Paper out online in Ecology Letters showing that nitrogen-fixing trees have similar relative diversity across latitude in North America. Menge et al. 2017.
May 2017: Tom successfully defended his proposal, so is now officially a PhD candidate. Congratulations!
April 2017: A new M.A. student, Emily, accepted an offer to start in the Menge lab in fall 2017. Welcome in advance!
April 2017: Andrew successfully defended his proposal, so is now officially a PhD candidate. Congratulations!
April 2017: Paper showing that nitrogen-fixing trees have similar relative diversity across latitude in North America accepted by Ecology Letters. Menge, Batterman, Liao, Taylor, Lichstein, & Ángeles-Pérez, coming soon.
April 2017: Andrew and Ben received summer travel funding from ILAS - congrats!
April 2017: Ben has been selected as one of six Graduate Student Policy Award winners by the Ecological Society of America. Congratulations!
April 2017: Paper showing that spatial heterogeneity can drive persistent and concurrent nitrogen fixation and nitrogen richness is out in Ecology. Menge & Levin 2017.
March 2017: A new Ph.D. student, Palani, accepted an offer to start in the Menge lab in fall 2017. Welcome in advance!
March 2017: Sian won an NSERC Fellowship! Congratulations!
March 2017: Anika won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Congratulations!
March 2017: Ben was awarded a grant from the Garden Club of America to support his work in Costa Rica - congratulations!
March 2017: Amy's paper on flowering phenology and biodiversity loss is out online. Wolf et al. 2017. Congrats! See press coverage at Scientific American and Science et Vie.
March 2017: Eleen's paper showing that nitrogen-fixing trees are likely to become more abundant in much of North America as it warms has been accepted by Global Change Biology. Congratulations! Liao et al. 2017, coming soon.
February 2017: Amy's paper on how flowering phenology shifts with biodiversity loss has been accepted by PNAS. Congratulations! Wolf et al. 2017, coming soon.
January 2017: Paper accepted by Ecology showing that spatial heterogeneity can drive persistent and concurrent nitrogen fixation and nitrogen richness. Menge & Levin 2017.
January 2017: Ben, Efrat, and Duncan's organized oral session on "Linking terrestrial nitrogen fixation, element cycling, and biodiversity in a changing world" was accepted by ESA, and we're really excited about the lineup of speakers. See you in Portland in August!
January 2017: Many thanks to everyone who completed our survey on data presentation in ecology, and to ESA for helping distribute it!
December 2016: Amy's paper (Wolf et al. 2017) published along with a nice commentary by Sasha Reed: Reed 2017.
December 2016: Andrew passed his orals - congratulations!
December 2016: A paper by Ben, Rachel, Eleen, and many friends of the lab on Hamamelis virginiana growth and physiology following canopy disturbance is out in Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Congrats! Taylor et al. 2016.
November 2016: Amy's paper showing flexible stoichiometry and a symbiont effect on legume stoichiometry is out in New Phytologist. Congratulations! Wolf et al. 2017.
November 2016: Kaye and Elsie have joined the lab. Welcome!
November 2016: Tom passed his orals - congratulations!
October 2016: Eleen's paper showing that survival, growth, and recruitment disadvantages all help explain the rarity of nitrogen-fixing trees in the USA is published by PLoS ONE. Congratulations! Liao & Menge 2016.
September 2016: Andrés, Emily, Connor, and Eleanor started working in the lab. Welcome!
August 2016: Sian, Alex, and Anika have arrived at Columbia. Welcome!
August 2016: A paper by Ben, Rachel, Eleen, and many friends of the lab on Hamamelis virginiana growth and physiology following canopy disturbance was accepted by Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Congrats! Taylor et al. 2016.
August 2016: Ben mentored two REU students at La Selva.
August 2016: Tom, Ben, and Duncan gave talks on Tuesday at the annual ESA meeting in Ft. Lauderdale.
July 2016: Tansley Insight paper published by New Phytologist showing that evolutionary constraints are unlikely to explain the rarity of nitrogen-fixing trees in high latitude forests. Menge & Crews 2016.
June 2016: Ashley and John have joined us for the summer. Welcome!
June 2016: Amy's paper on linking functional traits to competition is published online at Ecology. Funk & Wolf 2016.
May 2016: Tansley Insight paper accepted by New Phytologist showing that evolutionary constraints are unlikely to explain the rarity of nitrogen-fixing trees in high latitude forests. Menge & Crews, coming soon.
April 2016: Tom won an EPA STAR fellowship - congrats!
April 2016: Alex won an NSF GRFP fellowship - congrats!
March 2016: Three new Ph.D. students, Anika, Sian, and Alex, accepted offers to start in the Menge lab in fall 2016. Welcome in advance!
March 2016: Tom and Rachel are in Hawaii. I think they're working, but it is spring break in Hawaii.
March 2016: Duncan gave a seminar at the University of Georgia. Good pilgrimage to the Odum School, where ecology reigns supreme.
February 2016: Anna and Kayley started working in the lab - welcome!
February 2016: Duncan gave a seminar at the University of Florida. Great opportunity to catch up with some people and meet some new people, all of whom are doing great work.
January 2016: A good time of year for tropical field work. Amy and Rachel were in Waiakea, Hawaii, and Ben and Richard were in La Selva, Costa Rica.
January 2016: Paper published by New Phytologist on the demographic rates of N-fixing vs non-fixing trees in long-term Bosques plots at La Selva. Menge & Chazdon 2016. See also a nice commentary by Tim Crews: Crews 2016.
December 2015: Duncan received a Lenfest Junior Faculty Development Grant to study greenhouse gas fluxes in our N fixation strategies project at Black Rock.
November 2015: Ben, Richard, and Megan received funding from the Earth Institute for field work in Costa Rica. Congrats!
November 2015: Ben successfully defended his proposal, so is now officially a PhD candidate. Congratulations!
October 2015: Kevin Griffin's ecophysiology class took lots of physiological measurements at our Black Rock N fixation strategy sites.
October 2015: Duncan gave a seminar at Bennington College. Great to meet lots of broad thinkers and see the beautiful campus.
September 2015: Emily and Emily started working in the lab - welcome!
August 2015: Andrew, Ben, Eleen, Amy, and Duncan gave talks at the annual ESA meeting in Baltimore.
July 2015: Amy and Ben's paper on stoichiometry along nutrient gradients is out in Oikos. Sistla et al. 2015. Congrats!
June 2015: Rachel, Alex, and Duncan attended and gave talks at the Black Rock Forest Highlands Symposium. Lots of fun to see all the cool stuff people are doing at BRF.
June 2015: Paper out in Nature Plants about an experiment showing diverse nitrogen fixation strategies. Menge, Wolf, & Funk 2015. Coverage at Science Daily, EurekAlert, & AgProfessional.
May 2015: Eleen graduated - congrats!
May 2015: Along with co-PIs Jen Funk and Steve Perakis, Duncan received funding from NSF Ecosystems to evaluate nitrogen fixation strategies in a variety of tree species.
April 2015: Amy, Eleen, Andrew, Ben, and Duncan will be giving talks at ESA this summer. Hope to see you there!
April 2015: Tom got honorable mention for the NSF GRFP. Congrats!
April 2015: Andrew got summer funding from ILAS! Congrats!
April 2015: Ben got summer funding from ILAS! Congrats!
April 2015: Ben's new paper on seedling survival on Dominica is online at Biotropica. DeWalt, Taylor, & Ickes, available online.
April 2015: Amy is the Menge lab's first postdoc! Welcome!
February 2015: Paper accepted by Theoretical Ecology on alternative stable states in grasslands. Chisholm, Menge, Fung, Williams & Levin 2015, available online.
December 2014: Ben got research funding from Sigma Xi! Congratulations!
November 2014: Duncan gave a seminar at McGill University. Lots of people doing very cool work there.
November 2014: Ben's new paper on global change effects on root architecture at the Duke FACE site is out in New Phytologist. Beidler, Taylor, et al. 2014.
October 2014: Ben's new paper on seed removal by red-rumped agoutis on the island of Dominica is out in Caribbean Journal of Science. Congrats!
September 2014: Rachel arrives in NYC and starts in the Menge lab. Welcome!
August 2014: Tom arrives in NYC. Welcome!
August 2014: Eleen and Duncan gave talks at the annual ESA meeting in Sacramento.
August 2014: Ben's new paper on root dynamics at the Duke FACE site is out online at Tree Physiology. Taylor et al. 2014.
July 2014: Paper out in Ecology about the latitudinal gradient of N-fixing tree abundance. Menge, Lichstein, & Angeles-Perez 2014.
June 2014: Essay out in the ESA Bulletin's "Paper Trail" series. Menge 2014.
June 2014: Emily and Franklin began summer internships. Welcome!
April 2014: Eleen got summer research funding from Sigma Xi! Congratulations!
April 2014: Ben got summer funding from ILAS! Congrats!
April 2014: Tom's paper on modeling temperature effects on seed germination of Zannichellia palustris is out in Environmental and Experimental Botany. Bytnerowicz & Carruthers 2014.
April 2014: Duncan gave a seminar at Cornell University. Nice to meet the dynamic group there and learn about their work.
March 2014: Two new Ph.D. students, Tom and Andrew, accepted offers to start in the Menge lab in fall 2014. Welcome in advance!
February 2014: Ben's paper on responses of mycorrhizal root tips to global change manipulations in the Duke forest is out online in Global Change Biology. Pritchard, Taylor et al. 2014.
February 2014: Duncan gave a seminar in Brown University's EEB department. It was nice getting to meet the great people there and hear about all the cool stuff they're doing.
January 2014: Welcome to Kealoha, who's visiting the Menge lab this semester from Brown!
December 2013: Bruce and Duncan's Intermittent Upwelling Hypothesis paper has been recommended on Faculty of 1000.
December 2013: Duncan talked at AGU about some uses of nitrogen isotopes in ecosystem ecology.
November 2013: First lab field trip to Black Rock Forest. A fine time was had by all despite the snow. Pictures to the left.
October 2013: Ben's paper on scaling of minirhizotron data is out in Plant and Soil. Taylor, Beidler, Strand, & Pritchard 2013.
October 2013: Welcome to Andrew!
September 2013: Welcome to Elizabeth and Taylor!
September 2013: Fall semester begins, bringing the maiden voyage of the course Ecosystem Ecology and Global Change.
August 2013: Eleen arrives in NY. Welcome!
August 2013: Duncan arrives in NY. Let the science begin.
August 2013: Paper out in Ecological Monographs about the Intermittent Upwelling Hypothesis. Menge & Menge 2013.
July 2013: Welcome Ben, the first Menge lab Ph.D. student, who arrived before the Menge lab.
June 2013: Duncan has been named an Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America for 2013-2017.
June 2013: Ben's paper on root sampling is out in Ecology Letters. Taylor, Beidler, Cooper, Strand, & Pritchard 2013.
May 2013: Paper out in PTRS-B reviewing and proposing a new global estimate of terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation. Vitousek, Menge, Reed, & Cleveland 2013.
May 2013: Author Spotlight in PLoS focused on 2012 PLoS ONE paper by Menge, Hedin, & Pacala.
April 2013: Duncan, along with co-authors Lars Hedin and Steve Pacala, receives Outstanding Ecological Theory Paper Award from ESA's Theory Section for 2012 paper on long-term ecosystem development.