Dr. Kristen DeAngelis is the newest member of the Department of Microbiology. Prior to arriving in Amherst she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Research projects in her lab are aimed at understanding the (1) effect of climate change on soil carbon storage in the rhizosphere, and (2) applying anaerobic bacterial decomposition to biofuels development. The rhizosphere experiments aim to test the hypotheses that warming due to climate change has substantial effects on soil microbial community structure and function due to changes in plant carbon allocation to the roots. The manageable root system of Brachypodium distachyon owing to a rapid annual lifecycle serves as an excellent plant species for greenhouse studies of the rhizosphere.