UNDER CONSTRUCTION – August 2019 – Stay tuned as I give my website a little facelift!

Welcome! This webpage is dedicated to documenting my adventures as a scientist and as a cyclist. You will find older posts about my many bicycling adventures and more recent posts about my research, with a sprinkling of cycling related posts here and there.

Feel free to holler at me if you have questions about my research, or just want to chat about my latest bike adventure.

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About

Lauren is a student in the Natural Resources and Earth System Sciences (NRESS) PhD program at the University of New Hampshire. In 2015, Lauren received her master’s degree from the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee where she worked on understanding the impact that urbanization has on the evolutionary trajectory of species and phylogenetic diversity.

Lauren’s PhD research focuses on soil ecology in agroecosystems and is exploring ideas around nutrient cycling and plant-microbe-soil interactions. She currently works on several projects that use long term agricultural research (LTAR) sites across the midwest, including the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners, MI and the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (ENREC) in Mead, NE.

Lauren is also a proficient mountain biker and competes on an elite level in the Enduro discipline. When she isn’t focused on her research, you can find Lauren on the race circuit or riding bikes for leisure. She also spends her time promoting cycling advocacy, women in cycling, women in STEM, and sustainable farming practices. She is passionate about the outdoors and is always out and about exploring on bicycle or foot, trail or road, and either solo or with good company.

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Research

Nitrogen Dynamics in Agroecosystems

Excessive nitrogen as a result of agricultural production results in leaching of unused nitrates, which ultimately have severe consequences for surrounding watersheds. There are currently strategies in place that aim to reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer applications; for example, the use of cover crops is known to simultaneously increase bioavailable nitrogen and soil organic matter, while reducing the need to introduce inorganic fertilizers. In order to further limit inorganic nitrogen additions, it is necessary to understand all facets of nitrogen dynamics within agroecosystems. It is well understood that nitrogen is highly mobile in the soil and that it can transcend multiple pools as it cycles through the system. However, the rate at which nitrogen moves about in addition to the quantity of nitrogen deposited into each pool still remain unclear. My research aims to identify drivers that regulate the rate and distribution of nitrogen into different pools.

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cv

CV Last Updated: 3.6.18
Click here to download Lauren’s CV.

Lauren C. Breza
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
56 College Rd  •  114 James Hall  •  Durham, NH  •  03824
lb1064 [at] wildcats.unh.edu  •  laurenbreza.com

Education

Ph.D.   University of New Hampshire, NRESS, Exp. 2020
Soil Biogeochemistry, Soil Fertility, Agroecology
Major Professor: Dr. A. Stuart Grandy

M.S.  University of Tennessee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2015
Ecosystem Ecology, Ecosystem Genetics, Phylogenetics
Major Professor: Dr. Joseph K. Bailey

B.S.   University of Tennessee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2011
Ecosystem Ecology
Academic Advisors: Drs. Aimée T. Classen & Nathan J. Sanders

Publications

Mueller, L.O., L.C. Breza, M.A. Genung, C. Giardina, N.E. Stone, L. C. Sidak-Loftis, J.D. Busch, D.M. Wagner, J.K. Bailey, J.A. Schweitzer. (2017) Ecosystem consequences of plant genetic divergence with colonization of new habitat. Ecosphere. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1743

Breza L.C., L. Souza, N.J. Sanders, and A.T. Classen. (2012) Within and between population variation in plant traits predict ecosystem functions associated with a dominant plant species. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.223

Kuebbing S., M.A. Rodriguez-Cabal, D. Fowler, L. Breza, J.A. Schweitzer, J.K. Bailey. (2012) Resource availability and plant diversity explain patterns of invasion of an exotic grass. Journal of Plant Ecology. DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rts018

Presentations

Breza L.C., 2017. J. Schnecker, T.M. Bowles, and A.S. Grandy. Soil management practices drive microbial uptake of carbon and nitrogen in agricultural soils. Ecological Society of America annual meeting, Portland, OR. USA. Poster presentation.

Breza L.C., 2015. A novel adaptive landscape: Urbanization as an Evolutionary Force. Departmental Exit Seminar. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. University of Tennessee. Knoxville, TN. USA. Oral presentation.

Breza L.C., J.A. Schweitzer, J.K. Bailey. 2014. Fragmentation drives selection in a model system. University of Kentucky, Annual Spring Symposium in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. Lexington, KY. USA. Oral presentation.

Breza L.C., L. Souza, N.J. Sanders, and A.T. Classen. 2011. Within and between population variation in plant traits predict ecosystem functions associated with a dominant plant species. University of Tennessee Office of Research undergraduate research symposium, Knoxville, TN, USA. Poster presentation

Breza L.C., L. Souza, and A.T. Classen. 2010. Intra-specific variation in ecosystem function of an old-field system. Association of Southeastern Biologists annual meeting, Asheville, NC, USA. Oral presentation.

Breza L.C., L. Souza, and A.T. Classen. 2010. Intra-specific variation in ecosystem function of an old-field system. University of Tennessee Office of Research undergraduate research symposium, Knoxville, TN, USA. Poster presentation.

Research Experience

2016-present  –  PhD Student, Soil Biogeochemistry Lab
Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire, Durham
Field and laboratory experimental design, soil sampling, soil analyses

2013-2015  –  Masters Student, Ecosystem Genetics Lab
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Meta-analysis design and implementation, field, laboratory, and greenhouse experimental design, soil analyses, plant propagation

2012-2013  –  Lab Technician, Ecosystem Ecology Lab
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Responsible for maintaining instrumentation, designing and performing field and lab experiments, maintaining organization, and ordering inventory.

2010-2011  –  Post-Bachelor Intern
Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN
Undertook field and laboratory responsibilities essential for project goals

2010   –   Undergraduate Intern
Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN
Assisted greenhouse manager and maintained experimental greenhouse plants

2006-2010  –  Undergraduate Researcher
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Collected field samples, processed samples, and carried out laboratory analyses

Honors and Awards

2014 — University of Tennessee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology  $1,700
Departmental Research Grand & Chancellor Funds

2013 — University of Tennessee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology  $1,600
Departmental Research Grand & Chancellor Funds

2013 — Fellow, National Science Foundation          $126,000
Graduate Research Fellowship Program

2011 — University of Tennessee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Outstanding Undergraduate

2009 — Fellow, University of Tennessee Office of Research    $2,000
Undergraduate Research Fellowship

2008 — Fellow, University of Notre Dame, GLOBES Program    $4,500
Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship

Teaching and Outreach

2016-present — Co-coordinator, Women in Science, Student Organization
University of New Hampshire, Durham

2016 — Spring TA, Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology (BIOL 412)
University of New Hampshire, Durham

2015 — Fall TA, Organismal and Ecological Biology (BIO 150)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2015 — Summer Instructor on Record, General Ecology Lab (BIO 269)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2014 — Spring TA, Introduction to Biodiversity (BIO 130)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2013 — Fall TA, Introduction to Biodiversity (BIO 130)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2013-2015 — Board Member & Volunteer, Slow Food Tennessee Valley, Non-profit
Knoxville, TN

2011-2015 — Trail Builder & Volunteer, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Non-profit
Knoxville, TN

2009-2010 — Departmental Char, Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, College of Arts & Sciences
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2009-2010 — Co-President and founder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate Organization
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

References

Dr. A. Stuart Grandy
Associate Professor
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Email: Stuart.Grandy@unh.edu

Dr. Joseph K. Bailey
Associate Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Email: Joe.Bailey@utk.edu
Phone: 865.974.0864

Dr. Aimée T. Classen
Associate Professor
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
University of Vermont
Email: Aimee.Classen@uvm.edu

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