Matthew Wallenstein

Researchers discuss tomato plant growth in a greenhouse
Pivot irrigation
Laurel Lynch sampling plants
Dropper of test material going in flask
Students tending test flowers in greenhouse

Curriculum Vitae

Matthew David Wallenstein, PhD
Campus Delivery 1499
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499


2004             Ph.D., Ecology.  Duke University, William Schlesinger, advisor.

1996              B.A., Geosciences.  Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Honors in Biology.  Andrew Barton, thesis advisor.

Appointments & Positions

2015-             Co-Founder and Chairman, Growcentia Inc.

2015-             Joint Associate Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University

2014-             Associate Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University

2010-2014    Assistant Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University

2007-             Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University

2004-2007   National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow


2016             Disney Institute

2014             NSF Innovation Corps

2014            Village Capital Ag Accelerator Program


2014                      John S. Waid Award for best review paper in Soil Biology & Biochemistry

2013                      National Science Foundation BREAD Ideas Challenge winner

2013                      National Science Foundation CAREER award

2013                      Jack Cermak Advising Award (CSU award for outstanding graduate advising)

2007, 2011            “Outstanding Graduate Advisor”, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory.

2007, 2010, 2014   “Most Proposals Submitted”, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory.

2004                      NSF Office of Polar Programs Postdoctoral Fellowship

2002                      NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2001                      NASA Earth System Science Fellowship


  • General Ecology (LIFE 320): 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Biogeochemistry (NR/ESS 660): 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Ecosystem Ecology (ESS 440): 2015
  • Skills for Undergraduate Participation in Research (ESS 220/221): 2015, 2016
  • Summer Soil Institute: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Biogeography and Biogeochemistry of Arctic and Alpine Ecosystems (EY 592): 2008
  • Advanced Topics in Soil Ecology (EY 592); 2007
  • Earned ‘Certificate in Teaching Biology’ through completion of a formal training program at Duke University. 2004.


Director, Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  2015-

President.  Soil Ecology Society.  2015-2017.

Co-Chair.  USGS Powell Center Working Group:  Identifying the Next Generation of Ecological Indicators.  2012-present.

Director.  Enzymes in the Environment Research Coordination Network.  2009-2015.

Faculty Director.  EcoCore Analytical Facility at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory.  2009-2015.

Chair.  International Workshop on Environmental Proteomics.  Keystone, Colorado. January 2010.

Secretary.  ESA Biogeosciences Section.  2008-2010.

Guidance Committee Member.  American Geophysical Union Biogeosciences Section.  2009-present.

Committee Member.  Technical Committee on Soils and Critical Zone Processes.  American Geophysical Union.  2011-present.

Program Committee Member/Organizer:  AGU Chapman conference:  “Soil-mediated drivers of coupled biogeochemical and hydrological processes across scales”, October 2013.

Workshop Organizer.  2nd International Enzymes in the Environment RCN Workshop: Incorporating Enzymes and Microbial Physiology into Biogeochemical Models. Colorado State University, 2012.

Symposium Organizer.  Assessing the relative contributions of fungi and bacteria to terrestrial biogeochemical processes: state of the art.  Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2011.

Symposium Organizer. Enzymes in the Environment:  New insights into controls on enzyme production, in situ activity, and turnover.   Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2013.


Associate Editor: Biogeochemistry.   2009-2014; Founding Chief Editor for special section “Biogeochemistry Letters”.

Subject Editor:  Soil Biology & Biochemistry.  2009-present.

Editorial Advisory Board: Global Change Biology.  2008-present.

Review EditorFrontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology.  2010-present.

Panelist.  NSF Ecosystems (5x), NSF Polar Programs, NSF NRI, USDA NRI, DOE National Institute for Climate Change Research (NICCR), DOE Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment

Ad-Hoc proposal reviewer for NSF; DOE National Institute for Climate Change Research; Energy Biosciences Institute; National Academy of Sciences

Manuscript reviewer for Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Biogeochemistry, Biogeosciences, Chemical Geology, Ecography, Ecological Applications, Ecology, Ecology Letters, Ecological Modeling, Environment International, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Functional Ecology, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Global Change Biology, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Journal of Ecology, JGR-Biogeosciences, Journal of Proteome Research, Microbial Ecology, Nature Climate Change, Plant and Soil, PNAS, Polar Biology, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Soil Science Society of America Journal, Pedobiologia, Plant and Soil, Water Research.

Reader Advisory Panel:  NATURE.  2008-2010.


  1. 2015-2017.   Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  CSU Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Partnerships program.  $200,000.
  2. PI.  Development of a directed artificial selection approach to optimize microbial consortia for soil phosphorus solubilization.  USDA $100,000
  3. PI. Colorado Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant. Prototype formulation and field testing of microbial biostimulants for greener lawns. $65,627
  4. 2013-2018: PI. CAREER: Microbial Allocation of Assimilated Carbon: Interactions between Temperature, Substrate Quality, and Microbial Physiology Determine the Efficiency of Arctic Soil Carbon Cycling. NSF $916,609
  5. 2013-2016. Understanding litter input controls on soil organic matter turnover and formation are essential for improving carbon-climate feedback predictions for Arctic, tundra ecosystems. DOE,  $1,045,99


  1. PI.  Colorado Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant. Commercialization of advanced soil-based microbial solutions for agricultural management. $50,000.
  2. 2014:   I-Corps: Commercialization of Optimized Microbial Solutions. NSF. $50,000
  3. 2012-2014. Dissertation Research: Is organic matter chemistry or temperature a stronger driver of microbial community structure in permafrost soil? (NSF-DDIG award to Jessica Ernakovich). $15,000
  4. 2010-2014. Plant-microbe feedback mechanisms affecting decomposition and nutrient availability and interactions with climate change.  NSF Ecosystems.  $666,209
  5. 2009-2014. PI, Mary Stromberger and Richard Dick Co-PI’s. RCN: Enzymes in the Environment. NSF Research Coordination Networks. $499,833
  6. 2009-2013. Co-PI.  Laura Gough, PI;  John Moore Co-PI. A biotic awakening: How do invertebrates, microbes, and plants determine soil organic matter responses to release from nutrient limitation in arctic tundra?  NSF Office of Polar Programs.  $771,369
  7. 2010-2013. Co-PI.  John Moore, PI.  Global climate change education (GCCE): Research experiences, modeling and data.    $399,365
  8. 2009-2013. Co-PI. Mike Weintraub, PI; Heidi Steltzer, Co-PI. The Changing Seasonality of Tundra Nutrient Cycling: Implications for Ecosystem and Arctic System Functioning.  NSF Office of Polar Programs.  $409,117 (CSU portion).
  9. 2011-2012.   Dissertation research: Does long-term drought alter the response of microbial communities to moisture? (NSF-DDIG award to Sarah Evans).  $15,000
  10. 2009-2012. Co-PI.  Richard Conant, PI.  Reconciling predictions of kinetic theory with observations of decomposition responses to temperature: Biochemical, biological, and edaphic constraints. NSF Ecosystems. $698,980.
  11. 2009-2011. Co-PI.  John Moore, PI. Summer Soil Institute: Addressing environmental challenges with current and emerging techniques.  USDA NRI.  $149,950.
  12. 2008-2011. Co-PI with John Moore (PI).  USDA-National Needs Fellowship. Research opportunities in ecosystem science and environmental sustainability. $234,000.
  13. 2008-2011. PI with Ed Ayres (PI) and Heidi Steltzer. NSF Ecological Biology.  Does home-field advantage cause faster decomposition rates in temperate forest ecosystems?  $135,000
  14. 2007-2011. Co-PI with Josh Schimel (PI), Ken Reardon, and Michael Weintraub.  NSF Office of Polar Programs.  IPY: Microbial winter survival physiology: a driver on microbial community composition and carbon cycling $908,000;  $358,718 subcontract to Wallenstein.
  15. 2007-2010. Co-PI with Elise Pendall (PI) and Feike Djikstra. USDA-NRI-Soil Processes Microbial and biogeochemical mechanisms of altered decomposition and N mineralization in a rangeland ecosystem exposed to global change. $360,000; $180,000 subcontract to Wallenstein.
  16. 2007-2010. PI, Co-PI’s Richard Conant, Eldor Paul.  DOE-NICCR.  Responses of soil decomposition processes and decomposer communities to climate warming and altered precipitation: a test of the microbial acclimation hypothesis. $375,000.
  17. 2008-2010.   USGS contract to examine recovery of microbial community structure and function in soils degraded by Coal Bed Methane extraction in Wyoming.  $35,000.
  18. 2007-2010. Co-PI with Alan Knapp, PI: John Blair.  DOE-NICCR. Collaborative Research: Interactive effects of altered rainfall timing and elevated temperature on soil communities and ecosystem processes. $480,000; $25,000 subcontract to Wallenstein.
  19. PI, Shawna McMahon Co-PI. Microbes at the Cold Margin of Life: Can They Grow in Permanently Frozen Environments? Colorado State Space Grant.  $8486
  20. PI. Warner College of Natural Resources, Mini-Grant Program. An evaluation of soil warming effects on soil C quality using microbial indicator species.   $10,000
  21. 2004-2007. PI.  NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, Office of Polar Programs.  Linking Microbial Communities in Arctic Tundra Soils to Decomposition Processes:  Effects of Vegetation Type and Season.  $214,800.
  22. 2004-2007. Co-PI.  Department of Energy.  Heterotrophic Soil Respiration in Warming Experiments: Using Microbial Indicators to Partition Contributions from Labile and Recalcitrant Soil Organic Carbon.  PI:  Mark Bradford.  Co-PI’s: Jerry Melillo, Kathleen Treseder, Jim Reynolds $1,157,821; no direct support for Wallenstein.
  23. 2004-2006. Co-PI.  USDA, Northeastern States Resource Cooperative.  Does elevated nitrogen deposition induce phosphorus deficiency in north temperate forest ecosystems? PI:  Ivan Fernandez  Co-PI:  Lindsey Rustad.  $101,419; $25,000 subcontract to Wallenstein.
  24. 2002-2003. NSF, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.  Effects of increasing nitrogen inputs on microbial immobilization, soil nitrogen retention, and denitrification in an aggrading forest ecosystem.   $10,000.
  25. 2001-2004. NASA, Earth System Science Fellowship. Mechanisms controlling the response of denitrification to anthropogenic nitrogen deposition.


2016             Food and Ag Tech Summit. Panel Speaker.  BizWest Media.  Loveland, CO.

2016             Workshop on Understanding Soil’s Resilience and Vulnerability. US Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group.  Boulder, CO.

2013             Root/Soil/Microbiome Systems Biology Workshop.  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Seattle, WA.

2013             Frontiers in Ecosystem Science: Energizing the Research Agenda.  NSF.  Annapolis, MD.

2013             Metaproteomics of the Soil, DOE JGI, Walnut Creek, CA

2013             EMSL Scientific Technical Advisory Panel: Belowground Carbon Cycling Processes at the Molecular Scale: New Tools for User Research.  DOE EMSL.  Richland, WA.

2011             Emerging Frontiers in Rhizosphere Science Workshop.  Airlee, Virginia.

2011             DOE Office of Science.  Characterizing Soil Carbon in Permafrost Regions and Its Vulnerability to Climate Change.  Argonne National Lab, IL.

2010             Workshop to design the next generation of experiments on soil C and temperature.  Loveland, Colorado.

2010             Living Environments in Natural, Social, and Economic Systems (LENSES) workshop, The Institute for the Built Environment, Fort Collins, CO.

2009             DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research workshop on “New Frontiers in Characterizing Biological Systems”.  Bethesda, Maryland.

2008            NCEAS working group: “Detritus Dynamics”

2008             DOE Office of Science.  Carbon Cycling and Biosequestration Workshop.  Rockville, MD.

2008             NASA Astrobiology Workshop on “New Paradigms for Remote Sensing and Monitoring of Microbial Ecosystems”

2005             Synthesis of soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in Victoria Land, Antarctica.  Jekyll Island, GA.

2004-2006     NCEAS working group; “Can we now determine if, when, and how microbial community composition impacts ecosystem processes? Will that understanding yield critical new information about ecosystem function and response to change?”.

2004             Workshop on advanced approaches to quantify denitrification.  Woods Hole, MA.

2004             International workshop on molecular methods in soil biological and biochemical diversity in terrestrial ecosystems.  Taipei, Taiwan.


  • Advisory Board, Next-Generation Sequencing Facility. 2016-
  • Advisory Board, Central Instrument Facility. 2014-
  • Vice President for Research Advisory Committee, 2014-
  • Horizontally Accelerated Research Program (HARP) Committee, VPR. 2014-
  • WCNR Curriculum committee, WCNR. (2013-)
  • Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility, User Committee (2012-)
  • Executive committee, NREL. (2011-)
  • Executive committee, CSU Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (2008-2010)
  • Director of Graduate Studies, NREL (2009-2011)
  • Search Chair (4x); Search Committee member for faculty search 2012-2013; Chair for faculty search 2016.
  • Organized and developed new ‘Area of Emphasis” in Microbial Ecology for Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (2008)
  • NREL Web committee (2008-)
  • NREL Curriculum committee (2007-present)
  • Affiliate Faculty, School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU (2008-present).


Ecological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Geophysical Union, Soil Ecology Society, International Society of Microbial Ecology



  1. Haddix, M. et al. Progressing Towards More Quantitative Analytical Pyrolysis of Soil Organic Matter Using Molecular Beam Mass Spectroscopy of Whole Soils and Added Standards. In Press, Geoderma.
  2. Baas, P. Colin Bell, Lauren Mancini, Melanie Lee, Richard T. Conant and Matthew D. Wallenstein. Phosphorus mobilizing consortium Mammoth PTM enhances plant growth. In press.
  3. Alster, Charlotte J., Akihiro Koyama, Nels G. Johnson, Matthew D. Wallenstein, and Joseph C. von Fischer. Temperature sensitivity of soil microbial communities: an application of macromolecular rate theory to microbial respiration. In press, Journal of Geophysical Research
  4. Wallenstein, M.D. 2016. Lessons from the Startup World.  Science Careers. DOI: 10.1126/science.caredit.a1600052
  5. Carolyn Livensperger, Heidi Steltzer , Anthony Darrouzet-Nardi , Patrick Sullivan , Matthew Wallenstein , Michael Weintraub. 2016. Altered seasonality due to experimental climate change leads to earlier growth but not more growth. AOB Plants, plw 021.
  6. Wood, Stephen; Sokol, Noah; Bell, Colin; Bradford, Mark; Naeem, Shahid; Wallenstein, Matthew; Palm, Cheryl. Opposing effects of different soil organic matter fractions on crop yields. In Press, Ecological Applications
  7. Deng, Y., He, Z., Xiong, J., Yu, H., Xu, M., Hobbie, S.E., Reich, P.B., Schadt, C.W., Kent, A., Pendall, E. and Wallenstein, M., 2015. Elevated carbon dioxide accelerates the spatial turnover of soil microbial communities. Global change biology.
  8. Bier, R.L., Bernhardt, E.S., Boot, C.M., Graham, E.B., Hall, E.K., Lennon, J.T., Nemergut, D.R., Osborne, B.B., Ruiz-González, C., Schimel, J.P. and Waldrop, M.P., 2015. Linking microbial community structure and microbial processes: an empirical and conceptual overview. FEMS microbiology ecology91(10), p.fiv113.
  9. Helen Rowe, Paul J. A. Withers , Peter Baas, Neng Iong Chan, Donnacha Doody, Jeff Holiman, Brent Jacobs, Haigang Li, Graham K. MacDonald, Richard McDowell, Andrew N. Sharpley, Jianbo Shen, Wendy Taheri, Matthew Wallenstein, Michael N. Weintraub. Integrating legacy soil phosphorus into sustainable nutrient management strategies for future food, bioenergy and water security. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, pp.1-20.
  10. Osborne, B, J. Baron, M. Wallenstein. 2016. Moisture and temperature controls on nitrification differ among ammonia oxidizer communities from three alpine soil habitats. Frontiers of Earth Science, 10:1-12.
  11. Melle, C., M. Wallenstein, A. Darrouzet-Nardi, and M. N. Weintraub. 2015. Microbial activity is not always limited by nitrogen in Arctic tundra soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 90:52-61.
  12. Ernakovich, J. G. and M. D. Wallenstein. 2015. Permafrost microbial community traits and functional diversity indicate low activity at in situ thaw temperatures. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 87:78-89.
  13. Bell, C. W., Asao, S., Calderon, F., Wolk, B., & Wallenstein, M. D. (2015). Plant nitrogen uptake drives rhizosphere bacterial community assembly during plant growth. Soil Biology and Biochemistry85, 170-182.
  14. Wullschleger, S. D., A. L. Breen, C. M. Iversen, M. S. Olson, T. Näsholm, U. Ganeteg, M. D. Wallenstein, and D. J. Weston. 2015. Genomics in a changing Arctic: Critical questions await the molecular ecologist. Molecular Ecology 24:2301-2309.
  15. Ernakovich, J., M. Wallenstein, F. Calderon. 2015. Chemical Indicators of Cryoturbation and Microbial Processing Throughout an Alaskan Permafrost Soil Depth Profile. In press, Soil Science Society of America Journal. doi:10.2136/sssaj2014.10.0420
  16. Nie, M., C. Bell, M. Wallenstein, E. Pendall. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by 2 plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO2. Scientific Reports 5:9212 | DOI: 10.1038/srep09212.
  17. Rocca, Jennifer D., Edward K. Hall, Jay T. Lennon, Sarah E. Evans, Mark P. Waldrop, James B. Cotner, Diana R. Nemergut, Emily B. Graham, and Matthew D. Wallenstein. 2015. Relationships between protein-encoding gene abundance and corresponding process are commonly assumed yet rarely observed. The ISME  9:1693-1699.
  18. Birge, Hannah E., Richard T. Conant, Ronald F. Follett, Michelle L. Haddix, Sherri J. Morris, Sieglinde S. Snapp, Matthew D. Wallenstein, and Eldor A. Paul. 2014. Soil respiration is not limited by reductions in microbial biomass during long-term soil incubations. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 81:304-310.
  19. Koyama, A., M. D. Wallenstein, R. Simpson, J.C. Moore. 2014. Soil bacterial community composition altered by increased nutrient availability in Arctic tundra soils. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology. doi: 3389/fmicb.2014.00516.
  20. Ernakovich, J. G., K. A. Hopping, A. B. Berdanier, R. T. Simpson, E. J. Kachergis, H. Steltzer, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2014. Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change. Global Change Biology. 20: 3256–3269.
  21. Wallenstein, M. 2014. Microbial Community-Level Responses to Warming and Altered Precipitation Patterns Determine Terrestrial Carbon-Climate Feedbacks. Pages 349-354 in Freedman, editor. Global Environmental Change. Springer Netherlands.
  22. Nie, M., E. Pendall, C. Bell, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2014. Soil aggregate size distribution mediates microbial climate change feedbacks. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 68:357-365.
  23. Evans, S. E., M. D. Wallenstein, and I. C. Burke. 2014. Is bacterial moisture niche a good predictor of shifts in community composition under long-term drought? Ecology 95:110-122.
  24. Evans, S. E. and M. D. Wallenstein. 2014. Climate change alters ecological strategies of soil bacteria. Ecology Letters 17:155-164.
  25. Bell, C., M. Stromberger, and M. Wallenstein. 2014. New insights into enzymes in the environment. Biogeochemistry 117:1-4.
  26. Bell, C., Y. Carrillo, C. M. Boot, J. D. Rocca, E. Pendall, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2014. Rhizosphere stoichiometry: are C: N: P ratios of plants, soils, and enzymes conserved at the plant species‐level? New Phytologist 201:505-517.
  27. Arnosti, C., C. Bell, D. Moorhead, R. Sinsabaugh, A. Steen, M. Stromberger, M. Wallenstein, and M. Weintraub. 2014. Extracellular enzymes in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments: perspectives on system variability and common research needs. Biogeochemistry 117:5-21.
  28. Steinweg, J. M., J. S. Dukes, E. A. Paul, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2013. Microbial responses to multi-factor climate change: effects on soil enzymes. Frontiers in Microbiology 4.
  29. Koyama, A., M. D. Wallenstein, R. T. Simpson, and J. C. Moore. 2013. Carbon-Degrading Enzyme Activities Stimulated by Increased Nutrient Availability in Arctic Tundra Soils. PLoS ONE 8:e77212.
  30. Delgado‐Baquerizo, M., A. Gallardo, M. D. Wallenstein, and F. T. Maestre. 2013. Vascular plants mediate the effects of aridity and soil properties on ammonia‐oxidizing bacteria and archaea. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 85:273-282.
  31. Delgado-Baquerizo, M., F. T. Maestre, A. Gallardo, J. L. Quero, V. Ochoa, M. García-Gómez, C. Escolar, P. García-Palacios, M. Berdugo, and E. Valencia. 2013. Aridity modulates N availability in arid and semiarid Mediterranean grasslands. PLoS ONE 8:e59807.
  32. Delgado-Baquerizo, M., F. T. Maestre, A. Gallardo, M. A. Bowker, M. D. Wallenstein, J. L. Quero, V. Ochoa, B. Gozalo, M. García-Gómez, and S. Soliveres. 2013. Decoupling of soil nutrient cycles as a function of aridity in global drylands. Nature 502:672-676.
  33. Cotrufo, M. F., M. D. Wallenstein, C. M. Boot, K. Denef, and E. Paul. 2013. The Microbial Efficiency‐Matrix Stabilization (MEMS) framework integrates plant litter decomposition with soil organic matter stabilization: do labile plant inputs form stable soil organic matter? Global Change Biology 19:988-995.
  34. Burns, R. G., J. L. DeForest, J. Marxsen, R. L. Sinsabaugh, M. E. Stromberger, M. D. Wallenstein, M. N. Weintraub, and A. Zoppini. 2013. Soil enzymes in a changing environment: current knowledge and future directions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 58:216-234.
  35. Bell, C. W., D. T. Tissue, M. E. Loik, M. D. Wallenstein, V. Acosta‐Martinez, R. A. Erickson, and J. C. Zak. 2013. Soil microbial and nutrient responses to seven years of seasonally altered precipitation in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Global Change Biology.
  36. Bell, C. W., B. E. Fricks, J. D. Rocca, J. M. Steinweg, S. K. McMahon, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2013. High-throughput fluorometric measurement of potential soil extracellular enzyme activities. Journal of Visualized Experiments. doi 10:50961.
  37. Wallenstein, M. D. and E. K. Hall. 2012. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning. Biogeochemistry 109:35-47.
  38. Wallenstein, M. D., M. L. Haddix, E. Ayres, H. Steltzer, K. A. Magrini-Bair, and E. A. Paul. 2012. Litter chemistry changes more rapidly when decomposed at home but converges during decomposition–transformation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.
  39. Wallenstein, M., M. Stromberger, and C. Bell. 2012. Bridging the gap between modelers and experimentalists. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 93:312.
  40. Steinweg, J. M., J. S. Dukes, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2012. Modeling the effects of temperature and moisture on soil enzyme activity: Linking laboratory assays to continuous field data. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.
  41. Evans, S., M.D. Wallenstein. 2012. Soil microbial community response to drying and rewetting stress: does historical precipitation regime matter? Biogeochemistry 109:101-116.
  42. Nie, M., E. Pendall, C. Bell, C. K. Gasch, S. Raut, S. Tamang, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2012. Positive climate feedbacks of soil microbial communities in a semi‐arid grassland. Ecology Letters.
  43. Graham, D. E., M. D. Wallenstein, T. A. Vishnivetskaya, M. P. Waldrop, T. J. Phelps, S. M. Pfiffner, T. C. Onstott, L. G. Whyte, E. M. Rivkina, and D. A. Gilichinsky. 2012. Microbes in thawing permafrost: the unknown variable in the climate change equation. The ISME Journal 6:709-712.
  44. Wang, S.-Y., E. B. Sudduth, M. D. Wallenstein, J. P. Wright, and E. S. Bernhardt. 2011. Watershed urbanization alters the composition and function of stream bacterial communities. PLoS ONE 6:e22972.
  45. Wallenstein, M. D., M. L. Haddix, D. D. Lee, R. T. Conant, and E. A. Paul. 2011. A litter-slurry technique elucidates the key role of enzyme production and microbial dynamics in temperature sensitivity of organic matter decomposition. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.
  46. Wallenstein, M. D. and R. G. Burns. 2011. Ecology of extracellular enzyme activities and organic matter degradation in soil: A complex community-driven process. Methods of soil enzymology. SSSA Book Ser 9:35-56.
  47. Wallenstein, M., S. D. Allison, J. Ernakovich, J. M. Steinweg, and R. Sinsabaugh. 2011. Controls on the temperature sensitivity of soil enzymes: a key driver of in situ enzyme activity rates. Soil Enzymology:245-258.
  48. McMahon, S. K., M. D. Wallenstein, and J. P. Schimel. 2011. A cross-seasonal comparison of active and total bacterial community composition in Arctic tundra soil using bromodeoxyuridine labeling. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43:287-295.
  49. Hoyt, C. M. and M. D. Wallenstein. 2011. Soil Respiration and Student Inquiry: A Perfect Match. Science Activities: Classroom Projects and Curriculum Ideas 48:119-128.
  50. Goldfarb, K. C., U. Karaoz, C. A. Hanson, C. A. Santee, M. A. Bradford, K. K. Treseder, M. D. Wallenstein, and E. L. Brodie. 2011. Differential growth responses of soil bacterial taxa to carbon substrates of varying chemical recalcitrance. Frontiers in Microbiology 2.
  51. Finzi, A. C., A. T. Austin, E. E. Cleland, S. D. Frey, B. Z. Houlton, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2011. Responses and feedbacks of coupled biogeochemical cycles to climate change: examples from terrestrial ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9:61-67.
  52. Evans, S. E. and M. D. Wallenstein. 2011. Soil microbial community response to drying and rewetting stress: does historical precipitation regime matter? Biogeochemistry:1-16.
  53. 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, and F. M. Hopkins. 2011. Temperature and soil organic matter decomposition rates–synthesis of current knowledge and a way forward. Global Change Biology.
  54. Wallenstein, M. D., A. M. Hess, M. R. Lewis, H. Steltzer, and E. Ayres. 2010. Decomposition of aspen leaf litter results in unique metabolomes when decomposed under different tree species. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42:484-490.
  55. Smith, W. K., W. Gao, H. Steltzer, M. D. Wallenstein, and R. Tree. 2010. Moisture availability influences the effect of ultraviolet‐B radiation on leaf litter decomposition. Global Change Biology 16:484-495.
  56. Allison, S. D., M. D. Wallenstein, and M. A. Bradford. 2010. Soil-carbon response to warming dependent on microbial physiology. Nature Geoscience 3:336-340.
  57. Wallenstein, M. D., S. K. Mcmahon, and J. P. Schimel. 2009. Seasonal variation in enzyme activities and temperature sensitivities in Arctic tundra soils. Global Change Biology 15:1631-1639.
  58. McMahon, S. K., M. D. Wallenstein, and J. P. Schimel. 2009. Microbial growth in Arctic tundra soil at− 2° C. Environmental Microbiology Reports 1:162-166.
  59. Bradford, M. A., M. D. Wallenstein, S. D. Allison, K. K. Treseder, S. D. Frey, B. W. Watts, C. A. Davies, T. R. Maddox, J. M. Melillo, and J. E. Mohan. 2009. Decreased mass specific respiration under experimental warming is robust to the microbial biomass method employed. Ecology Letters 12:E15-E18.
  60. Ayres, E., H. Steltzer, B. L. Simmons, R. T. Simpson, J. M. Steinweg, M. D. Wallenstein, N. Mellor, W. J. Parton, J. C. Moore, and D. H. Wall. 2009. Home-field advantage accelerates leaf litter decomposition in forests. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41:606-610.
  61. Ayres, E., H. Steltzer, S. Berg, M. D. Wallenstein, B. L. Simmons, and D. H. Wall. 2009. Tree species traits influence soil physical, chemical, and biological properties in high elevation forests. PLoS ONE 4:e5964.
  62. Wallenstein, M. D. and M. N. Weintraub. 2008. Emerging tools for measuring and modeling the in situ activity of soil extracellular enzymes. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 40:2098-2106.
  63. Sinsabaugh, R. L., C. L. Lauber, M. N. Weintraub, B. Ahmed, S. D. Allison, C. Crenshaw, A. R. Contosta, D. Cusack, S. Frey, and M. E. Gallo. 2008. Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale. Ecology Letters 11:1252-1264.
  64. Hanson, C. A., S. D. Allison, M. A. Bradford, M. D. Wallenstein, and K. K. Treseder. 2008. Fungal taxa target different carbon sources in forest soil. Ecosystems 11:1157-1167.
  65. Bradford, M. A., C. A. Davies, S. D. Frey, T. R. Maddox, J. M. Melillo, J. E. Mohan, J. F. Reynolds, K. K. Treseder, and M. D. Wallenstein. 2008. Thermal adaptation of soil microbial respiration to elevated temperature. Ecology Letters 11:1316-1327.
  66. Wallenstein, M. D., S. McMahon, and J. Schimel. 2007. Bacterial and fungal community structure in Arctic tundra tussock and shrub soils. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 59:428-435.
  67. Schimel, J., T. C. Balser, and M. Wallenstein. 2007. Microbial stress-response physiology and its implications for ecosystem function. Ecology 88:1386-1394.
  68. Wallenstein, M. D., W. T. Peterjohn, and W. H. Schlesinger. 2006. N fertilization effects on denitrification and N cycling in an aggrading forest. Ecological Applications 16:2168-2176.
  69. Wallenstein, M. D., D. D. Myrold, M. Firestone, and M. Voytek. 2006. Environmental controls on denitrifying communities and denitrification rates: insights from molecular methods. Ecological Applications 16:2143-2152.
  70. Wallenstein, M. D., S. McNulty, I. J. Fernandez, J. Boggs, and W. H. Schlesinger. 2006. Nitrogen fertilization decreases forest soil fungal and bacterial biomass in three long-term experiments. Forest Ecology and Management 222:459-468.
  71. Barrett, J., R. Virginia, D. Hopkins, J. Aislabie, R. Bargagli, J. Bockheim, I. Campbell, W. Lyons, D. Moorhead, and J. Nkem. 2006. Terrestrial ecosystem processes of Victoria Land, Antarctica. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 38:3019-3034.
  72. Wallenstein, M. D. and R. J. Vilgalys. 2005. Quantitative analyses of nitrogen cycling genes in soils. Pedobiologia 49:665-672.
  73. Wallenstein, M. D. 2004. Effects of increased nitrogen deposition on forest soil nitrogen cycling and microbial community structure. Duke University.
  74. Schlesinger, W. H., J. S. Pippen, M. D. Wallenstein, D. M. Klepeis, and B. E. Mahall. 2003. Photosynthetic rate of algae under quartz pebbles in the Southern Mojave Desert, California. Ecology 84:3222-3231.
  75. Schlesinger, W. H., J. S. Pippen, M. D. Wallenstein, K. S. Hofmockel, D. M. Klepeis, and B. E. Mahall. 2003. Community composition and photosynthesis by photoautotrophs under quartz pebbles, southern Mojave Desert. Ecology 84:3222-3231.
  76. Barton, A. M. and M. D. Wallenstein. 1997. Effects of invasion of Pinus virginiana on soil properties in serpentine barrens in southeastern Pennsylvania. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society:297-305.
  77. Suseela, V., R. T. Conant, M. D. Wallenstein, and J. S. Dukes. 2011, Effects of soil moisture on the temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration vary seasonally in an old‐field climate change experiment. Global Change Biology 55:336-348.


  1. Wallenstein, M. D., 2007. Modern Soil Microbiology (second Edition): Edited by Jan Dirk van Elsas, Janet K. Jansson, and Jack T. Trevors. Soil Sci Soc Am J 71, 1947.


Ernakovich, J., Schimel, J., and Wallenstein, M. (2014, Last updated 2014-07-14): Soil chemistry and characteristics measured for incubation of microbial communities in permafrost. UCAR/NCAR – CISL – ACADIS. Dataset.


Cynthia Kallenbach (2015-)

Peter Baas (2015-2016)

Megan Machmuller (2014-)

Xudong Zhu (2014-2015)

Shawna McMahon (2009-2011)

Claudia Boot (NSF OPP Postdoctoral Fellowship 2009-2011;  co-advised by Josh Schimel at UCSB)

Colin Bell (2010-2014)

Akihiro Koyama (2011-2014)



Megan Steinweg (PhD awarded 2011; postdoc at Oak Ridge National Lab 2011-2013; currently Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin)

Sarah Evans (PhD awarded 2012), NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2009-2012); currently NSF Postdoctoral Fellow; accepted position as Assistant Professor at Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University starting 2014).

Caroline Melle (MS 2013)

Jessica Ernakovich (PhD awarded 2014), DOE Graduate Fellowship (2009-2012) and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2009-2014)

Jennifer Rocca (PhD awarded 2015)

Carolyn Livensperger (MS awarded 2015), NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012-2015)


Laurel Lynch (PhD in progress), NSF I-WATER IGERT Fellowship


Elizabeth Kidner (M.S. Engineering awarded 2007)

William Smith (M.S. awarded 2008)

Brooke Osborne (MS awarded 2012, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Hannah Birge (MS awarded 2013, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Christy Wyckoff (PhD awarded 2013, Microbiology Immunology and Pathology)

Paul Brewer (PhD in progress, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Jennifer Soong (PhD awarded 2014, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Peter Baas (PhD awarded 2014, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia)

Courtney Gomola (MS awarded 2014, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Samuel Dunn (PhD in progress, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Peter Leipzig-Scott (MS in progress, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Carly Phillips (PhD in progress, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia)

Charlotte Aster (PhD in progress, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)

Scott Fulbright (PhD in progress, Cell and Molecular Biology Program)

Erika Foster (PhD in progress, Soil and Crop Sciences)


*Wallenstein, M.D. 2015.  Harnessing the natural abilities of soil microbes to support healthy plants.  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2015.  Harnessing the natural abilities of soil microbes to support healthy plants.  Cornell University.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2015.  Harnessing the natural abilities of soil microbes to support healthy plants.  University of Colorado, Denver.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2015.  From global change effects on microbes to microbial effects on the globe:  A personal Journey.  University of Tennessee.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2013.  How will climate change affect the transformation of plant litter into soil organic matter? The surprising role of microbial physiology.  Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2013.  We are living in a microbial world.  SOGES Biodiversity IGNITE symposium.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2012.  Microbial responses to changing precipitation patterns in grassland ecosystems:  Does community composition reveal niche partitioning? University of Texas-Austin, Integrative Biology Departmental Seminar.

*Wallenstein, M.D.  2012.  Temperature effects on litter and soil decomposition and soil formation: The surprising role of microbial physiology. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Soil Science Seminar.

*Wallenstein, M.D., J.M. Steinweg, S. Evans.  2011.  The surprising role of extracellular enzymes in soil microbial responses to altered precipitation patterns.  Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.

* Wallenstein, M.D. 2011.  Integrating Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, and Metabolomics into Environmental Enzymology:  The Next Frontier or Fool’s Gold? Enzymes in the Environment Conference. Bad Neuheim, Germany.

* Wallenstein, M.D. 2011.  Extracellular Enzymes in Soils: What do we really know?  Ecology of Soil Microorganisms meeting. Prague, Czech Republic.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2010.  Microbial adaptations to global change:  Linking microbial physiology to ecosystem functioning using the molecular toolbox.  Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies.  Millbrook, NY.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2010. Microbial adaptations to environmental change: a moving target for global change ecology.  Ecological Society of America annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2010. Microbial responses to environmental change: Linking microbial physiology, community composition, and ecosystem function with the molecular toolbox.  Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University.

*Wallenstein, M.D., J.M. Steinweg, S. McMahon. 2009. Recent Advancements in Understanding the Ecology of Soil Extracellular Enzymes. Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2009.  Time to focus on function:  Linking microbial community structure to novel aspects of microbial function.  Ecological Society of America annual meeting, Albuquerque, NM.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2009. Ecosystem responses to climate change: Why are they so difficult to predict?  Changing Climates:  Climate Action Days, Colorado State University.

*Wallenstein, M.D.  2008.  Soil microbial physiology:  microbial responses to stress and environmental change affect ecosystem functioning.  University of Vienna, Functional Ecology seminar series.

Wallenstein, M.D., H. Steltzer, M. Lewis, E. Ayres.  2008. Unique microbial communities under three forest types decompose aspen leaf litter by different metabolic pathways:  A metabolomics analysis using high resolution mass spectrometry.  Ecological Society of America annual meeting.  Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

*Wallenstein, M.D.  2007. Microbial life in the cold, dark soils of the arctic tundra. University of Wyoming.  Botany Departmental Seminar.

Wallenstein, M.D., C. Lacerda, K. Reardon.  2007.  New insights into microbial community functional response to stress using environmental proteomics.  Enzymes in the Environment, Third International Conference.  Viterbo, Italy.

Wallenstein, M.D. S. McMahon, and J. Schimel.  2007. A comparison of microbial communities in arctic and alpine soils: What can life in extreme climates tell us about microbial biogeography?  Soil Ecology Society Meeting.  Moab, Utah.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2006.  Effects of increased N deposition on soil microbes:  implications for decomposition and N cycling.  Soil Science Society Annual Meeting.  Indianapolis, Indiana.

*Wallenstein, M.D. 2006.  Implications of Soil Microbial Response to Global Change for Colorado Ecosystem Functioning.  Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University.

Wallenstein, M.D. and J. Schimel.  2006.  Cold-season soil microbial activities and community structure at Toolik Lake, AK.  International Conference on Alpine and Polar Microbiology.  Innsbruck, Austria.


Interview on SiriusXM “Entrepreneurs are Everywhere”.  Dec 10, 2015.

“Deep influence of soil microbes”.  Karl Gruber, Nature plants.  Nov 23, 2015.

“The littlest farmhands”.  Jop de Vries, Science.  Aug 14, 2015.

Interview on Harvest Radio USA KSIR 1010: Matt Wallenstein.mp3

“In the Alaskan tundra, scientists dig up dirt on future climate change “ PBS NewsHour.  Dec 2014.

“Microbes unleash buried carbon”.  Live Science.  January 13, 2015.

“Soil Microbes Produce Less Atmospheric CO2 Than Expected With Climate Warming”.  Science Daily.  April 27, 2010.

“CSU Scientists Find Bacteria and Fungi Actively Grow in Frozen Arctic Tundra”.  Colorado Higher Ed News.  2009.

“Home field advantage for leaf decay”.  Today@Colorado State.  Feb 6, 2009.

“A sensitive reaction. Global warming could speed up decomposition, but how much might decomposition speed up global warming?”  The Scientist.  2008.  Vol 22, p.38.

Research featured on Colorado Public Radio news.  October 2007.

“CSU scientists to study Arctic

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