Donald R. Zak
Don Zak holds a joint appointment in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Literature, Science, and Arts. His research investigates links between the composition and function of soil microbial communities and the influence of microbial activity on ecosystem-level processes. This work draws on ecology, microbiology, and biochemistry and is focused at several scales of understanding, ranging from the molecular to the ecosystem scale. Current research centers on understanding the link between plant and microbial activity within terrestrial ecosystems, and the influence climate change may have on these dynamics. Teaching includes courses in soil ecology and ecosystem ecology.
2013-2016: D.R. Zak Title: Atmospheric N deposition and microbial mechanisms enhancing soil carbon storage. $1,467,520/ DoE Biological and Environmental Research.
2013-2018: D.R. Zak Title: LTREB: Long-term ecosystem response to chronic atmospheric N deposition. $201,284/ NSF Ecosystems Panel.
Atmospheric nitrogen deposition and molecular mechanisms enhancing soil carbon storage. Sponsor: DoE Biological and Environmental Research
Long-term ecosystem response to chronic atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Sponsor: NSF Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology Program (LTREB)
- Named Arthur F. Thurnau Professor by U-M Board of Regents in recognition of exceptional contributions to undergraduate education - February 2017
- Francis Clark Lectureship: Frontiers in Soil Biology – Awarded by the Soil Science Society of America for research excellence in soil microbiology and biochemistry - 2009
- Students for SNRE Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award – 2006-2007; 2011-2012
- Best Paper Award, Division S-7, Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, 1993, Cincinnati, OH
- Best Paper Award, Division S-7, Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, 1986, New Orleans, LA.
- Graduate Research Fellowships, Michigan State University, 1984, 1985.
Dunbar, J., L. Gallegos-Graves, B. Steven, R. Mueller, C. Hesse, D.R. Zak and C.R. Kuske. 2014. Surface soil fungal and bacterial communities in aspen stands are resilient to eleven years of elevated CO2 and O3. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 76: 227-234.
Zak, D.R. 2014. Ecosystem succession and nutrient retention: Vitousek and Reiners’ hypothesis. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 95:234-237.
Talhelm, A.F., K.S. Pregitzer, M.E. Kubiske, D.R. Zak et al. 2014. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide and ozone offset ecosystem C storage in forests. Global Change Biology 20: 2492-2504.
Freedman, Z., and D.R. Zak. 2014. A bacterial role in lignin decomposition under future rates of atmospheric N deposition. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 16: 1538-1548.
Freedman, Z. and D.R. Zak. 2014. Soil bacterial communities are shaped by temporal and environmental filtering: Evidence from a long-term chronosequence. Environmental Microbiology in press.
Science Advisory Board, Climate Change Program, Oak Ridge National Lab (2009-2011).