Getting their hands dirty in the name of climate research

Emory Spotlight: Faculty (

From Georgia to Maine and points in between, Emory College environmental scientist Debjani Sihi got her hands dirty this summer in an effort to see how soil might help battle climate change.

As a biogeochemist, Sihi is leading multiple projects to learn how soil can trap or emit carbon and other greenhouse gases in locations as varied as organic farms in Georgia, evergreen forests in Central Maine, and both coastal and inland wetlands.

She and a team of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers then build and apply biogeochemical models that use that information to evaluate the impact of farming practices and general behavior on soil’s carbon capture and, in turn, greenhouse gas emissions.

“The goal is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms, processes and feedbacks of climate change,” Sihi says. “Overall, we are trying to find ways to solve climate change issues with more natural and nature-based solutions.”