Associate Professor, Director of Aiken Forestry Sciences Laboratory

As a global change ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist, I use theory, experimentation, and quantitative methods to understand ecosystem responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Understanding and predicting the response of ecosystems to environmental changes is crucial for sustaining and managing important ecosystems.

I am fascinated by how and why ecosystem properties and processes respond to global changes and how these responses may feed back to amplify or diminish these changes. Because predicting and managing the effects of such changes depends on understanding and accurately depicting ecosystem processes, I combine experimental, synthetic and quantitative approaches to develop models and test hypotheses about what drives fundamental ecosystem processes like microbial respiration (decomposition).


  • Adair, E.C., L. Barbieri, K. Schiavone, H. Darby. 2019.  Manure management practices impact nitrous oxide emissions during wintertime thaws. Soil Science Society of America Journal. DOI:10.2136/sssaj2018.07.0248.
  • Adair, E.C., D. Hooper, A. Paquette, B. Hungate. 2018. Ecosystem context illuminates conflicting roles of plant diversity in carbon storage. Ecology Letters.
  • Cording, A., S.H. Hurley, E.C. Adair. 2018. Influence of Critical Bioretention Design Factors and Projected Increases in Precipitation due to Climate Change on Roadside Bioretention Performance. Journal of Environmental Engineering. 144(9):04018082. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001411
  • Djukic, I., S. Kepfer-Rojas, I.K. Schmidt, K.S. Larsen, C. Beier, B. Berg, K. Verheyen, TeaComposition‡. 2018. Early stage litter decomposition across biomes. Science of the Total Environment. 628-9:1369-1394.
  • Shrestha P., S. Hurley, C. Adair. 2018. Soil media CO2 and N2O fluxes dynamics from sand-based roadside bioretention systems. Water. 10:185. DOI:10.3390/w10020185.
  • Adair, E.C., W.J. Parton, J.Y. King, L. Brandt and M.E. Harmon. 2017. Accounting for photodegradation dramatically improves prediction of carbon and nitrogen losses in arid systems. Ecosphere. 8:1-16. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1892
  • Chen, M., W.J. Parton, E.C. Adair, S. Asao, M.D. Hartman, W. Gao. 2016. Simulation of the effects of photodecay on long-term litter decay using DayCent. Ecosphere. 7:1-22. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1631
  • Zia, A., A. Bombles, A. Schroth, C. Koliba, P. Clemins, Y. Tsai, I. Mohammed, P. Isles, G. Bucini, A. Hamed, S. Turnbull, M. Rodgers, B. Beckage, J. Winters, C. Adair, D. Rizzo, J. Van Houten. 2016. Coupled impacts of climate and land use change across a river–lake continuum: insights from an integrated assessment model of Lake Champlain's Missisquoi Basin, 2000–2040. Environmental Research Letters. 11: 114026. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/11/114026
  • Parton, W.J., S.J. Del Grosso, A. F. Plante, E.C. Adair, S. M. Lutz. 2015. Modeling the dynamics of soil organic matter and nutrient cycling. In Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry. (Ed) E.A. Paul. Academic Press.
  • Andersen, D.C., E.C. Adair, S.M. Nelson, D. Binkely. 2014. Can nitrogen fertilization aid restoration of mature tree productivity in degraded dryland riverine ecosystems? Restoration Ecology. 22(5):582–589.
  • Schattman, R., E. Mendez, K. Westdjik, M. Caswell, D. Conner, C. Koliba, A. Zia, S. Hurley, C. Adair, L Berlin, H Darby. 2014. Vermont agricultural resilience in a changing climate: A transdisciplinary and participatory action research (PAR) process In Agroecology, Agrosystems and Sustainability. CRC Press.
Carol Adair

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Instructional programs: Environmental Sciences, Forestry, Natural Resources
Research: Global climate change, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry


  • Ph.D. 2005 Colorado State University, Ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry (plant invasions)
  • M.S. 2000 Colorado State University, Ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry (riparian nitrogen cycling)
  • B.A. 1991 Allegheny College, Environmental Science and Political Science


  • 802 656-2907
Office Location:

303B Aiken Center, 81 Carrigan Drive

  1. Adair Lab