Department of Biology
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Ecosystem ecology, microbial ecology, terrestrial biogeochemistry, greenhouse gases, climate change, plant-soil-microbe interactions, stable isotopes, paleoclimate.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. 2001 – 2003. Advisor: Michael Bender.
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2002. “Gross Methane Transformations and Methanogenic Microsites along Natural Soil Moisture Gradients.”
Participant in the Graduate Program: Biogeochemistry and Environmental Change. Advisor: Lars Hedin.
B.A., Biology, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD. 1992.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Colorado State University,
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Colorado State University,
August 2007 – 2012.
Advising Faculty, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University.
2003 – present.
Affiliate Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University,
2009 – Present.
Director, Colorado Laboratory for Environmental Mass Spectrometry, Colorado State University. 2004 – 2009.
Research Scientist I, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University.
2003 – 2009.
Special Assistant Professor, non-tenure track, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. August 2003 – August 2007.
Visiting Researcher, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM. May – July 2003.
Research Technician Michigan State University at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Hickory Corners, MI. With Lars Hedin. 1992 – 1993.
Dijkstra, F. A., J. A. Morgan, J. C. von Fischer, and R. F. Follett (2011), Elevated CO2 and warming effects on CH4 uptake in a semiarid grassland below optimum soil moisture, J. Geophys. Res., 116, G01007, doi:10.1029/2010JG001288.
von Fischer, J. C., R. C. Rhew, G. M. Ames, B. K. Fosdick, and P. E. von Fischer (2010), Vegetation height and other controls of spatial variability in methane emissions from the Arctic coastal tundra at Barrow, Alaska, Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences, 115, G00I03, doi:10.1029/2009JG001283
Ostrom, N.E., R. Sutka, P.H. Ostrom, A.S. Grandy, K.M. Huzinga, H. Gandhi, J.C. von Fischer and G.P. Robertson (2010) “Isotopologue data reveal bacterial denitrification as the primary source of N2O during a high flux event following cultivation of a native temperate grassland” Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42:499-406.
Mazéas, O., J. C. von Fischer, and R. C. Rhew (2009), Impact of terrestrial carbon input on methane emissions from an Alaskan Arctic lake,Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L18501, doi:10.1029/2009GL039861.
von Fischer, J. C., G. Butters, P. C. Duchateau, R. J. Thelwell, and R. Siller (2009), In situ measures of methanotroph activity in upland soils: A reaction-diffusion model and field observation of water stress, Journal of Geophysical. Research., 114, G01015, doi:10.1029/2008JG000731.
Nordt, L., J. von Fischer, L.L Tieszen and J. Tubbs. (2008). “Coherent changes in relative C4 plant productivity and climate during the late Quaternary in the North American Great Plains.” Quaternary Science Reviews 27(15-16): 1600-1611.
von Fischer, J.C., L.L. Tieszen and D.S. Schimel (2008) “Climate controls on C3 vs. C4 productivity in North American grasslands from carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter.” Global Change Biology. 14(5): 1141-1155.
von Fischer, J. C., and L. O. Hedin (2007) “Controls on soil methane fluxes: Tests of biophysical mechanisms using stable isotope tracers”, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 21, GB2007, doi:10.1029/2006GB002687.
Nordt L., J.C. von Fischer and L.L. Tieszen (2007) “Late Quaternary temperature record from buried soils of the North American Great Plains.”Geology 35:159-162.
Suwa, M., J.C. von Fischer, M.L. Bender, A. Landais, and E.J. Brook (2006) “Chronology reconstruction for the disturbed bottom section of the GISP2 and the GRIP ice cores: Implications for Termination II in Greenland.” Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, D02101, doi:10.1029/2005JD006032.
von Fischer J.C. and L.O. Hedin (2002) “Separating methane production and consumption with a field-based isotope pool dilution technique.” Global Biogeochemical Cycles 16(3) 8.1-8.12.
Ostrom N.E., L.O. Hedin, J.C. von Fischer and G.P. Robertson. (2002) “Nitrogen transformations at a soil-stream interface: a stable isotope approach.” Ecological Applications 12(4) 1027-1043.
Hedin L.O., J.C. von Fischer, N.E. Ostrom, B.P. Kennedy, M.G. Brown, and G.P. Robertson (1998) “Thermodynamic constraints on nitrogen transformations and other biogeochemical processes at soil-stream interfaces.” Ecology 79(2):684-703.
von Fischer J.C. and L.L Tieszen (1995) “Carbon isotope characterization of four tropical forests in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.” Biotropica 27(2):138-148.
Grants, Fellowships and Awards
Senior Personnel, Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research Site. 2005 – present.
Partner-Investigator “International collaboration for Methane Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology” from University of Melbourne Research Office. $14,576 with S. Arndt and S. Livesley (Univ. Melbourne). 2009
Visiting Research Fellowship, University of Melbourne, November 2008.
Co-PI, LTER program “Catalyzing cross-site comparisons of microbial diversity and function: A proposed LTER Workshop” with PI Tom Schmidt (Michigan State Univ.) and 4 others. $9,000. 2007.
Co-Leader, CSU Course Redesign Proposal for General Ecology (BIO320 and LAND220), with Indy Burke (CSU). $20,000. 2007.
Principal Investigator, NSF Ecosystems “Additions of Physical and Biogeochemical Tracers to Wetland Soils Can Reveal Mechanisms Underlying the Productivity-Methane Emission Relationship.” with co-PI’s Dennis Ojima (Colorado State Univ.) and M. Todd Walter (Cornell Univ.). $500,000. 2005 – 2009, plus 2 REU supplements.
Faculty Fellow Award, National Academies Education Program in the Life Sciences, for the 2004 National Academies Summer Institute in Biology.
USGS Contract, EROS Data Center. Technical support for Carbon in US and Africa Program to investigate controls of carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter in the US Great Plains. $50,000. 2004 – 2005.
NOAA Post-Doctoral Fellowship, NOAA Climate and Global Change Program, for “How does the productivity of the biosphere respond to changes in climate? Global scale evidence from periods of rapid climate change as recorded in ice cores.” $84,750. 2001 – 2002.
NASA Graduate Fellowship in Earth System Science $66,000 over 3 years. 1999 – 2001.
NSF RTG Graduate Fellowship, NSF Research Training Group in Biogeochemistry and Environmental Change, Cornell University. 1997 – 1999.
NSF RTG Graduate Fellowship, NSF Research Training Group in Ecology, Michigan State University at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. 1993.
Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences, January 2010 – present.
Co-organizer, NREL seminar series “Using stable isotopes to understand ecological processes and global change.” Included 13 speakers, Fall 2009.
Science Steering Committee, Shortgrass Steppe Long-Term Ecological Research Site, Colorado State University, January 2009 – present.
Graduate Affairs Committee, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, 2007 – 2009.
Ad hoc Proposal Reviews: National Science Foundation, NASA, European Science Foundation, National Environment Research Council (UK).
Manuscript Reviews: Annals of Botany, Biogeochemistry, Ecological Applications, Ecosystems, Global Change Biology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences, New Phytologist, Oecologia, PNAS, Soil Biology & Biochemistry, Teaching Issues & Experiments in Ecology.
Review Panelist, NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program, Washington, D.C., March 2009.
Co-Director and co-founder, Student Ecology Research Program. An enrichment program to improve the educational experience of undergraduate employee researchers through bi-weekly seminars and discussions. 2004 – present.
Invited Participant, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Microbial Ecology planning meeting, Baton Rouge, LA. February 2008.
Invited Participant, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Junior Faculty Forum “Downscaling Climate Change: Extreme Events, Regional Impacts, and Ecosystems.” Boulder, CO. 2005.
Invited Participant, North American Carbon Program special workshop on the global methane cycle, Durham, NH. 2002.
Judging graduate and undergraduate presentations: Front Range Student Ecology Symposium, CSU Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity. Annually since 2004.
Member, Executive Steering Committee, Cornell Boyce Thompson Stable Isotope Lab, Cornell University 1998 – 2001.
Member, Ecological Society of America (1998 – present)
Member, American Geophysical Union (1999 – present)
Awarded “Distinguished Member.” CSU National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2009
Nominated for “Best Teacher Award.” CSU Alumni Association, 2008.
Nominated “CSU Honors Professor. CSU Undergraduate Honors Program, 2005.
Instructor for “Ecology” (Life 320, 3cr.), Colorado State University. Fall semester from 2003 to present.
Co-Instructor for “Global Change Ecology, Impacts and Mitigation” (BZ/NR 380, 3cr.), Colorado State University. Spring semester from 2008 to present.
Co-Instructor for “Biology of Organisms” (LIFE103, 3cr.), Colorado State University, Spring semester from 2009 to present.
Guest lectures at Colorado State University: BY320 “Ecology” for Prof. Ruth Hufbauer (Spring 2006, 2007, 2009), BY320 “Ecology” for Prof. Marlys Douglas (Spring 2007), NR600 “Biogeochemistry” for Prof. Indy Burke (Fall 2007), Life 103 for Prof. Amy Angert (Fall 2008).
Instructor for Special Topics in Ecology (EY592, 1cr.h.) “The struggle to unify human-scale and microbial ecology.” Spring 2004.
Graduate Advisor for:
Stephanie Owens (M.S. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology) completed 2008
Craig Judd (M.S. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology) completed 2010
Paul Brewer (Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)
Sam Dunn (Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)
Charlotte Alster (Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology)
Graduate Committee for:
Douglas Van Hoewyk (M.S. Biology) completed 2006
Eliana Bontti (Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology) completed 2008
Mark Gathany (Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology) completed 2008
David James (Ph.D Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management)
Sarah Evans (Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology) completed 2012
Jeff Dereume (MS, Geosciences)
Peter Kraus (MS, Atmospheric Sciences)
Undergraduate Honors Theses
Hannah Shadis (advisor) 2005
Natalie Akagi (committee member) 2006
Lilli Welch (committee member) 2007
Dyllon Martini (committee member) 2008
Elin Franzen (committee member) 2008
Stephen Meyer (advisor) 2009
2010 “Does knowledge of microbial community composition improve biogeochemical models?” Dept. of Biology seminar, University of Colorado Denver.
2010 “Soil microbes that consume greenhouse gases: do they use spoons or forks?” Biology Department Seminar, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD.
2010 “When does knowledge of microbial community composition improve biogeochemical models?” Seminar for Program in Biogeochemistry and Environmental Biocomplexity, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
2010 “Mechanisms controlling terrestrial and aquatic methane release from the Arctic Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska.” Dept. of Geography colloquium, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
2009 “Mechanisms controlling terrestrial and aquatic methane release from the Arctic Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska.” Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
2008 “Methane oxidation in upland soils: peeling away physics to see the ecology” University of Melbourne at Creswick, Creswick, NSW, Australia.
2008 “Methane oxidation in upland soils: putting the bio in biogeochemistry,” Michigan State University, Kellogg Biological Station, Hickory Corners, MI.
2007 “Ecosystem-scale controls on methane emissions” NOAA Climate Monitoring & Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, CO.
2006 “Gas transport vs. methane production: What drives methane emission rates in Typha wetlands?” Special session on methane biogeochemistry. Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
2005 “Evidence and implications of habitat diversity for soil microbes from upland and wetland soils.” Dept. of Geology, Baylor University, Waco, TX.
2005 “5 things that everyone should know about global climate change.” Honors program, Colorado State University.
2005 “How much bio in biogeochemistry? Physical vs. biological controls of soil methane fluxes.” Dept. of Earth System Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
2004 “Linking microbial community properties to ecosystem function: methane consumption on the Shortgrass Steppe” Shortgrass Steppe LTER seminar series, Colorado State University.
2004 “Less than 1% of soil volume is anoxic, but it matters for upland ecosystem biogeochemistry.” Dept. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University.
2004 “Less than 1% of soil volume is anoxic, but it matters for upland ecosystem biogeochemistry.” Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, Boulder.
2004 “Soil heterogeneity: Evidence and implications of anoxic microzones in oxic soils.” Dept. of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
2003 “Diverse perspectives on climate change: soil anoxic microsites and glacial changes in global photosynthesis.” Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM.
2002 “Microsites, Ecosystems and Global Change” Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University.
2002 “The triple isotopic composition of molecular oxygen reveals past rates of primary production.” Biogeomon International Symposium on Ecosystem Behaviour, Reading, UK.
Conference Presentations (not including secondary authorships)
2009 von Fischer, J.C. “Criteria to demonstrate that microbial community composition is important for biogeochemical function.” Organized oral session at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
2009 von Fischer, J.C., C.R. Judd and C.T. Webb “The intersection of methanotroph community ecology and methane biogeochemistry.” Organized oral session at the Ecological Society of America, Albuquerque, NM.
2008 von Fischer, J.C. and R. Rhew “Methane emission rates from the Arctic coastal tundra at Barrw are log-normally distributed: Is this a tail that wags climate?” Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
2007 von Fischer, J.C., G. Ames, R. Rhew and W.C. Oechel “Methane emission rates from the Arctic coastal tundra at Barrow: temporal and spatial variability and response to an experimental carbon addition.” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
2006 von Fischer, J.C. and G. Butters “Physics or Biology? What controls variability in methane flux rates on the Shortgrass Steppe LTER site?” Poster presentation at the LTER All Scientists Meeting, Estes Park, CO.
2006 von Fischer, J.C. “Biology is more important than diffusion for regulating methane fluxes on the Shorgrass Steppe LTER.” Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
2005 von Fischer, J.C., “Diffusion or biology? What drives variability in methane consumption of upland soils?” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
2004 von Fischer, J.C. and L.L. Tieszen “Soil Organic Matter d13C across the Great Plains grasslands: both rainfall and temperature control C3 vs. C4 productivity. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
2004 von Fischer, J.C. and R.J. Thelwell “Rates and importance of methane production in oxic soils.” Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Portland OR.
2004 von Fischer, J.C., M.L. Bender and T. Blunier “A record of global photosynthesis to 150ka derived from the triple isotopes of O2 in polar ice cores.” Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
2002 von Fischer, J.C., M.L. Bender and T. Blunier “Triple isotope composition of O2 and the record of global O2 production.” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
2002 von Fischer, J.C., and L.O. Hedin “Do soil microsites drive methane flux?” Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Tucson, AZ.
Popular press and other coverage
2010 Presentation at 2009 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America received expanded coverage in a special report:
Yuko Hasegawa, John E. Hobbie (2010) Organized Oral Session 27. Application of Molecular Knowledge of Microbes to Studies of Ecological Processes: Why the Integration Is So Challenging. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America: Vol. 91, No. 1, pp. 68-79. doi: 10.1890/0012-9623-91.1.68
2010 Quoted in article about new instruments that allow scientists to more easily measure greenhouse gas emissions. “Greenhouse Gases: Who’s Cheating?” in Bloomberg Business Week, 11January 2010, p18-19. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_02/b4162018066076.htm?chan=magazine+channel_new+business
2009 Research photographs and discussions with artist John Kelly included in his book Flood Cycle: Notes from a Changing Planet. Signal Books, Oxford, U.K. 2009
2009 Figures from von Fischer et al. (2009) featured in “Image Highlights” section on the website of Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences.
2009 Mentioned in article “Ice Capades” Outside Magazine, January 2009 issue. http://outside.away.com/outside/destinations/200901/arctic-ocean-global-warming-4.html
2008 Interview with Monkia Seynsche on Deutschlandradio (German Public Radio) February 13 discussing research on methane emissions from the Arctic. http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/forschak/738992/