Early Career Ecologist Profile: Meet Kelly S Ramirez

Cedar Creek Exp 001 (Nitrogen addition plots)

Hello readers! I apologize for having written such a serious first post without first introducing myself, my research, and my current job!I am not a Colorado native, but I have lived here for five years now; after getting my BA from Washington State University (GO COUGS!), I moved to Boulder. While at WSU – or rather while looking for grad schools – I discovered microbial ecology. There were a series of straightforward events that led me to my current research interests -> I took ecology. I took microbiology. I asked, can I combine ecology and microbes? So I googled Microbes + Ecology + graduate school, which apparently = Dr. Noah Fierer at CU Boulder. Somehow, I suckered him into taking me on right out of undergrad, and now (5 super duper years later) I have my degree.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, including (but not limited to) graduating from CU Boulder with my Ph.D. and taking a new postdoc with Dr. Diana Wall at CSU. I am now the Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative. I can write more about my new project in a future post.

My graduate work was truly microbial ecology oriented. I examined how microbial communities respond to nitrogen additions across ecosystems and examined how community changes may be related to changes in rates of decomposition. Check out some of our publications here. Most of my field work was done in the midwest- Minnesota, Michigan, Kansas… beautiful soils!

Outside of science, I run quite a bit. This past spring I ran Boston for the first time (totally epic in 90 degree weather), and this summer I have been running a series in Colorado Springs which will conclude with the Pikes Peak Ascent (I must be crazy!). One of the best aspects of running is the time you get outside. Weekend long-runs are really one of the best activities ever:

Magnolia Road outside of Boulder, CO.

Over the last decade I have formed an amazing connection between my science life and my running life. Each trip I go on, say my last trip New York City for soil sampling in Central Park, I go on a run in that area. This allows me to see the area in a relatively short amount of time. And really, I do get to see the area:
Clockwise: Brooklyn Bridge, The Waterfront, LadyLiberty, Financial District- view from the Manhattan Bridge.

So that is a bit about myself. Looking forward to more posts, but for now I need to finish preparing for ESA 2012.



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