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Human activities are altering global carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles at an unprecedented rate. It is unclear how significant changes in global elemental cycles will affect ecosystem functions, such as primary productivity or C storage over the long-term. My research aims to understand how microbial communities control ecosystem responses to large increases in reactive C and N. This work requires knowledge at multiple levels of biological organization, ranging from microbiology to plant physiology and ultimately ecosystem ecology. My work is focused primarily on soil, where plant roots and microorganisms interact with substrate chemistry to determine C/N cycling and storage. Generally I test hypotheses addressing how plant-microbe interactions mediate ecosystem-specific responses to global climate change.