Maddie Stone (U of Pennsylvania)

I am currently working towards a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in environmental science. My research is based at the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory (LCZO) in northeastern Puerto Rico. I am studying changes in microbial community structure and functional traits across depth profiles in soils from two contrasting parent materials, and relating shifts in microbial communities to the quantity and chemical quality of organic matter present in soils. I got my bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, where I enrolled as a biology major with a general interest in molecular biology, but soon became fascinated with use of molecular biological techniques to answer ecological questions. Plus, I discovered, getting to work outside is way cooler than being stuck in a lab all the time! The summer before my senior year of college, I participated in an REU program at UC Irvine where I measured the temperature sensitivity of soil enzymes involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling. I became hooked on enzymes, which have featured prominently in my research ever since.

In addition to loving microbes and soil, I am a big fan of science communication and believe strongly that effective science communication is as important as doing good research. I love writing about science for non-scientific audiences, and using games and hands-on workshops to teach concepts in environmental science.

As the Microbial Ecology student section liaison, my primary role is to communicate significant news from the microbial ecology section to the broader ESA student group and vice-versa. I also hope to be involved in planning future events for the microbial ecology section at ESA, such as promoting awareness of the science of beer!

madstone (at)

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