Kate Lajtha

About / Contact

Description of Research

Reasearch Area: Nutrient cycling in natural and human-disturbed ecosystems, soil organic matter dynamics, forest biogeochemistry.

Human activity has caused extensive changes in the rates of inputs of various nutrient and toxic elements to many natural ecosystems, often with dramatic effects on the functioning of those ecosystems. My lab studies the changes in biogeochemical cycling, and the effects on the vegetative community, that has arisen from human activities. Most of my current research is focused in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, which is OSU’s LTER site. We have established DIRT (Detrital Input and Removal Treatment) plots to examine the effects of changing detrital quality and quantity on soil organic matter stabilization, C balance, and nutrient cycling and availability, and we are working with other emerging DIRT sites in the U.S. and in Europe on cross-site comparisons.

Research Group Members

Jennifer Wig (Ph.D. expected 2013)
Kim Townsend (Ph.D. expected 2010)
Jay Frentress (MS expected 2009)
Ricky Mauroner (MS expected 2010)

Contact Information

Ph.D., 1986, Duke University, Durham, NC

Office/Lab: Cordley 2070/2075
Phone: 541-737-5674/9136