Seminar: Dr. Judy Q. Yang (Hybrid)

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 | 3:30 PM | S415 Soil Science Building & Zoom

Unraveling bacteria-mediated processes in soil through multiscale experiments

A wide variety of global environmental and health issues involve physical and biological interactions among fluids, particles or surfaces, and microbes at both micro- and macro-scales. For example, soil carbon storage, responsible for the uptake of about 20% of annual anthropogenic carbon emissions, is strongly impacted by the physical and biogeochemical interactions between clay micro-aggregates and bacteria at the micro-scale. Also, my recent research has shown that bacterial biosurfactant-induced flows at the micro- or pore-scale can cause pathogenic bacteria to spread at the macro-scale in unsaturated porous media where air and liquid coexist in pore spaces, such as soil, plants, and lungs. In this talk, I will show how I use “soil-on-a-chip” experiments and meso-scale bacterial visualization experiments to unravel the transport of carbon and bacterial cells in soil. Further, I will discuss how laboratory-derived mechanistic understanding can help improve global models of soil processes, including soil carbon cycle. 

Event Speaker
A photo of Judy Yang in her lab

Dr. Judy Q. Yang
University of Minnesota

Judy Yang is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering and Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. She investigates the interactions among fluid, sediment/surfaces, and bacteria to help address environmental and health questions related to coastal erosion, soil carbon dynamics, bacterial spreading in soil, and bacterial lung infections. She is interested in designing multiscale experiments, ranging from microfluidics to flume experiments, to unravel impacts of micro-scale transport processes on macro-scale environmental and health issues.