background header Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences
background header Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences
background header Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences

Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences

Paul Verburg

Assistant Professor

Natural Resources and Environmental Science

Academic & Research Interest

My research focuses on the effects of large-scale environmental perturbations such as climate change and acid rain on nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems with an emphasis on soil biogeochemical processes. In my research I try to apply fundamental knowledge of soil processes to address ecosystem-scale questions. In most projects I have collaborated with people from a wide range of disciplines including plant physiologists, hydrologists, and atmospheric chemists. Recent projects involved experimental and modeling studies focusing on the impacts of increased N deposition and precipitation on Mojave Desert ecosystems. More specifically, I was interested in assessing potential linkages between below-ground biotic processes including fine root dynamics and microbial decomposition and abiotic processes such as carbonate weathering and precipitation.Recently, I have become involved in research addressing the impacts of forest management on soils in the Lake Tahoe Basin. In a recent project we looked at the impacts of prescribed fire on nutrient emissions from soils to aquatic environments and the atmosphere. Finally, I have been involved in a project studying the potential use of Pinyon-Juniper lands in the Great Basin as a feedstock for biofuel production. My role in this project was to assess the potential environmental impacts of biomass harvesting in these often remote areas. 


M.S. Wageningen Agicultural University, The Netherlands, 1992
Ph.D. Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, 1998

Areas of Study

Climate science,   Soil chemistry,   Soil science/pedology,  

Current Students:

Zachary Carter (MS)

Representative Publications

Adhikari, D., Dunham-Cheatham, S., Wordofa, D., Verburg, P. S., Poulson, S. R., Yang, Y. 2018, Aerobic respiration of mineral-bound carbon in a soil., Science of the Total Environment, 651, 1253-1260
Trimble, B., Calderon, F., Poulson, S., Verburg, P. S. 2018, Conversion of a Semi-Arid Nevada Soil to Irrigated Agriculture Preferentially Removes Labile Carbon., Soil Systems, 2(38)
Ketchian E., Trimble B., Poulson S., Verburg P.S.J. 2018, Determination of the Concentration and Isotopic Composition of Soil Carbon in Arid Soils, Soil Science Society of America Journal Vol. 82 No. 1, p. 231-234
You, Y., Das, K., Guo, H., Chang, C.-W., Navas-Moreno, M., Chan, J., Verburg, P. S., Poulson, S. R., Wang, X., Xing, B., Yang, Y. 2017, Microbial Transformation of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes by Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (4), pp 2068–2076
Johnson, B., Verburg, P. S., Arnone, J. 2016, Plant species effects on soil nutrients and chemistry in the Great Basin under recent and current climatic conditions., Oecologia, 182, 299-317
de Graaff M-A, Throop H, Verburg PSJ, Arnone JA III, Campos X. 2014, A synthesis of climate and vegetation cover effects on biogeochemical cycling in shrub-dominated drylands., Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-014-9764-6
Verburg, P. S., Kapitzke, S. E., Stevenson, B. A., Bisiaux, M. 2014, Carbon allocation in Larrea tridentata plant-soil systems as affected by elevated soil moisture and N availability, Plant and Soils, Volume 378, Issue 1-2, pp 227-238
Johnson, B., Verburg, P. S., Arnone, J. A. 2014, Effects of climate and vegetation on soil nutrients in the Great Basin studied using a latitudinal-elevational gradient., Plant and Soil, 382, 151-163.  
Verburg P.S.J., A.C. Young, B.A. Stevenson, I. Glanzmann, J.A. Arnone III, G. M. Marion, C. Holmes, R.S. Nowak 2013, Do increased summer precipitation and N deposition alter fine root dynamics in a Mojave Desert ecosystem?, Global Change Biology. 19, 948-956  
Chen, L.-W. A., P. Verburg, A. Shackelford, D. Zhu, R. Susfalk, J. C. Chow, J. G. Watson. 2010, Moisture effects on carbon and nitrogen emission from burning of wildland biomass., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, 10, 7985-8007.  
Verburg, P.S.J., D.W. Johnson, D.E. Schorran, L.L. Wallace, Y. Luo, J.A. Arnone III. 2009, Impacts of an anomalously warm year on nutrient availability in experimentally manipulated tallgrass prairie ecosystems., Global Change Biology. 15: 888-900  
Arnone III, J.A., P.S.J. Verburg, D.W. Johnson, J.D. Larsen, R.L. Jasoni, A.J. Farnady, C.M. Batts, C. von Nagy, W.G. Coulombe, D.E. Schorran, P.E. Buck, B.H. Braswell, J.S. Coleman, R.A. Sherry, L.L. Wallace, Y. Luo, D.S. Schimel 2008, Reduction of ecosystem CO2 uptake in anomalously warm year persists due to lagged rise in respiration., Nature. 455:383-386.  
Marion, G.M., P.S.J. Verburg, B. Stevenson, J.A. Arnone III. 2008, Soluble element distributions in a Mojave Desert soil., Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:1815-1823  
Verburg, P.S.J., J. Larsen, D.W. Johnson, D.E. Schorran, J.A. Arnone III. 2005, Impacts of an anomalously warm year on soil CO2 fluxes in experimentally manipulated tallgrass prairie ecosystems., Global Change Biology. 11:1720-1732  
Photo of Paul Verburg

Contact Info

1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno,  Nevada   89557
Office: (775) 784-4019