I am an ecosystem ecologist.
My goal is to understand and predict how ecosystems are shaped by climate change. My work takes me from upland forests to soggy peatlands to thawing arctic tundra, chasing a better understanding of the secret lives of roots hidden beneath the soil surface.
Colleen was named a 'Highly Cited Researcher' for 2023!
Colleen was named Director of the NGEE Arctic project. She's grateful for years of mentoring from outgoing Director, Stan Wullschleger and others, and excited to be able to work with an amazing team of scientists across the country!
Do you love roots? Do you love free data? You're in luck! FRED 3.0 is now available for download. Come see what's new.
Colleen was named ORNL's top Science Communicator of 2019. She had a little #SciComm surprise for the audience.
Colleen was highlighted in the 'Spotlights' series of the awesome Earth Science Women's Network!
Colleen won the 'Mixed Media Art' prize at the 2023 AMSE Steam Art Contest for her piece 'Life Finds a Way'!
See Colleen's vision of the natural world...in paint and embroidery thread!
Listen to a podcast episode about FRED — Your Friendly Root Resource from ORNL's Sound of Science podcast
Listen to a podcast episode about building a warmer future at the SPRUCE experiment from ORNL's Sound of Science podcast
Listen to a podcast episode about The Arctic's 'Unseen World of Climate Change' from ORNL's Sound of Science podcast
Listen to Colleen talk about her career path on the Clear Skies Ahead podcast from The American Meteorological Society
Listen to Colleen talk about the surprising life inside frozen soil on PRI's Science Friday.
Listen to Colleen talk about how ecosystems respond to climate change on the The Secret City Radio Show.
'First-Person Science' ... Read more about how I would always choose to take a modeler to lunch if I could...
'How it all began' ... Why geology makes me nervous, how I deal with impostor syndrome, and why I love what I do...
'I am a scientist' ... I am curious. I walk through a forest, dissatisfied with the dappled light dancing over green leaves...
'New voices, at last' ... We encourage the first members of New Voices to be bold...
'Taller plants moving into warmer Arctic' ... long observation series are invaluable...
'In the dead of winter' ... all the action in the tundra is below ground...
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
- J. R. R. Tolkien