Research in my lab examines carbon, nitrogen, and water dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems, with an emphasis on responses to global change. Recent projects include: 1) the response of carbon and nitrogen cycles to elevated carbon dioxide in a Mojave Desert ecosystem, 2) the impact of invasive species on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, 3) mechanisms controlling plant nitrogen isotope composition, and 4) carbon isotope ratios of microbial communities to elucidate patterns of substrate use. Current research is focused on past and present patterns of atmospheric deposition and plant and ecosystem responses, and my students and I are part of the BioEarth (http://www.cereo.wsu.edu/bioearth/) and Nitrogen Systems: Policy-oriented Integrated Research and Education (NSPIRE) IGERT (http://igert.nspire.wsu.edu/) programs. Our research makes extensive use of both field and laboratory experiments, with emphasis on measurements of natural stable isotope ratios. I also direct the WSU stable isotope core laboratory (http://www.isotopes.wsu.edu/), and serve on the Executive Committee of the WSU Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO) http://www.cereo.wsu.edu/.
*Schaeffer, S.M., S.E. Ziegler, J. Belnap and R.D. Evans. In Press. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities. Biogeochemistry.
*Jin, V.L.,. *Schaeffer, S.M. Ziegler, S.M. and R.D. Evans. 2011. Soil water availability and microsite mediate changes in phospholipid fatty acid biomarker abundances in Mojave Desert soils exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences. 116, G02001
*Jin, V.L. and Evans, R.D. 2010. Microbial 13C utilization patterns via stable isotope probing of phospholipid biomarkers in Mojave Desert soils exposed to ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2. Global Change Biology. 16:2334-2344.
Williams, D.G., R.D. Evans and J.R. Ehleringer. 2007. Applications of stable isotope measurements for early-warning detection of ecological change. In T.E. Dawson and R. Siegwolf (eds), Isotopes as tracers of ecological change.Elsevier Academic Press
Evans, R.D. 2007. Soil nitrogen isotope composition. In Michener, R.M. and K. Lajtha, (eds). Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science 2nd Edition. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.
*Sperry, L., J. Belnap and R.D. Evans. 2006. Bromus tectorum invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in an undisturbed grassland ecosystem. Ecology. 87:603-615.
Walvoord, M.A., F.M. Phillips, D.A. Stonestrom, R.D. Evans, P.C. Hartsough, B.D. Newman and R.G. Striegl. 2003. A reservoir of nitrate beneath desert soils. Science. 302:1021-1024.
*Kolb, K.J. and R.D. Evans. 2003. Influence of nitrogen source and concentration on nitrogen isotopic discrimination in two barley genotypes (Hordeum vulgara L.). Plant, Cell and Environment. 26:1431-1440.
Evans, R.D., R. *Rimer, L.*Sperry and J. Belnap. 2001. Exotic plant invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in an arid grassland. Ecological Applications. 11:1301-1310.
Evans, R.D. 2001. Mechanisms controlling plant nitrogen isotope composition. Solicited review. Trends in Plant Sciences 6:121-126.
*Graduate students and post-doctoral research associates in my lab.