Steven Hallsteven silly rock

Steven is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. He received a BS in Botany and an MS in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD in Ecosystem Science from the University of California-Berkeley. Before coming to ISU, he had a post-doc at the University of Utah Global Change and Sustainability Center. Aside from science, he enjoys epic bike rides (on and off road), construction projects, and making music.





Wenjuan  Huang

Wenjuan (wjhuang [at]  is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab. She earned her B.S. degree in Ecology from the China Agricultural University in 2007 and her Ph.D. in Ecosystem Ecology from the South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013. She is interested in the interactions of carbon, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and iron (Fe) in plant and soil systems and their responses to global change. Her past research has focused on taking biogeochemical approaches to study how N and P cycles control ecological functions in (sub)-tropical forests. At ISU, her work explores linkages between iron redox cycling and decomposition and nutrient dynamics using stable isotopes. She is broadly interested in understanding how climate change could alter soil carbon turnover by regulating microbial and geochemical processes.

Carlos Tenesaca

Carlos (Charlie4 {at} is a research associate in the lab leading the EPA study on  environmental impacts of farmed and restored pothole wetlands. He earned a masters degree in soil science from ISU in 2013, where his research focused in soil health and greenhouse gas emissions in areas used for corncob residue storage (cellulosic ethanol production). Before coming to the lab, he was a research associate at the Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory (ISU); where he analyzed soil and plant samples for farmers and researchers. He is excited to learn more about the environmental impacts of potholes in Iowa.


 Nate SierrasNate Lawrence

Nate (natelaw [at] is a PhD student in the lab who completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois (while conducting research with friend of the lab Wendy Yang).  His past research focused on carbon and nitrogen cycles in Panama, Maine, and California.  Nate is primarily interested in how soils mediate ecosystem response to global change and managing these systems to reduce greenhouse gas emission.  At ISU, his research explores controls on nitrogen cycling in grassland and managed ecosystems in the prairie pothole region.


holly hikin


Holly Rich

Holly (hrich [at] iastate.ed) is a PhD student starting in the Hall lab in the Fall of 2017. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013 with a BS in Environmental Science. Her research there focused on how the standard deviation of temperatures changes as global temperatures rise with climate change. She also studied methanogens in the wetland soils of Minnesota as part of a summer REU at St. Olaf College. Holly is eager to study how nutrient cycles and soil and plant processes are altered due to climate change.




Anthony Mirabito

Anthony is an undergraduate from Iowa City, Iowa and is double majoring in biology and environmental science. He has cool hands working at the TGA, and we are very happy to have him around! He is leading projects focusing on cryptic iron cycling in agricultural soils, and the potential for carbonates to provide proxies for ponding duration in hydric soils.






 Chenglong Ye

Chenglong (ye_chenglong [at] is a visiting PhD student in the Hall lab (funded by the China Scholarship Council) who comes from Nanjing Agricultural University. His research focuses on physiochemical mechanisms of organic C stability in red-earth soils of China. At ISU, his research explores the impacts of different cropping systems on soil organic C dynamics using high-frequency C isotope measurements of CO2. He is also exploring continental-scale patterns in soil organic matter chemical composition as part of our new NSF Macrosystems grant.

Lab Alumni



Lindsay Mack

Lindsay is an ISU undergrad majoring in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies, originally from the Quad Cities, IL. She was a stellar technician in the lab, and has moved on to pursue environmental policy work.



Lucio sampling

Lucio Reyes

Lucio graduated from ISU in Biology and Anthropology, and hails from El Paso, TX. He is an all-star lab technician and problem-solver, and enjoys getting out in the field (even in the winter). He is headed to grad school at the University of South Florida in fall 2017… we will be sad to see him leave!






Collin Stratton

Collin is an ISU undergraduate student from Genoa, IL, majoring in Animal Ecology and Minoring in Statistics. He started in the lab working as a first-years honors student with Wenjuan, and we didn’t want to let him leave because he brings such great enthusiasm and dedication to the lab! Nevertheless, next summer we hope he has a chance to work at Steven’s old stomping grounds at the El Verde Puerto Rico field station.




jerry poster session

Jerry Young Bear

Jerry worked in the lab during summer 2016 as a research fellow with the HHMI program, and kept everyone well entertained with his witty stories! We wish Jerry all the best with his future endeavors. This is a photo from the HHMI poster session, where he aced his presentation!