Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Karis McFarlane

Research Scientist
Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division

 +1 925-423-6285

Ph.D. Forest Engineering
Oregon State University
M.S. Forest and Natural Resources Management
B.S. Environmental Science
DePaul University University

Research Interests

My research focuses on the terrestrial carbon cycle with an emphasis on carbon cycling in upland and wetland ecosystems. In my research I use radiocarbon with natural abundance and isotopic labeling approaches to determine ecosystem and soil carbon turnover times and track carbon as it moves through plants, into soils, and back to the atmosphere.

Research and Professional Experience

2010–current, Staff Scientist, Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


  • Soil Science Society of America
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Earth Sciences Women's Network

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Phillips, C.L. K.J. McFarlane, B.W. LaFranchi, A.R. Desai, J.D. Miller. Accepted. Observations of 14CO2 in ecosystem respiration from a temperate deciduous forest in Northern Wisconsin. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.

Phillips, C. L., K.J. McFarlane, D. Risk, and A. Desai. 2013. Biological and physical influences on soil 14CO2 seasonal dynamics in a temperature hardwood forest. Biogeosciences, 10, 7999-8012.

Powers, R.F., M.D. Busse, K.J. McFarlane, J. Zhang, and D.H. Young. Long-term effects of silviculture on soil carbon storage. Does vegetation control make a difference? 2013. Forestry.

McFarlane, K.J., M.S. Torn, P.J. Hanson, R.C. Porras, M.A. Callaham, C.W. Swanston, and T.P Guilderson, 2013. Comparison of Soil Organic Matter Dynamics at Four Temperate Deciduous Forests with Physical Fractionation and Radiocarbon Measurements. Biogeochemistry: 112, pp. 457-476.

O'Brien, S.L., J.D. Jastrow, K.J. McFarlane, T.P. Guilderson, and M.A. Gonzolez-Meler, 2013. Decadal cycling within long-lived carbon pools revealed by dual isotopic analysis of mineral-associated soil organic matter. Biogeochemistry: 112, pp. 1-14.

Frank, D.A., A.W. Pontes, and K.J. McFarlane, 2012. Controls on soil carbon stocks and turnover among North American ecosystems. Ecosystems: 15, pp. 604-615.

McFarlane, K.J., S.H. Schoenholtz, R.F. Powers, and S.S. Perakis, 2010. Soil organic matter stability in intensively managed ponderosa pine stands in California. Soil Science Society of America Journal: 74, pp. 979-992.

Yanai, R.D., K.J. McFarlane, M.S. Lucash, J.D. Joslin, and S.E. Kulpa. "Similarity of nutrient uptake and root dimensions of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir at two contrasting sites in Colorado," Forest Ecology and Management, 258, pp. 2233-2241 (2009).

McFarlane, K.J., S.H. Schoenholtz, and R.F. Powers. "Plantation management intensity affects belowground carbon and nitrogen Storage in northern California," Soil Science Society of America Journal: 73, pp. 1020-1032. (2009).

Lucash, M.S., D.M. Eissenstat, J.D. Joslin, K.J. McFarlane, and R.D. Yanai. "Estimating nutrient uptake by mature tree roots under field conditions: challenges and opportunities," Trees 21, pp. 593-603 (2007).

McFarlane, K.J. and R.D. Yanai. "Measuring nitrogen and phosphorus uptake by intact roots of mature Acer saccharum Marsh., Pinus resinosa Ait., and Picea abies (L.) Karst." Plant and Soil 279, pp. 163-172 (2006).

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