Zoe G. Cardon

Senior Scientist

Tel: 508.289.7473 | Fax: 508.457.1548
E-mail: zcardon@mbl.edu

Ph.D., Stanford University 1994;
B.S., Biology; B.A., Spanish, Utah State University 1988

Curriculum Vitae: Full CV (PDF)
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8725-7842

Micro-Eco Discussion Group Schedule

MBL Greenhouse Research Facility


Research Statement

I am an ecosystems ecologist with roots in mechanistic plant physiology. For two decades, I have striven to understand controls over dynamic interactions among plants, microbes, and soils, particularly in the fundamental terrestrial commodities exchange -- the rhizosphere. In the rhizosphere, organic carbon (from plants) fuels recycling of mineral nutrients (by microbes), maintaining the productivity on which ecosystems and humanity depend. My work combines organismal, hydrologic, soil physical, and ecosystems perspectives and aims to identify commonalities across systems in how organism-initiated flow (of water) and physical (soil) structure constrain, and promote, resource exchange. Such commonalities should extend to any system where interacting macro- and microorganisms (microbiomes) are embedded in, evolving in, and creating or shaping their complex physical environment. I also have particular interest in desiccation tolerance and photoprotective mechanisms among desert-dwelling, unicellular green algae, as a window into adaptations enabling the leap of diverse green plants from aquatic habitats to land. My work is interdisciplinary and collaborative, combining development of genetically engineered microbiosensors, chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange, in situ imaging,”omics” approaches and new stable isotope techniques, with organismal- and ecosystems-scale modeling.

News and Highlights


Selected Publications

Photosynthesis and desiccation tolerance:
Peredo EL and Cardon ZG (2020) Shared up-regulation and contrasting down-regulation of gene expression distinguish desiccation-tolerant from intolerant green algae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 117 (29) 17438-17445. doi:10.1073/pnas.1906904117

Stark JR, Cardon ZG, Peredo EL (2019) Extraction of high-quality, high molecular-weight DNA depends heavily on cell homogenization methods in green microalgae. Applications in Plant Sciences. 8(3):e11333. doi:10.1002/aps3.1133

Cardon ZG, Peredo EL, Dohnalkova AC, Gershone HL, Bezanilla M. (2018) A model suite of green algae within the Scenedesmaceae for investigating contrasting desiccation tolerance and morphology. Journal of Cell Science. 131: jcs212233 doi: 10.1242/jcs.212233

Soils and microbes:
Li H, Bölscher T, Winnick M, Tfaily MM, Cardon ZG, and Keiluweit M. (2021) Simple plant and microbial metabolites destabilize mineral-associated organic matter via multiple pathways. Environmental Science and Technology. https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c04592

Fu C, Wang G, Bible K, Goulden ML, Saleska SR, Scott RL, Cardon ZG. (2018) Hydraulic redistribution affects modeled carbon cycling via soil microbial activity and suppressed fire. Global Change Biology 24(8):3472-3485.DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14164

Espeleta JF, Cardon ZG, Mayer KU, Neumann RB. (2016) Diel plant water use and competitive soil cation exchange interact to enhance NH₄+and K+availability in the rhizosphere. Plant and Soil 414:33. doi: 10.1007/s11104-016-3089-5

Fu C, Wang G, Goulden ML, Scott RL, Bible K, and Cardon ZG. (2016) Modeling the hydrological impact of hydraulic redistribution using CLM4.5 at eight AmeriFlux Sites. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20:2001-2018. doi:10.5194/hess-20-2001-2016

Graves CJ, Makrides E, Schmidt V, Giblin A, Cardon ZG, Rand D. (2016) Functional responses of salt marsh microbial communities to long-term nutrient enrichment. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 82:2862-2871.

Blaser MJ, Cardon ZG, Cho MK, Dangl JL, Donohue TJ, Green JL, Knight R, Maxon ME, Northen TR, Pollard KS, Brodie EL. (2016) Towards a predictive understanding of Earth's microbiomes to address 21st Century challenges. mBio. 7:e00714-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00714-16

Biteen JS, Blainey PC, Cardon ZG, Chun M, Church G, Dorrestein PC, Fraser SE, Gilbert J, Jansson JK, Knight R, Miller JF, Ozcan A, Prather KA, Taha S, Ven den Engh G, Quake S, Ruby EG, Silver P, Weiss PS, Wong GCL, Wright AT, Xie XS, Young TD (2016) Tools for the Microbiome: Nano and Beyond. ACS Nano, 10:6-37. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b07826.

Mailing Address

The Ecosystems Center
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015

Physical Address

CV Starr Environmental Laboratory
11 Albatross Street
Woods Hole, MA

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