School of
Integrative Biology
Wendy H. Yang

639 Morrill Hall
Office: 217-244-2614

Mail: 286 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Lab Page
Curriculum Vita

Wendy H. Yang
Assistant Professor


Ph.D., 2010, University of California, Berkeley
B.A., 2003, Harvard University

Teaching Interests

IB 100 Online, Biology in Today's World (Spring)
IB 452/NRES 462, Ecosystem Ecology (Fall odd years)

Terrestrial biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, stable isotope ecology, soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas dynamics, climate change

I am broadly interested in how human activities are changing how natural and managed ecosystems function and how ecosystem responses to global change can feedback to drive or slow future global change. My research is in terrestrial biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology with a focus on determining process rates and drivers of chemical transformations in the environment. I am particularly interested in the controls on greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of anthropogenic nitrogen inputs on soil nitrogen retention and loss, the effects of plant community composition shifts on soil nitrogen and carbon dynamics, and the coupling of biogeochemical cycles beyond carbon and nitrogen. An important component of my research is the development of novel methodological approaches using tracer and natural abundance stable isotope techniques, in particular to quantify soil dinitrogen emissions and gross fluxes of greenhouse gases.

My research program currently includes projects within two major themes: Controls on Redox-Sensitive Biogeochemical Processes, and Plant Community Composition Effects on Biogeochemical Processes. Specific projects include:

Representative Publications

Yang, WH, McNicol, G, Teh, YA , Wood, TE, Estera-Molina, K, Silver, WL (2017) Evaluating the classical versus an emerging conceptual model of peatland methane dynamics. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 31, 1435–1453,

Yang, WH, Ryals, RA, Cusack, DF, Silver, WL (2017) Cross-biome assessment of gross soil nitrogen cycling in California ecosystems. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 107, 144-155.

Yang, WH, Silver, WL (2016) Gross nitrous oxide production drives net nitrous oxide fluxes across a salt marsh landscape. Global Change Biology, 22, 2228-2237.

Yang, WH, Silver, WL (2016) Net soil-atmosphere fluxes mask gross production and consumption of nitrous oxide and methane in a managed ecosystem. Biogeosciences, 13, 1705-1715.

Yang, WH, Liptzin, D (2015) High potential for iron reduction in upland soils. Ecology, 96, 2015-2020.

Yang, WH, Traut, BH, Silver, WL (2015) Microbially-mediated nitrogen retention and loss in a salt marsh soil. Ecosphere, 6,

Yang, WH, McDowell, AC, Brooks, PD, Silver, WL (2014) New high precision approach for measuring 15N-N2 gas fluxes from terrestrial ecosystems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 69, 234-241.

Yang, WH, Weber, KA, Silver, WL (2012) Nitrogen loss from soil through anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to iron reduction. Nature Geoscience, 5, 538-541.

Yang, WH, Silver, WL (2012) Application of the N2/Ar technique to measuring soil-atmosphere N2 fluxes. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 26, 1-11.

Yang, WH, Teh, YA, Silver, WL (2011) A test of a field-based 15N-nitrous oxide pool dilution technique to measure gross N2O production in soil. Global Change Biology, 17, 3577–3588.

Burgin, AM, Yang, WH, Silver, WL, Hamilton, S (2011) Beyond C and N: How the microbial energy economy couples elemental cycles in diverse ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9, 44-52.

Complete Publications List