Purdue Water Community

Tim Filley

Contact Information

HAMP 3225
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
College of Science
West Lafayette, IN 47907


Tim’s group has several projects designed to study the fundamental processes controlling carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil and streams within natural and managed ecosystems. A primary goal of his work is to develop a stronger scientific basis for modeling soil organic matter dynamics, ecosystem processes, and the global carbon cycle with an emphasis on how perturbations to ecosystems, i.e., woody plant encroachment and increases in atmospheric CO2, interact with soil properties to sequester carbon and nitrogen. To accomplish this, the Filley group utilizes field based experiments, such as the Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) sites or maintained chronosequences of forest encroachment, and a variety of analytical approaches, including molecular chemistry, microbial activity assays, and stable isotope techniques Additionally, he and his students investigate the role of hydrological events in agricultural watersheds in the mobilization of terrestrial organic matter to streams.

Selected Publications

Dalzell, B. J., T. R. Filley, and J. M. Harbor, The role of hydrology in annual organic carbon loads and terrestrial organic matter export from a midwestern agricultural watershed (2007), Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 71 (6): 1448-1462, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2006.12.009.

Nierop, K. G. L. and T. R. Filley, Assessment of lignin and (poly-)phenol transformations in oak ( Quercus robur ) dominated soils by 13 C-TMAH thermochemolysis (2007), Organic Geochemistry 38, 551-565.

Filley, T., and T. W. Boutton, Ecosystems in flux: Molecular and stable isotope assessments of soil organic matter storage and dynamics (2006), Soil Biology and Biochemistry 38, 3181-3183.

Filley, T. R., K. G. J. Nierop, and Y. Wang, The contribution of polyhydroxyl aromatic compounds to tetramethylammonium hydroxide lignin-based proxies (2006), Organic Geochemistry 37, 711-727.

Sollins, P., C. Swanston, M. Kleber, T. Filley, M. Kramer, S. Crow, B. Caldwell, K. Lajtha, and R. Bowden, Organic C and N stabilization in a forest soil: evidence from sequential density fractionation (2006), Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 38, 3313–3324.

Links of Interest

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