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Colin Averill

Boston University – Department of Earth & Environment, 5 Cummington Mall, Boston MA 02215
203.444.8925 caverill@bu.edu www.colinaverill.weebly.com

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Boston University, Boston, MA September 2017 - present
Department of Earth & Environment
Advisors – Dr. Jennifer Talbot and Dr. Michael Dietze
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Boston University, Boston, MA 2015 - 2017
NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow
Advisors – Dr. Jennifer Talbot and Dr. Michael Dietze
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 2010 – 2015
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow
Advisor – Dr. Christine Hawkes
B.A. Boston University, Boston, MA 2004 – 2008
Biology, Specialization in Ecology and Conservation
Senior Research Technician, Boston University, Boston, MA 2008 – 2010
Advisor – Dr. Adrien Finzi

PUBLICATIONS
Averill C., Dietze M.C. & Talbot, J.M. 2018. Continental-scale nitrogen pollution is shifting forest
mycorrhizal associations and soil carbon stocks. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.111/gcb.14368
Averill C. & Waring, B.G. 2018. Nitrogen limitation of decomposition and decay: how can it occur?
Global Change Biology. 24: 1417-1427.
Carrara, J.E., Walter, C.A., Hawkins, J.S., Peterjohn W.R., Averill C. and Brzostek E.R. 2018.
Interactions among plants, bacteria and fungi reduce extracellular enzyme activities under long-
term N fertilization. Global Change Biology. 24: 2721-2734.
Averill C. 2016. Slowed decomposition in ectomycorrhizal ecosystems is independent of plant
chemistry. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 102: 52-54.
Averill C. and Hawkes, C.V. 2016. Ectomycorrhizas slow soil carbon cycling. Ecology Letters. 19:
937-947.
Averill C., Waring, B.G. and Hawkes C.V. 2016. Historical precipitation predictably alters the shape
and magnitude of microbial functional response to soil moisture. Global Change Biology. 22:
1957-1964.
Averill C., Rousk, J. and Hawkes C.V. 2015. Microbial-mediated changes in ecosystem nitrogen
partitioning can delay progressive nitrogen limitation. Biogeochemistry.126: 11-23.
*featured in the Biogeochemistry Letters section, "manuscripts that present results that
substantially advance the field or challenge entrenched ideas."
Averill C., Turner B.L. and Finzi A.C. 2014. Mycorrhizal mediated competition between plants and
decomposers drives soil carbon storage. Nature. 505: 543-545.
*Media coverage from TIME Magazine, ThinkProgress, KUT Austin NPR, Mongabay.com
Averill C. 2014. Divergence in plant and microbial allocation strategies explains continental patterns
in microbial allocation and biogeochemical fluxes. Ecology Letters. 17: 1202-1210.
PUBLICATIONS
Giasson M.A., Averill C. and Finzi A.C. 2014. Correction factors for dissolved organic carbon
extracted from soil, measured using the Mn (III)-pyrophosphate colorimetric method adapted for
a microplate reader. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 78: 284-287.
Waring B.G., Averill C. and Hawkes C.V. 2013. Differences in fungal and bacterial physiology alter
soil carbon and nitrogen cycling: insights from meta-analysis and theoretical models. Ecology
Letters. 16: 887-894.
Kivlin S.N., Waring B.G., Averill C. and Hawkes C.V. 2013. Tradeoffs in microbial carbon allocation
may mediate soil carbon storage in future climates. Frontiers in Microbiology. 4: 261.
Averill C. and Finzi A.C. 2011. Increasing plant dependence on organic nitrogen along an elevation
gradient is reflected in nitrogen uptake rates and ecosystem δ15N at Mount Eisenhower, NH,
USA. Ecology. 92: 883-891 (Ecosystem Ecology Faculty of 1000 Selection).
Averill C. and Finzi A.C. 2011. Plant regulation of microbial enzyme production in situ. Soil Biology
and Biochemistry. 43: 2457-2460

P U B L I C A T I O N S I N R E V I E W *can provide upon request


Averill C. Dietze, M.C. & Talbot, J.M. in revision, ISMEJ. Spatial vs. temporal controls over soil
fungal community similarity at continental and global scales.
Averill C. Dietze, M.C., Pearse, W.D., Talbot, J.M & Kivlin S.K. in review. Global imprint of plant
mycorrhizal associations on plant nutrient use efficiency traits.

AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS


Biogeosciences Symposium Outstanding Postdoctoral Presentation Jan 2017
Awarded by the Boston University Biogeosciences Program
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate and Global Change Mar 2015
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
$138,000 over two years
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Apr 2012
$121,500 over three years
Elizabeth Sulzman Award Aug 2015
Awarded By the Biogeosciences Section of the Ecological Society of America for an
outstanding manuscript published by a graduate student: Averill et al. 2014, Nature
Outstanding Student Research in Ecology Award Aug 2014
Awarded for the best paper by a graduate student in the field of Ecology by the Student
Section of the Ecological Society of America: Averill et al. 2014, Nature
Outstanding Student Research in Ecology Award Aug 2011
Awarded for the best paper by an undergraduate student in the field of Ecology by the
Student Section of the Ecological Society of America: Averill and Finzi 2011, Ecology
Fungal Environmental Sampling Network Graduate Student Travel Award Aug 2013
Ecological Society of America Meeting, $1,000
Young Scientist Travel Award Jul 2011
Enzymes in the Environment Conference, Bad Nauheim, Germany, $1850
University of Texas at Austin Integrative Biology Recruitment Fellowship $24,000 Sep 2010
University of Texas at Austin Preemptive Fellowship $12,000 Sep 2010
AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS
University of Texas at Austin Deans Excellence Award $6,000 Sep 2010
Boston University Honors Thesis Work for Distinction Award Apr 2008
Boston University Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship $3,500 Jun 2007
Biogeosciences Symposium Outstanding Postdoctoral Presentation Jan 2017
Awarded by the Boston University Biogeosciences Program

GRANT FUNDING
DOE FICUS: Scaling molecular mechanisms of mycorrhizal-decomposer interactions
Jul 2017
to emergent ecosystem carbon balance. $98,000. Jennifer Talbot, PI. Colin Averill,
Hui-Ling Liao & Rytas Vilgalys Co-PIs.
*I lead the development of this project and the writing of this proposal, however was
not allowed to serve as lead PI for administrative reasons.
DOE Joint Genome Institute: Molecular mechanisms of ectomycorrhizal interactions May 2017
that stabilize soil carbon. Colin Averill, PI. Jennifer Talbot, Hui-Ling Liao & Rytas
Vilgalys Co-PIs. Amount: cost of sequencing and annotating 24 soil
metatranscriptomes, and 240 amplicon sequencing samples.
NSF Macrosystems Biology: the Near-term Ecological Forecasting Initiative. Aug 2016
$1,704,922. Mike Dietze, PI. *I made substantial intellectual contributions and wrote
components of this grant, however am not listed as a co-PI for administrative reasons.
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improve Grant (DDIG) $20,085 Mar 2014
University of Texas at Austin Department of Ecology Evolution and Behavior Mar 2014
Dissertation Improvement Grant $5,000
University of Texas at Austin Graduate Program in Ecology Evolution and Behavior Mar 2012
Start-up Grant $2,000
Texas Ecolab Research Grant: Decomposition along the Edward’s Plateau- separating Apr 2011
the effects of rainfall, microbial biomass, and extra-cellular enzymes $9,000
Boston University Undergraduate Research Opportunities Grants $1,000 2007-2008

INVITED PRESENTATIONS
How do mycorrhizal composition and environmental context interact to control Aug 2018
ecosystem function?
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
Forests and their Fungi: mycorrhizal symbiosis and the future of Earth. Jun 2018
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Forests and their Fungi: mycorrhizal symbiosis and the future of Earth. Jun 2018
Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Forests and their Fungi: mycorrhizal symbiosis and the future of Earth. Apr 2018
University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Feb 2018
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama
Nitrogen limitation of decomposition and decay: how can it occur? Aug 2017
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Portland, OR
INVITED PRESENTATIONS
Nitrogen pollution shifts forest mycorrhizal associations at continental scale Jul 2017
International Conference of Mycorrhizas, Plenary Presentation, Prague, CZ
Nitrogen limitation of decomposition and decay: how can it occur? Jun 2017
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Climate Seminar Series
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Feb 2017
Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Jan 2017
University of Oregon, Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Eugene, OR
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Jan 2017
University of Tennessee Knoxville, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
Knoxville, TN
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Nov 2016
University of Chicago, Department of Geophysical Sciences, Chicago, IL
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Oct 2016
University of Michigan, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ann Arbor MI
Applying next-generation molecular technologies to model systems of plant-microbial Sep 2016
interactions.
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Integration User Meeting, Pacific
Northwest National Labs, Richland, WA
Nitrogen pollution shifts forest mycorrhizal associations at continental scale. Aug 2016
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Fort Lauderdale FL
Microbial life in the ecosystem context: molecular interactions at macro scales. Mar 2016
University of Arizona, Tuscon AZ
Linking microbial ecology to ecosystem and Earth element cycles. Nov 2015
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biology, Philadelphia PA
Enzyme production as a key mycorrhizal trait. Aug 2015
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore MD
Linking microbial ecology to ecosystem and Earth element cycles. Jan 2015
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Frostburg MD
Stoichiometric vs. growth optimization in decomposer microbial ecosystems. Aug 2014
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN
Differences in fungal and bacterial physiology alter soil carbon and nitrogen cycling: Dec 2013
synthesizing effects of microbial community structure using the Fungi and Bacteria
(FAB) model.
American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
The effect of mycorrhizal type on soil carbon storage across ecosystems. Jun 2012
University of New Hampshire EOS Department, Durham, NH
S E L E C T C ON T RI B U T E D P R E S E N T A T I O N S
Nitrogen Limitation of decomposition and decay: how can it occur? Jun 2017
Biannual Meeting of the Soil Ecology Society

Nitrogen pollution shifts forest mycorrhizal associations at continental scale Dec 2016
American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
Quantitative inhibition of soil carbon cycling by ectomycorrhizal fungi under field Dec 2014
conditions.
American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
Competition between ectomycorrhizas and free-living decomposers reduces Aug 2013
decomposer activity.
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN
Using Rayleigh isotope equations to predict foliar 15N signatures and form of nitrogen Aug 2011
uptake across biomes
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin TX
Organic nitrogen uptake along an elevation gradient at Mount Eisenhower, NH, USA Aug 2009
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM

TEACHING
Teaching Assistant, BIO373 Ecology, University of Texas at Austin - Spring 2012, Spring 2013
I lead all discussions sections, selected and taught a weekly reading assignment from the primary
ecological literature. I also developed and presented multiple guest lectures for this course.
Ecological Forecasting Summer Course - Summer 2017-2021
https://ecoforecast.wordpress.com/summer-course/
As part of the NSF-funded Near-term Ecological Forecasting Initiative this course fully funds 15
graduate students, post-docs, and early career academic scientists and 5 early career agency
scientists interested in learning about ecological forecasting. Topics include Bayesian statistics
(simple models, hierarchical Bayes, state-space models); fusing multiple data sources; forecast
uncertainty propagation & assessment; iterative data assimilation; machine learning; decision
science; and a range of ecological forecasting applications such as phenology, microbiomes, carbon,
infectious disease, and aquatic productivity. As an instructor I am actively involved in developing
course materials, evaluating applicants, and leading instruction.

WORKING GROUPS
Invited participant: Enhancing long-term soil carbon sequestration by ectomycorrhizal May 2018
fungi

Invited participant: Do microbes matter? Frontiers in terrestrial climate feedbacks: Feb 2016
Integrating models and experiments to explore climate feedbacks in an increasingly
managed and warming world.
Invited participant: 2nd International Enzymes in the Environment RCN Workshop: May 2012
Incorporating Enzymes and Microbial Physiology into Biogeochemical Models.
OUTREACH AND SERVICE
Austin Science Advocates 2017-present
Letter writing organizer: Austin Science Advocates is a group of individuals motivated to improve
communcations between scientists, politicians and the public. I help organize weekly postcard-
writing sessions to help scientists and the public reach out to their elected officials. We provide a
candidate set of science related issues to write about, postcards, stamps and resources to contact
representatives. austinscienceadvocates.wordpress.com

UT Austin Science Under the Stars 2010-2015


Lead organizer: Science under the Stars presents ecological research to the general public in a
family friendly setting. Lectures are free, and held in the Brackenridge Field lab, an urban ecology
lab in downtown Austin. I help coordinate and promote these events. I was the lead organizer of this
group for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 academic semesters. www.scienceunderthestars.org

UT Austin Ecolunch Seminar Series Organizer Sept 2013-2015


Lead Organizer: EcoLunch is an opportunity for grad students, post docs, faculty and others to give
a talk or get feedback on a new project or idea from a room full of ecologists in an informal setting.
We encourage talks that are more interactive or discussion based that can take advantage of the
audience’s expertise. I facilitate booking speakers and sending emails to the group as well as
promoting the series within the department and university.

Boston University Bio Bugs April 2009-10


Panel Speaker: Biobugs puts Boston-area high school students in a lab setting, exposes them to
cutting edge scientific equipment, and provides interactions with professional scientists. I talked with
several high school biology classes about potential career paths in the natural sciences.

Peer Review: Biogeochemistry, Biogeosciences, Ecology, Ecology Letters, Ecological Monographs,


FEMS Microbial Ecology, Fungal Ecology, Global Change Biology, Journal of Ecology, Oecologia,
Nature Ecology & Evolution, New Phytologist, Plant and Soil, PLOS One, Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Professional Memberships: American Geophysical Union, Ecological Society of America, Soil
Ecology Society, International Mycorrhizal Society