Joseph Yavitt dwelled in southern California during his formative years, journeyed eastward to pursue education in biogeochemistry and ecology, arriving at Cornell in 1988 as a post-doctoral researcher. Now as a full professor he offers courses for undergraduate students and helps to train both undergraduate and graduate students in research. His own research endeavors focus on the structure and function of wetland and forest ecosystems. His favorite places for fun are the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
Doctorate, University of Wyoming, 1984; Master of Science, University of Arizona, 1979; Bachelor of Arts, University of California Santa Barbara, 1977
Ecosystems harbor a wide variety of plant and animal species and an uncounted diversity of smaller organisms. How biodiversity resides together, and functions is an enthralling challenge for biogeochemical and ecological theories. I have three long-standing collaborative research programs to test ideas. These are: 1) a global network of peatland ecosystems, with a personal focus on sites arrayed along a gradient from central Canada to the southern Appalachian Mountains, 2) a global network of tropical forests, with a personal focus on sites in the Republic of Panama, and, of course, 3) the variety of forest and wetland sites near Cornell.
St. James, A.R., Yavitt, J.B., Zinder, S.H. et al., (2021) Linking microbial Sphagnum degradation and acetate mineralization in acidic peat bogs: from global insights to a genome-centric case study. ISME J 15, 293–303.
Yavitt, J. B., Pipes, G. T., Olmos, E. C., Zhang, J., & Shapleigh, J. P. (2021). Soil organic matter, soil structure, and bacterial community structure in a post-agricultural landscape. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9, 10.
Yavitt, J. B., Roco, C. A., Debenport, S. J., Barnett, S. E., & Shapleigh, J. P. (2021). Community organization and metagenomics of bacterial assemblages across local scale pH gradients in northern forest soils. Microbial Ecology, 81, 758-769.
Seward, J., Carson, M. A., Lamit, L. J., Basiliko, N., Yavitt, J. B., Lilleskov, E., et al. (2020). Peatland microbial community composition is driven by a natural climate gradient. Microbial Ecology, 80, 593-602.
Burtis, J. C., Yavitt, J. B., Fahey, T. J., & Ostfeld, R. S. (2019). Ticks as soil-dwelling arthropods: an intersection between disease and soil ecology. Journal of Medical Entomology, 56(6), 1555-1564.
Awards & Honors
Sigma Xi, 1984; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2018
NTRES 2010, Environmental Conservation; NTRES 3030, Introduction to Biogeochemistry; NTRES 3220, Global Biodiversity; NTRES 4990, Undergraduate Research