Dr. J.T. (James) Weedon

  • Telephone:+31 20 59 84325
  • Room nr:a-151
  • E-mail:james.weedon@vu.nl
  • Unit:faculteit der aard- en levenswetenschappen ( subafdeling systeemecologie )
  • Position:Assistant Professor


I am an ecologist working at the interface between biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. My research seeks to understand the biotic controls of terrestrial biogeochemical cycles, particularly those of carbon and nitrogen. I am focused on below-ground processes and have conducted research into how plant traits affect the rates of plant litter decomposition, the role of microorganisms in soil nitrogen cycling, and the interactions between phenology of vegetation and the seasonality of microbial communities and associated biogeochemical transformations. I draw my research methods from traditional soil science, modern molecular microbial ecology, bioinformatics and statistical modeling.

Research Projects

Phenology underground: seasonality of soil microbial communities and functions
In this FWO (Belgium) funded project we are seeking to determine to what extent soil microbial communities (primarily bacteria and fungi) exhibit seasonal variation in community composition. This is an important step in identifying the link between microbial community structure and soil biogeochemical functions. We are sampling on a regular basis over several years at 11 sites across Europe, each with pre-existing ecosystem monitoring infrastructure as elements of the ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) network.

Participants: Ivan Janssens, Bert Gielen, Peter van Bodegom, Rosalie de Man, Johan de Gruyter and partners at 11 ICOS Europe sites.

Microbial communities across environmental gradients
I am involved as a microbial ecologist in a number of projects using environmental gradients to better understand the effects of global change phenomena on ecosystem structure and function. I am helping to characterize bacterial and fungal communities: along gradients in soil temperature and nutrients in Iceland (FORHOT project); under different scenarios of permafrost degradation in northern Sweden; and in response to nutrient manipulations in tropical rainforests in French Guyana (IMBALANCE-P project).

Participants: Ellen Dorrepaal, Sylvain Monteux, Frida Keuper, Sebastian Fontaine, Bjarni Sigurdsson, Niki Leblans, Steven Dauwe, Ivan Janssens, Peter van Bodegom, Erland Baath, Leandro van Langenhove, Josep Penuelas, Erik Verbruggen and others.



James Weedon's publications at VU University

ISI Researcher ID

Selected publications

Cornwell, W.K. & Weedon, J.T. (2014). Decomposition trajectories of diverse litter types: a model selection analysis. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 5(2), 173-182. 10.1111/2041-210X.12138

Weedon, J.T., Aerts, R., Kowalchuk, G.A. & Bodegom, P.M. van (2014). No  effects of experimental warming but contrasting seasonal patterns for  soil peptidase and glycosidase enzymes in a sub-arctic peat bogBiogeochemistry, 117, 55-66. 10.1007/s10533-013-9870-0

Weedon, J.T., Aerts, R., Kowalchuk, G.A., Logtestijn, R.S.P van, Andringa, D. & Bodegom, P.M. van (2013). Temperature sensitivity of peatland C and N cycling: does substrate supply play a role? Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 61, 109-120. 10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.019

Weedon J.T., Kowalchuk G.A., Aerts R., van Hal J., van Logtestijn R.K.S.P., Tas N., Röling W. & van Bodegom P. (2012).  Summer warming accelerates sub-arctic peatland nitrogen cycling without changing enzyme pools or microbial  community structure. Global Change Biology 18, 138-150. 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02548.x

Weedon, J.T., Cornwell, W.K., Cornelissen, J.H.C., Zanne, A., Wirth, C. and Coomes, D. (2009) Global meta-analysis of wood decomposition rates: a role for trait variation among tree species?Ecology Letters, 12, 45-56. 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2008.01259.x


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