Wendy Yang

639 Morrill Hall



Research Website

Google Scholor


Associate Director; Professor of Plant Biology

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

Biography: Dr. Yang is a Professor in the Department of Plant Biology. She currently serve as the Associate Director for Agroecosystem Sustainability Center. She got her Ph.D. at Harvard University and was a postdoc at University of California, Berkeley before she joined UIUC at 2013. She was named an LAS Distinguished Professorial Scholar and is the recipient of the Early Career Fellow from Ecological Society of America, the Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors (LEAP) Award and the  I.C. Gunsalus Scholar from LAS, UIUC. She served as Deputy Leader of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) Sustainability Theme from 2017 to 2022 and has served as the CABBI Theme Leader since 2022. 

Mission Statement: Dr. Yang is 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. Her research is in terrestrial biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology with a focus on determining process rates and drivers of chemical transformations in the environment. She is 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 her research is the development of novel methodological approaches using tracer and natural abundance stable isotope techniques, in particular to quantify soil initrogen emissions and gross fluxes of greenhouse gases.