Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Kolby Jardine

Kolby Jardine

Kolby Jardine


Climate Sciences Department



Phone: 520-603-6096

Fax: 510-486-5686


Biographical Summary

Kolby Jardine is a project scientist with the Green Ocean Amazon Terrestrial Ecosystem project in the Climate Sciences Department of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is currently working in the Brazilian Amazon at the LBA ZF2 tower and TACAPE field site in close collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Chambers (US PI, and Dr. Antonio Manzi (Brazilian PI: He recently installed a new atmospheric biochemistry laboratory at the National Institute for Amazon Research in Manaus, Brazil.

Dr. Jardine is a biochemist and atmospheric chemist studying ecosystem metabolomics through volatile trace gas exchange between the biosphere and atmosphere. Using the analytical techniques of proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and optical spectroscopy in the laboratory and extended field campaigns, he seeks a mechanistic understanding of trace gas metabolite fluxes from the cell to whole ecosystem scales on timescales ranging from seconds to seasons. With the GoAmazon project (, Dr. Jardine is conducting a continuous multi-year field study in a primary rainforest in the central Amazon, collaborating with researchers from the United States, Brazil, UK, and Germany to advance mechanistic understanding of the role biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) play in land-atmosphere processes affecting plant metabolism, soil biogeochemistry, air quality, and  climate in the Amazon Basin. This research aims at improving mechanistic representation of coupled biosphere-atmosphere processes in Earth System Models (ESMs) which is currently constrained by an extremely poor understanding of the identities, quantities, and seasonal patterns of BVOC emissions and their controls from tropical forests..


Colorado School of Mines (Chemistry) transferred to New York University (Biochemistry), B.S. 1999

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Atmospheric Chemistry), M.S., 2004

Stony Brook University (Atmospheric and Marine Sciences), Ph.D., 2008

University of Arizona and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions), Post-Doctoral fellow, 2008-2009


June 2012-present:  Project Scientist, Green Ocean Amazon Terrestrial Ecosystem Collaborative Project (Geco), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA, USA) and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Manaus, Brazil).

April 2012-June 2012:  Visiting Scientist, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany

July 2009–April 2012: Assistant Research Professor, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

July 2010–Nov 2010: Visiting scholar, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil. 

July 2008–July 2009: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO and Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Aug 2004–May 2008: Biosphere-Atmosphere Research and Training (BART) Graduate Research Fellowship; University of Michigan Biological Station.

Jan 2003–May 2004: M.S. Student, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD.

Jan 2001–Dec 2002: Instructor, Chemistry I/II, Microbiology, Math for Electronics, and Algebra I, San Juan College, Farmington New Mexico.

Aug 1999–May 2000: Graduate student, NSF fellow in Optical Biomolecular Devices, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Jan 1997–May 1999: Undergraduate Research Assistant, DNA Nanotechnology, Department of Chemistry, New York University, New York City, NY.

Jan 1994–June 1996: Research Internship, Fruit Fly Molecular Genetics, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Professional Experience

Visiting Scientist, University of Bielefeld, Germany, April 2012-June 2012: Development of a unified theory of plant primary and secondary metabolism. Experiments include stable carbon isotope leaf feeding experiments (H13CO3, pyruvate-2-13C, and glucose-2-13C) followed by stable carbon isotope analysis of CO2 and volatile organic compound emissions.

BrazillianAir 2010, June 2010-July 2011: Head PI of 6-month field campaign (longest and most detailed organic chemical characterization of tropical air in Amazon history). Vertical concentration gradients and branch/soil enclosure flux measurements of volatile organic compounds and ozone at the K34 tower at ZF2, Manaus, Brazil. Analytical techniques include PTR-MS, GC-PTR-MS, and GC-FID.

CREosote ATmosphere Interactions through Volatile Exchange (CREATIVE 2009), summer 2009: Head PI of 5 month remote off the grid field site with a mobile laboratory (PTR-MS and a GC-MS) in the Santa Rita Experimental Range. Goal to investigate the emissions of volatile organic compounds from creosotebush during the summer monsoon season. Branch and ecosystem scale fluxes were measured using enclosures, eddy covariance, and relaxed eddy accumulation techniques.  

Biosphere 2, summer 2008-present: Designed and installed the Ecosystem Metabalomics Laboratory (EML) in the Biosphere 2 complex and integrated it via heated tubing to the tropical rainforest and desert biomes. Instruments installed

  • A high sensitivity proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS), Thermal desorption-gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (TD-GC-MS).
  • VOC calibration systems based on the permeation tube and dynamic solution injection techniques.
  • A Licor 7000 and a Licor 840 CO2/H2O analyzer.  
  • Programmable custom light and temperature controlled glass leaf chamber.
  • CO2 and water vapor concentration and isotope calibration equipment.
  • A Picarro isotopic H2O cavity ringdown spectrometer.
  • An Aerodyne quantum cascade laser CO2 isotopic analyzer.

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, spring 2007: Identify the biochemical pathways that lead to the production and consumption of acetaldehyde in plants and its relationship between photosynthesis and respiration. Determine the plant physiological and environmental controls over the exchange of acetaldehyde between plants and the atmosphere. Development of a canopy scale compensation point model for acetaldehyde.  

Canopy Horizontal Array Turbulence Study (CHATS) field experiment, Dixon, CA, summer 2007: Characterize the turbulent structure of the fields of aerosols and trace chemical species within and above the orchard canopy. Measurements included aerosol vertical concentration and flux measurements including species such as volatile organic compounds, ozone, NOx, NOy, H2O, CO2, etc.

Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment (INTEX-B), Seattle, WA, spring 2006: NASA/NCAR aircraft study designed to better understand the transport and transformation of gases and aerosols on transcontinental/intercontinental scales. Primary responsibilities were the operation of a PTR-MS instrument for fast VOC concentration measurements aboard the NCAR C-130 research airplane.

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, Fall 2005 – May 2008, Design, fabrication, and control of instrumentation for gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Branch enclosure measurements of carbon isotope ratio signatures of oxygenated volatile organic compounds from various biological sources. Investigation into biochemical pathways and plant physiological controls over OVOC exchange.

University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, MI, summer 2005 and 2006, Part of NSF Biosphere Atmosphere Research and Training Fellowship. Participated in climate change, plant ecology, atmospheric chemistry, and science and society workshops. Conducted flux measurements of oxygenated volatile organic compounds from soils and litter by GC-FID.  Testing of an experimental dehydration membrane for removing water vapor from VOCs in air samples.

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO, summer 2004, Visiting scientist. Design and fabrication of a cryogenic automated thermal desorption system for the analysis of volatile organic compounds by GC-MS.

Black Hills Ameriflux tower, South Dakota and Duke University Experimental Forrest (CELTIC study), summer 2003: Above canopy disjunct eddy covariance flux measurements of biogenic VOCs and vertically resolved flux estimates from inverse Lagrangian modeling. Comparison of VOC flux measurements between two Ionicon PTR-MS instruments and a Fast Isoprene Sensor. Gas Chromatography/Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry to verify identity of molecules.

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Fall 1999 – Fall 2000: Utilization of artificial photosynthetic reaction centers inserted in liposome membranes to pump protons in a light dependent manner into the interior of the vesicles creating a proton motive force. This was then used by the enzyme CFoF1 ATPsynthase to synthesize ATP from ADP and Pi. The ATP was then used be to power the fixation of carbon dioxide. 

University of Washington, Center for Nanotechnology, Seattle Washington, summer 2001: Project to develop light powered nanotrains for nanoscale transport of material by integrating biological and biomimetic components. Techniques included protein purification, surface nanopaterning with Teflon, liposome reconstitution of biological and biomimetic components, assembly of microscope flow cells, flowing in individual components and generating fluorescence microscopy movies.

New York University, NY, NY, Spring 1998 – Spring 1999: DNA nanotechnology experiments with Ned Seeman in the Chemistry Department at NYU. Techniques included DNA sequence design and self-assembly engineering, molecular modeling, operation of automated DNA synthesizers, gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, and atomic force microscopy to visualize the products of self-assembly.

Harvard University, Cambridge MA, summer 1997: Summer research internship in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.  Worked in Dan Hartl’s lab on a fly genetics project.  Using forward genetics techniques we investigated the ability of the transposase gene product to excise the transposable element mariner from a target sequence.  Techniques involved fly mutagenesis, mutant collection, element amplification by PCR, bacterial transformation, gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing. 

Colorado School of Mines, Golden CO, Spring 1997: Worked with Dr. Kevin Mandernack on microbial influences of biogeochemical cycles.

Synergetic Activities

  • AGU 2011 session Co-Chair B31: Exchange Dynamics of Volatile Organic Compounds between Plant Ecosystems and the Atmosphere (San Francisco, CA). 
  • MC2 (Cleveland, OH) and GEAR UP (Tucson) minority high school student lecturer and research mentor 2010-2011.
  • Amazon-PIRE program: field course instructor and graduate student research mentor, ZF2 field site and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil (5 months, 2010).
  • Research Mentor for MC2 High School, a science and engineering alternative school in Ohio (2010-2011). High school teacher science curriculum educator for the Arizona STEM program (2010-2011).
  • Reviewer for Analytical Chemistry, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Biogeosciences, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Global Change Biology, Atmospheric Environment, Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Collaborators and Coeditors

  • Leif Abrell, University of Arizona
  • Almut Arneth, Lund University
  • Paulo Artaxo, University of Sao Paulo
  • Louisa Emmons, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Silvano Fares, University of California, Berkeley
  • Alex Guenther, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Allen Goldstein, University of California, Berkeley
  • Peter Harley, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Travis Huxman, University of Arizona
  • Thomas Karl, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Jurgen Kesselmeier, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
  • Shirley Kurk, University of Arizona
  • Francesco Loreto, Institute for Plant Protection
  • Russell Monson, University of Arizona
  • Scott Saleska, University of Arizona
  • Evan Sommer, Peace Corps
  • Andrew Turnipseed, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Francoise Yoko Ishida, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia