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About Me

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia - Odum School of Ecology. My research interests include forest biogeochemistry, plant ecophysiology and plant-soil interactions. My dissertation work has focused on the ecology of nitrogen-fixing plants and their role in driving forest nitrogen cycling and productivity. 

I am also interested in using geospatial analysis and machine learning techniques to answer broad-scale ecological questions. Ecology is an ideal field for machine learning because ecological processes vary over time and space (often non-linearly), are scale-dependent and are usually determined by interactions between many correlated variables. Machine learning algorithms give us the flexibility to learn these complex model structures from our data while making relatively few assumptions. 

My hobbies include hiking, running, cycling, gardening, disc golf and adventures with my awesome dog Mumpo and my wife Erin. 

 

Areas of expertise

  • Forest nitrogen cycling and the ecology of N-fixing plants
  • Plant ecophysiology and drought response strategies 
  • Soil C dynamics, mycorrhizal interactions, and extracellular enzyme kinetics
  • Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope analysis
  • Statistical modeling and machine learning:
    • Mixed-effects models, logistic regression
    • Geospatial models and GIS
    • Ensemble models (random forest, gradient boosted CART and GAMs)
    • Rare event modeling
  • Programming in R, Python, SQL, C++ and Java

 

Publications

Jeffrey M. Minucci, Chelcy Ford Miniat, R.O. Teskey, and Nina Wurzburger. Tolerance or avoidance: drought frequency determines the response of an N2-fixing tree. New Phytologist 215:434–442. doi:10.1111/nph.14558.

Megan B. Machmuller, Jacqueline E. Mohan, Jeffrey M. Minucci, Carly A. Phillips and Nina Wurzburger. 2016. Season, but not experimental warming, affects the activity and temperature sensitivity of extracellular enzymes. Biogeochemistry 131:255-265.

Jeffrey M. Minucci, Chelcy Ford Miniat and Nina Wurzburger. Drought sensitivity of N2-fixing trees may inhibit forest recovery from disturbance. In prep.

Jeffrey M. Minucci, J.P. Schmidt and Nina Wurzburger. Temperature sensitivity may drive northward migration of a key N2-fixing tree. In prep.

Megan B Machmuller., Carly A. Phillips, Jeffrey M. Minucci, Jacqueline E. Mohan, Nina Wurzburger. The effect of experimental warming across a latitudinal gradient on the temperature sensitivity of extracellular enzymes involved in soil organic matter decomposition. In prep.