Benton Taylor
Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum
Ecology & Biodiversity Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Outside professional activities


Terrestrial ecosystems have a massive capacity to capture carbon and mitigate anthropogenic global change. However, the build-up of plant and soil carbon pools depends heavily on the ability of plants and their below-ground symbionts to acquire soil resources to match demands set by their environment. Despite the importance of these below-ground dynamics, how plants adjust their resource-acquisition strategies under changing environmental conditions is not well understood. Will plants be able to adjust their strategies to access additional resources and increase carbon capture under future climate conditions? Our research focuses on how terrestrial ecosystems respond to various global change drivers such as rising CO2, nutrient pollution, human land use, and extreme weather events, and how these ecosystem responses, in turn, influence the trajectory of global change. Our work spans from tropical rainforests to the tundra and encompasses scales from physiology to ecosystems. The influence of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing plants on ecosystem dynamics, the below-ground responses of trees to elevated CO2, and the processes that drive soil carbon storage are particular foci of our work. We combine field and greenhouse experimental manipulations, large-scale observational studies, and global data analyses to illuminate the web of interactions between human activity, terrestrial ecosystem processes, and global change.

Outside professional activities

Outside Professional Activities

In the spirit of transparency and integrity, Salata Institute Faculty Associates disclose publicly their key professional activities outside of Harvard University. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some of the activities may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Benton Taylor
American Society of Naturalists
Prizes or Awards
Diversity Journal - MDPI
Prizes or Awards

The Salata institute

The Salata Institute supports interdisciplinary research that leads to real-world action, including high-risk/high-reward projects by researchers already working in the climate area and new endeavors that make it easier for Harvard scholars, who have not worked on climate problems, to do so.