Saturday, May 07, 2011

Brummell and Siciliano 2011

Martin E. Brummell and Steven D. Siciliano, Measurement of Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, and Water Potential in Soil Ecosystems. In Martin G. Klotz and Lisa Y. Stein, editors: Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 496, Burlington: Academic Press, 2011, pp. 115-137.

Thursday morning I recieved an email from Elsevier, providing a link to the PDF version of the book chapter / journal article in the soon-to-be-printed volume 496 of Methods in Enzymology. This brings my lifetime total of published scientific articles to two.

Methods in Enzymology is a slightly odd journal, and to me appears to lie about halfway between a typical scientific journal and a book composed of chapters written by various authors but with an editor (or multiple editors) who is / are also authors or co-authors of one or more chapters; I refer to books like that as "edited volumes". Certainly our work was subject to peer-review, just as with a normal scientific journal. Our article is chapter 5 of this book, which is itself volume 496 of the journal. The editor of each volume is different, though there are people at Elsevier (the publisher, Academic Press is some level of organization within Elsevier, I think) responsible for some editing functions; typsetting and such was handled by Elsevier, but the editors of this volume made decisions about the peer-review process.

The copyright agreement we signed with Elsevier means I'm not allowed to simply post the PDF on a publicly-accessible website, but I'm allowed to email it to people who ask for it.

Here's the abstract, which I'm sure will convince most people reading this of just how boring a person I really am, fun pictures of flat places notwithstanding.
New technologies in trace gas detection are revolutionizing our ability to study soil microbiological ecosystems. Field-deployable infrared-spectroscopy detectors capable of rapidly measuring multiple analyte gases simultaneously allow estimates of soil:atmosphere gas exchange and below-ground gas concentrations, and production dynamics across divergent ecosystems, creating opportunities to study interactions between microorganisms, soils, atmospheres, and global cycling, as well as interactions between different gases. The greenhouse gases CO2, CH4, and N2O can be measured in the field and compared to each other to uncover links between the biochemical pathways responsible for the production and consumption of these gases. We have developed techniques using a nondestructive, Fourier-transform infrared detector under remote field conditions in three campaigns in the Canadian High Arctic to measure highly variable gas processes in soils.


Kitty Hannah said...

Boring? No, why do you say that?! Since when does devoting oneself to one particular field of study make one boring, pray tell? To hell with the narrow-minded idiots who don't get that kind of commitment... No need to belittle yourself! Let's rephrase, shall we? Boring, no. Expert in the making? Yes.

I must confess that the text is almost unfathomable to anyone outside your field though. And I find this weirdly fascinating. My daily life is devoted to using English as simple as possible so it can be understood by all. On rare occasions, I have had to give the plain English treatment to a couple of scientific abstracts so I could use them. It was an interesting challenge.

As you have probably guessed by now, I am not a scientist...

Necator said...

Ok, so here I thought you were a biologist!

But seriously, I always had this perverse desire to publish in Methods in Enzymology. There is something to be said about the green bound volumes that speaks to the inner 50's sci-fi nerd in all of us. That, and it sounds impressive when you tell someone (especially the lay-person) that you published in Methods in Enzymology, especially if you have a sport coat on and a pipe!

TheBrummell said...

Those are very good points, Necator. I'm going to have to get me a pipe and tweed jacket (with leather elbow patches). I think my beard is a step in the right direction for that academic-egghead look.

Also, at the conference I'm going to soon they will be giving away a copy of the volume of Methods in Enzymology that my paper is in (i.e., volume 496). This is a prize for the best student presentation, I think. Elsevier will also be there selling it. Owning one of those nice green-bound volumes would be spiffy.

I still consider myself a biologist, I just spend my time working with a bunch of chemists, geologists, and physicists. Every once in a while I get to pontificate about genetics to an audience* of argonomists, too.

* i.e., my office mate Brett, who is well practiced at ignoring my blathering.

Anonymous said...

Martin, I'm not sure if you check this often enough to catch my comment...but I'm very curious to get your thoughts on the mobile-FTIR you used in the study. My research group is preparing to purchase a very similar analyzer and I would love to get your feedback regarding the analyzer. Cheers!

TheBrummell said...

Hello Anonymous,
Please send me an email! I'm happy to discuss my work, including my work with our FTIR system.
The short answer is: it's a good system, it serves our purposes well, but there are some fiddly little details for data collection and processing that take some time to figure out.

Anonymous said...

Message sent to your msn email. I appreciate your time, Martin!