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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Christine Goodale


Hylodes phyllodes, a stream-breeding frog from Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil


Biology of Fishes class collecting at Oneida Lake


An Acacia tree backlit by the African sunset


Pisaster ochraceus in the intertidal


Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, growing in Ithaca

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Goodale, Christine

Associate Professor

Christine Goodaleemail:
phone: 607-254-4211
room: E215 Corson Hall


Lab Website


B.A. 1992, Dartmouth College

M.S. 1995, University of New Hampshire

Ph.D. 1999, University of New Hampshire

Postdoctoral Fellow 1999-2001, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford

Postdoctoral Scientist 2001-2003, The Woods Hole Research Center

Graduate Fields:

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Other Cornell Affiliations:

Science of Natural & Environmental Systems (SNES) undergraduate major

IGERT in Cross-Scale Biogeochemistry & Climate (CSBC)

Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) Faculty Fellow


Acid deposition, biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, climate change, ecosystem ecology, forest ecosystems, land-use change, nitrogen retention, watersheds

Research Focus

My research centers on understanding the effects of human activities on forest ecosystems, as well as the role of forests in sustaining clean water and regulating atmospheric greenhouse gases. I study processes that affect forest cycling and storage of carbon and nitrogen, focusing on how these cycles interact and respond to human-driven changes in climate, land use, and atmospheric chemistry, with particular emphasis on the response of ecosystems to atmospheric deposition of N from air pollution. Nitrogen emitted through fossil fuel combustion and agricultural activities eventually deposits onto downwind ecosystems: much of the work in my lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which ecosystems retain or remove these elevated N inputs, and the consequences of these N inputs on ecosystem processes. These consequences include acidification of soils and streams, shifts in species composition, changes in the rates of growth and decomposition, and production of smog and multiple greenhouse gases that have large effects on future climate. Working with a range of collaborators, my lab group uses a range of tools to address many of these processes, at scales ranging from microbial decomposition in soil cores, to plot-scale measurements of isotopic tracers, to whole-catchment recovery from acid rain, to modeled dynamics of N effects on regional carbon storage and the earth climate system.

Recent Courses Taught

  • BioEE 1610 Ecology and the Environment
  • BioEE 4780 Ecosystem Biology
  • BioEE 6680 Principles of Biogeochemistry

Selected Publications

Goodale, C. L., N. B. Dise, and M. A. Sutton. 2011. Introduction: Special issue on nitrogen deposition, critical loads and biodiversity.  Environmental Pollution 159:2211-2213.

Curtis, C. J., C. D. Evans, C. L. Goodale, and T. H. E. Heaton. 2011. What have stable isotope studies revealed about the nature and mechanisms of N saturation and nitrate leaching from semi-natural catchments?  Ecosystems, DOI: 10.1007/s10021-011-9461-7.

Lovett, G. M. and C. L. Goodale. 2011. A new conceptual model of nitrogen saturation based on experimental nitrogen addition to an oak forest.  Ecosystems 14:615-631.

Rau, B. M., A. M. Melvin, D. W. Johnson, C. L. Goodale, R. R. Blank, G. Fredriksen, W. W. Miller, J. D. Murphy, D. E. Todd, Jr., and R. F. Walter. 2011. Revisiting soil carbon and nitrogen sampling: quantitative pits versus rotary cores.  Soil Science 176:273-279.

Thomas, R. Q., C. D. Canham, K. C. Weathers, and C. L. Goodale. 2010. Increased tree carbon storage in response to nitrogen deposition in the US.  Nature Geosciences 3:13-17.

Goodale, C. L., S. A. Thomas, G. Fredriksen, E. M. Elliott, T. J. Butler, K. M. Flinn, and M. T. Walter. 2009. Unusual seasonal patterns and inferred processes of nitrogen retention in forested headwaters of the Upper Susquehanna River.  Biogeochemistry 93:197-219. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-009-9298-8.

Goodale, C. L., J. D. Aber, P. M. Vitousek, and W. H. McDowell. 2005. Long-term decreases in stream nitrate: successional causes unlikely; possible links to DOC?  Ecosystems 8:334-337.

Goodale, C. L., M. J. Apps, R. A. Birdsey, C. B. Field, L. S. Heath, R. A. Houghton, J. C. Jenkins, G. H. Kohlmaier, W. A. Kurz, S. Liu, G-J. Nabuurs, S. Nilsson, and A. Z. Shvidenko. 2002. Forest carbon sinks in the Northern Hemisphere.  Ecological Applications 12(3):891-899.

Pacala, S. W., G. C. Hurtt, D. Baker, P. Peylin, R. A. Houghton, R. A. Birdsey, L. Heath, E. T. Sundquist, R. F. Stallard, P. Ciais, P. Moorcroft, J. P. Caspersen, E. Shevliakova, B. Moore, G. Kohlmaier, E. Holland, M. Gloor, M. E. Harmon, S-M. Fan, J. L. Sarmiento, C. L. Goodale, D. Schimel, and C. B. Field. 2001. Consistent land- and atmosphere-based U. S. carbon sink estimates.  Science 292:2316-2320.

Schimel, D. S., J. I. House, K. A. Hibbard, P. Bousquet, P. Ciais, P. Peylin, R. H. Brasswell, M. J. Apps, D. Baker, A. Bondeau, J. Canadell, G. Churkina, W. Cramer, S. Denning, C. B. Field, P. Friedlingstein, C. L. Goodale, M. Heimann, R. A. Houghton, J. M. Melillo, B. Moore, III, D. Murdiyarso, I. Noble, S. W. Pacala, I. C. Prentice, M. R. Raupach, P. J. Rayner, R. J. Scholes, W. L. Steffen, and C. Wirth. 2001. Recent patterns and mechanisms of carbon exchange by terrestrial ecosystem.  Nature 414:169-172.