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David Wolfe

David Wolfe


117 Plant Science
(607) 255-7888

Dr. David Wolfe is Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology in the School of Integrative Plant Science (Horticulture Section) at Cornell University. Primary research interests and expertise include: soil and water conservation and management; plant stress physiology; and new tools for climate change adaptation and mitigation for managed and natural ecosystems.

Research Focus

Wolfe currently leads a USDA project focused on new tools for carbon, nitrogen, and greenhouse gas accounting and management in agroecosystems, and a New York State-funded Soil Health Initiative. Other activities include soil conservation and food security projects in East Africa.

Outreach and Extension Focus

In addition to peer-reviewed research publications, science communication and outreach efforts include: formal Extension programming; writing commentary and research summaries for the popular press; news media interviews; and briefings and research summaries for policy-makers. He co-authored the 2008 and 2014 National Climate Assessments sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and was lead author of both the Ecosystems and Agriculture chapters of the 2011 New York State “ClimAID” report. He is also author of the award-winning popular science book on soil ecology, Tales From the Underground: A Natural History of Subterranean Life. He is on the Corporation of the Board for the New York Botanical Garden, and at Cornell serves on the Advisory Boards for the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and Cornell’s Institute for Climate Smart Solutions.

Teaching Focus

Current teaching responsibilities include: graduate and undergraduate student advising; serving on the curriculum committee for the Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (ESS) major and for the Climate Change minor; and teaching “Climate Change and the Future of Food” (PLHRT3600).

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Kolech , S. A., Halseth, D. E., Perry, K. L., Wolfe, D. W., Douches, D., Coombs, J., & De Jong, W. S. (2016). Genetic diversity and relationship of Ethiopian potato varieties to germplasm from North America, Europe, and the International Potato Center. American Journal of Potato Research. 609-619.
  • Sherpa, S., Wolfe, D. W., & van Es, H. (2016). Sampling and data analysis optimization for estimating soil organic carbon stocks in agroecosystems. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 1377-1392.
  • Beem-Miller, J., Kong, A., Ogle, S., & Wolfe, D. W. (2016). Sampling for soil carbon stock assessment in rocky agricultural soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 80:1411-1423.
  • Wang, J., Wang, C., Xiong, Z., Wolfe, D. W., & Zou, J. (2015). Response of rice to elevated CO2 and it interaction with rising temperatures or nitrogen supply: a meta-analysis. Climatic Change. 130:529-543.
  • Hatfield, J. L., Boote, K. J., Kimball, B. A., Izaurralde, R. C., Ort, D., Thomson, A., & Wolfe, D. W. (2011). Climate impacts on agriculture: implications for crop production. Agronomy Journal. 103:351-370.
  • Lewis, D., Bell, S., Fay, J., Bothi, K., Gatere, L., Kabila, M., Mukamba, M., Matokwani, E., Mushimbalume, M., Moraru, C. I., Lehmann, J., Lassoie, J., Wolfe, D. W., Lee, D. R., Buck, L. E., & Travis, A. (2011). Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 108:13957-13962.
  • Dietzel, R., Wolfe, D. W., & Thies, J. E. (2011). The influence of winter soil cover on spring nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 43:1989-1991.
  • Wolfe, D. W., Ziska, L., Petzoldt, C. H., Seaman, A. J., Chase, L. E., & Hayhoe, k. (2008). Projected change in climate thresholds in the Northeastern US:implications for crops, pests, livestock, and farmers. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 13:555-557.

Book Chapters

  • Wolfe, D. W. (2013). Contributions to Climate Change Solutions from the Agronomy Perspective. Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems: Global and Regional Aspects and Implications. Hillel D, C Rosenzweig (ed.), Imperial College Press (World Scientific Pub distributor), London.
  • Wolfe, D. W. (2011). Gardening sustainably with a changing climate. p. 125-140 The New American Landscape Christopher T (ed.), Timber Press, Portland, OR.