Assistant Professor, Soil biogeochemistry, ecology, microbiology and sustainability; UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science, 1525 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA
Program Affiliations: Department of Soil Science
- BS Biology, 2005, Fairfield University
- PhD Ecology and Evolution, 2012, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University
- Postdoctoral Researcher, 2012-2016, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan
Teaching and Research Overview: The Freedman Lab investigates soil microbial communities and how the critical ecosystem functions they mediate can be altered by environmental change in natural and managed ecosystems. Our research spans the fields of ecology, environmental science, microbiology and soil science and employs both classical and state-of-the-art techniques.
I team-teach Soil Biology (SOIL SCI 323) in the fall – a course that covers broad topics like plant-microbe interactions, the role of microorganisms in soil nutrient cycling and pathogenic organisms, as well as their connection with plant, soil and human health. Case studies will also be discussed that connect the role of soil biology as it relates to food production systems, soil and water quality and climate change.
Awards and Honors: 2020: Junior Faculty Award, Gamma Sigma Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture (West Virginia Chapter); 2019: Excellence in Teaching, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University; 2011: Excellence in Graduate Studies Award, Theobald Smith Society, the NJ Branch of the American Society for Microbiology; 2010: Outstanding Oral Presentation, Theobald Smith Society, the NJ Branch of The American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting; 2010: Academic Excellence Award, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University; 2008: Robert A. and Eileen S. Robison Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University; 2007: Karl C. Ivarson Award, Rutgers University
Kane, J., E.M. Morrissey, J. Skousen, and Z.B. Freedman. 2020. Soil microbial succession following surface mining is governed primarily by deterministic factors. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiaa114.
Zak, D.R., W.A. Argiroff, Z.B. Freedman, R.A. Upchurch, and K.J. Romanowicz. 2019. Anthropogenic N deposition, fungal gene expression, and an increasing soil carbon sink in the northern hemisphere. Ecology 100(10):e02804.
Landesman, B., Z.B. Freedman, and D. Nelson. 2019. Seasonal, sub-seasonal and diurnal variation of soil bacterial community composition in a temperate deciduous forest. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 95(2):fiz002.
Entwistle, E.M., K.J. Romanowicz, W.A. Argiroff, Z.B. Freedman, J.J. Morris, and D.R. Zak. 2018. Anthropogenic N deposition alters the composition of expressed class II fungal peroxidases. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 84(9):e02816-17.
Cline, L.C., D.R. Zak, R.A. Upchurch, Z.B. Freedman, and A.R. Peschel. 2017. Soil microbial communities and elk migratory behavior: implications for soil biogeochemical cycling in the sagebrush steppe. Ecol. Letters 20(2):202–211.
Zak, D.R., Z.B. Freedman, R.A. Upchurch, M. Steffens, and I. Kögel-Knabner. 2017. Anthropogenic N deposition increases soil organic matter accumulation without altering its biochemical composition. Global Change Biol. 23(2):933–944.
Freedman, Z.B., R.A. Upchurch, and D.R. Zak. 2016. Microbial potential for ecosystem N loss is increased by experimental N deposition. PLoS ONE 11(10), e0164531.
Freedman, Z.B., R.A. Upchurch, D.R. Zak, and L.C. Cline. 2016. Anthropogenic N deposition slows decay by favoring bacterial metabolism: Insights from metagenomic analyses. Frontiers in Microbiol. 7:259.
Freedman, Z.B., and D.R. Zak. 2015. Atmospheric N deposition alters connectance, but not functional potential among saprotrophic bacterial communities. Molecular Ecol. 24:3170–3180.
Freedman, Z.B., R.A. Upchurch, K.J. Romanowicz, and D.R. Zak. 2015. Differential responses of total and active soil microbial communities to future rates of atmospheric N deposition. Soil Biol. Biochem. 90:275–282.
Freedman, Z.B., and D.R. Zak. 2015. Soil bacterial communities are shaped by dispersal limitation and environmental filtering: evidence from a long-term chronosequence. Environ. Microbiol. 17:3208–3218.
Peschel, A., D.R. Zak, L.C. Cline, and Z.B. Freedman. 2015. Elk, sagebrush, and saprotrophs: indirect top-down control on microbial community composition and function. Ecology 96: 2383–2393.
Freedman, Z.B., and D.R. Zak. 2014. Atmospheric N deposition increases bacterial laccase-like multicopper oxidases: implications for organic matter decay. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80: 4460–4468. *Selected for Editor’s Spotlight.
Eisenlord, S.D., Z.B. Freedman, D.R. Zak. K. Xue, X. He, and J. Zhou. 2013. Microbial mechanisms mediating increased soil C storage under elevated atmospheric N deposition. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79:1191–1182.
Freedman, Z.B., S.D. Eisenlord, D.R. Zak, K. Xue, X. He, and J. Zhou. 2013. Towards a molecular understanding of N cycling in northern hardwood forests under future rates of N deposition. Soil Biol. Biochem. 66:130–138.