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Komatsu, Kimberly

Former Senior Scientist

Dr. Kimberly Komatsu is a global change ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. She has studied grasslands around the world, and her primary research sites are scattered across the beautiful North American Great Plains—from the tallgrass prairies of Kansas, to the mixed-grass prairies of Montana and Wyoming, to the shortgrass steppe of Colorado. In addition, Kim also works in agricultural soybean fields across the state of Maryland. Across these diverse natural and working landscapes, Kim investigates how communities of plant, insect, and bacterial species interact and the consequences of nutrient pollution, climate change, and increased atmospheric CO2 for the important ecosystem services that these systems provide to humans.


Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training

Professional Biography

  • Kim is a conservation ecologist with a research focus on community and ecosystem responses to global change drivers. She received her BS from University of California, Irvine and went on to complete her PhD at Yale University, where she studied the roles of nutrient availability, climate, and herbivory in driving grassland community composition and ecosystem function. Kim spent a postdoc at University of California, Berkeley, studying how mutualistic interactions are impacted by global change drivers in the legume-rhizobia system. In 2017, Kim started as a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, MD. Her research at SERC builds upon her history of examining the effects of human activities on the environment in natural and agricultural systems.

Research And Grants


Selected Publications

Editor Of