Better Living Through Biogeochemistry

filley research group

At The University of Oklahoma

About us

Welcome to the Filley Biogeochemistry Research Group at the University of Oklahoma!  Our group studies the processes controlling soil-plant-microbe-climate interactions within both natural and managed ecosystems. A primary goal of this work is to develop a better understanding of society’s vulnerability to climate and land use change, and the potential risks from emerging pollutants. Much of our group’s current research is focused on how soil properties mitigate or amplify sudden and sustained perturbations to ecosystems (e.g., climate change, fire, agriculture, invasive plant and insect species, and erosion) resulting in enhanced sequestration or release of carbon and nitrogen from soils.

focus areas

carbon management

Natural carbon solutions for enhanced CO2 removal.

pyrogenic organic matter

The role of fire in forest and grassland soil carbon dynamics.

biological invasion

Ecosystem disturbance brought about by biological invasion.

Critical zone science

Soil organic matter dynamics in intensively managed landscapes.

Meet Tim

Tim Filley is the executive director of the Institute for Resilient Environmental and Energy Systems (IREES) and professor in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and the School of Geosciences at the University of Oklahoma (OU). The inaugural director of IREES, Filley joined OU in 2021 to support the University’s bold new strategic plan and the strategic research vertical of energy, environment, and sustainability. In this role he facilitates development of inclusive, equitable, and resilient solutions to critical sustainability challenges through convergent research, interdisciplinary education, and transformative partnerships. 

Building on a long history of leadership and demonstrated success in global engagement, in 2022 Filley established the Latin America Sustainability Initiative within IREES to catalyze, support and scale collaborations with partners in Latin America focused on addressing complex environmental, human health, and societal challenges across the hemisphere. In 2023, Filley developed and directs the OU Stable Isotope Measurement facility, a core analytical facility within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships.