Skip to main content

Freedman, Zachary

Assistant Professor of Environmental Microbiology

Zachary Freedman received a B.S. in Biology from Fairfield University in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University in 2012. From 2012-2016, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Dr. Donald Zak in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. Dr. Freedman joined the faculty at West Virginia University in July 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Microbiology in the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences. The Freedman Lab conducts research to unravel the biological, chemical, and physical mechanisms that govern the composition of microbial communities as well as their ecosystem function. They primarily study the impact of environmental change on microorganisms that are associated with the cycling and storage of elements that are critical to life on Earth (including carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous). The lab employs classical field- and lab-based methods, as well as state-of-the-art DNA sequencing and computational bioinformatics. 

Select Publications

  1. 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 Microbiology. 7: 259.
  2. 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.
  3. Zak, D. R., Z. B. Freedman, R. A. Upchurch, M. Steffens, and I. Kögel-Knabner. (2016) Anthropogenic N deposition increases soil organic matter accumulation without altering its biochemical composition. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13480
  4. Romanowicz, K. J., Z. B. Freedman, R. A. Upchurch, W. A. Argiroff, and D. R. Zak. (2016) Active microorganisms in forest soils differ from the total community yet are shaped by the same environmental factors: the influence of pH and soil moisture. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 92: w149
  5. 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 Biology and Biochemistry. 90: 275-282.
  6. 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. Environmental Microbiology. 17: 3208-3218.
Download CV