Dr. Sulman uses biogeochemical modeling and analysis of large environmental data sets to study how plants, microbes, and soils interact with their environment to control carbon, nutrient, and water cycling in ecosystems and the atmosphere. His primary research tools are computer models of biogeochemical cycling. He has developed models of microbial decomposition and the role of fungal symbioses in plant nutrient uptake, and applied these models from ecosystem to global scales. He is particularly interested in using models to scale biological and chemical processes from the microscale of soils to the macroscale of ecosystem, continental, and global simulations.
Dr. Sulman was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Award in 2020 to integrate coastal wetland processes into the E3SM Land Model. Through this project, he is leading efforts to connect simulations of redox chemistry, tidal hydrology, and coastal wetland plant functional types such as salt marsh grasses and mangroves into land model simulations at ecosystem to continental scales. He is also working as part of the NGEE Arctic project to improve model simulations of arctic vegetation types and soil biogeochemistry such as carbon-iron cycle interactions.
Dr. Sulman received his Ph.D in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012, and conducted postdoctoral work at Princeton University and Indiana University.