Richard J Norby

Research Fellow Emeritus

Richard J. Norby is an ecosystem ecologist with over 40 years’ experience investigating ecosystem responses to atmospheric and climatic change. He retired from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April, 2020, as a Corporate Research Fellow (currently Research Fellow Emeritus), but he continues research activities through associations with the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Birmingham (UK). He also is an editor of New Phytologist and a trustee of the New Phytologist Foundation. Norby has enjoyed conducting field research in diverse ecosystems including temperate forests, tropical forests, the arctic tundra, and a boreal bog. Much of his research has focused on the responses of forests to elevated CO2, starting with growth chamber experiments in the 1980s, open-top field experiments in the 1990s, and a FACE experiment from 1997 to 2010. Now he enjoys collaborating with other FACE experiments, including BIFoR FACE at the University of Birmingham and developing the AmazonFACE experiment in Brazil. Providing relevant field data to inform ecosystem models is an important priority, such as through the FACE Model-Data Synthesis project and field work through the NGEE-Tropics program to assemble data and insights into the interface between roots and soil important for phosphorus acquisition by tropical trees. 


Distinguished Career Service Award, U.S. Department of Energy, 2020
Highly Cited Researcher, Clarivate Analytics, 2018-2021
Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2017
Fellow, Ecological Society of America, 2016
Significant Event Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2015
Outstanding Mentor Award, U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science, 2007
UT-Battelle Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Science and Technology, 2004
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995
Scientific Achievement Award, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1992
Society of Technical Communications, Award of Merit for Technical Publication, 1989 and 1998;
Award of Distinguished Technical Communication and Best of Show – Print, 2014
E. B. Fred Fellow, University of Wisconsin Madison, 1977
Westinghouse Science Talent Search semi finalist, 1968
Sigma Xi
Xi Sigma Pi