Dr. Marisa Repasch


Dr. Marisa Repasch



Assistant Professor



Earth and Planetary Sciences


Describe your research in about 200 words.

My research focuses on understanding the role of Earth surface processes, such as erosion, sediment transport, and weathering, in the global carbon cycle. Climate change and human-driven land disturbance can accelerate erosion, destabilizing soils that store vast amounts of carbon. Mass movements and other erosion processes transfer carbon from soils to rivers. Whether that carbon is efficiently transported to the oceans (where it can be buried) or oxidized in the river system (releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere) determines the net effect of erosion and sediment transport on the global carbon cycle. My primary research goal is to quantify the rates of these physical processes and determine the reactivity of organic carbon upon mobilization and downstream transport. Linking these two processes will allow us to understand the impact of climate change and human-driven land disturbance on the global carbon cycle, and improve models of the carbon-climate feedback.


What’s the most interesting thing you have learned from a student?

During hibernation, Arctic ground squirrels go into a state of ‘torpor,” where they allow their body temperatures to drop below freezing for weeks at a time. After learning this, I gained much more respect for those small creatures!