My main interests lie within anthropogenic climate change, environmental science, and agriculture. The complex system dynamics and interconnections between agriculture and the environment including nutrient cycling, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions are a few of the most critical challenges for today's soil scientists. After completing a master’s degree in Sustainability Science and Environmental Studies at Lund University in Sweden, researching farmer adoption of practices which mitigate GHGs from arable soils in the Netherlands at Wageningen University, I started a PhD in Earth System Science at Stanford University, aiming to focus on soil and environmental biogeochemistry. In parallel to my work in academia, I have been working on a start-up to address food waste and food insecurity in CA (Ugly Food Market), in addition to being a team member on several projects including a sharing library (Circle Centre), a soil science educational platform (Soil Life), and other sustainability related initiatives.

Honors & Awards

  • Fellowship Recipient, EDGE, Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Doctoral Program (2020)

All Publications

  • Microbial Proxies for Anoxic Microsites Vary with Management and Partially Explain Soil Carbon Concentration. Environmental science & technology Lacroix, E. M., Gomes, A., Heitmann, G. B., Schuler, D., Dekas, A. E., Liptzin, D., Aberle, E., Watts, D. B., Nelson, K. A., Culman, S., Fendorf, S. 2024


    Anoxic microsites are potentially important but unresolved contributors to soil organic carbon (C) storage. How anoxic microsites vary with soil management and the degree to which anoxic microsites contribute to soil C stabilization remain unknown. Sampling from four long-term agricultural experiments in the central United States, we examined how anoxic microsites varied with management (e.g., cultivation, tillage, and manure amendments) and whether anoxic microsites determine soil C concentration in surface (0-15 cm) soils. We used a novel approach to track anaerobe habitat space and, hence, anoxic microsites using DNA copies of anaerobic functional genes over a confined volume of soil. No-till practices inconsistently increased anoxic microsite extent compared to conventionally tilled soils, and within one site organic matter amendments increased anaerobe abundance in no-till soils. Across all long-term tillage trials, uncultivated soils had ∼2-4 times more copies of anaerobic functional genes than their cropland counterparts. Finally, anaerobe abundance was positively correlated to soil C concentration. Even when accounting for other soil C protection mechanisms, anaerobe abundance, our proxy for anoxic microsites, explained 41% of the variance and 5% of the unique variance in soil C concentration in cropland soils, making anoxic microsites the strongest management-responsive predictor of soil C concentration. Our results suggest that careful management of anoxic microsites may be a promising strategy to increase soil C storage within agricultural soils.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.4c01882

    View details for PubMedID 38875507

  • Long-term reduced tillage and winter cover crops can improve soil quality without moisture CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE Gomes, A., DeVincentis, A. J., Solis, S., Zaccaria, D., Munk, D., Bali, K., Shrestha, A., Gould, K., Mitchell, J. 2023; 77 (1): 4-14
  • Contributions of anoxic microsites to soil carbon protection across soil textures GEODERMA Lacroix, E. M., Mendillo, J., Gomes, A., Dekas, A., Fendorf, S. 2022; 425
  • Impacts of winter cover cropping on soil moisture and evapotranspiration in California's specialty crop fields may be minimal during winter months Results from a 3-year study suggest that processing tomato and almond growers can adopt winter cover cropping without changing irrigation practices CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE DeVincentis, A., Solis, S., Rice, S., Zaccaria, D., Snyder, R., Maskey, M., Gomes, A., Gaudin, A., Mitchell, J. 2022; 76 (1): 37-45
  • Time to Transition: Barriers and Opportunities to Farmer Adoption of Soil GHG Mitigation Practices in Dutch Agriculture FRONTIERS IN SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS Gomes, A., Reidsma, P. 2021; 5