Ezra Zimble ’22



Project Title

Examining Biological Nitrogen Fixation Rates in New Jersey Forest Samples*

I studied nitrogen fixation in New Jersey forests as an extension of research conducted in Canada by my supervisor, Romain Darnajoux. We applied his work in boreal forests to New Jersey’s temperate forests by investigating whether nitrogen-fixing bacteria were present and, if so, the conditions that favor nitrogen fixation. My jobs included collecting samples such as mosses, tree bark and soil, then analyzing them in the lab. Over the course of the internship, I gained proficiency in using lab equipment such as gas chromatography and learned about the safe handling of chemicals. Additionally, my supervisor and I discussed experimental design at length before our weekly experiments and proper data analysis afterward. I plan to incorporate the sensitivity to detail in experiment design and analysis I learned to my future research at Princeton.

* This internship is connected to the PEI Climate and Energy Grand Challenges project, “Controls on Alternative N2 Fixation.”

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate Change and Environmental Science


Zhang Lab, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Xinning Zhang, Assistant Professor of Geosciences and the Princeton Environmental Institute; Romain Darnajoux, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Geosciences