Matt Krna

Matthew Krna
Biological Sciences Graduate Alumnus
Currently: PhD Candidate, Ecology Group
Institute of Agriculture and Environment
Massey University, New Zealand


I received a 3-year PhD fellowship from the Miss E. L. Hellaby Indigenous Grassland Research Trust to investigate carbon (C) sequestration in New Zealand’s tussock grasslands and I’m currently in the final stages of completing my PhD research in ecology at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. My research here focuses on alterations in productivity and decomposition of Chionochloa species (tussock grasses) across altitudinal and latitudinal gradients, and how alterations in climate across these gradients can influence C and nutrient cycling and ultimately C sequestration. C sequestration is one of the most important concepts in studies of climate change today, as it is the only natural process by which removal of anthropogenic additions to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and subsequent climate change may be reduced. My Master’s research (focusing on Antarctic plant ecophysiology) at Minnesota State University - Mankato, under Prof. Christopher Ruhland in the Department of Biological Sciences, provided me the background education, publication writing skills as well as the field and laboratory experiences needed to excel in my PhD. I have utilized and applied these skills, experiences and knowledge throughout my research in New Zealand’s tussock grasslands. As my PhD in New Zealand comes to an end, I’m currently looking into postdoc positions as well as employment opportunities in the field of terrestrial plant and ecosystem responses to climate change.