Ruth Varner

Director, Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science and Engineering Education
Director, Earth System Research Center, EOS
Phone: (603) 862-0853
Office: Earth Systems Research Center, Morse Hall Rm 450, Durham, NH 03824
A headshot of Ruth Varner, director for the Earth Systems Research Center.

Ruth Varner is an Associate Professor in the Earth Systems Research Center of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and in the Department of Earth Sciences. She is also the Director of the Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education at the University of New Hampshire.


  • Ph.D., Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire
  • Ph.D., Geochemistry, University of New Hampshire
  • M.S., Hydrology&Water Resources Sci., University of New Hampshire
  • B.A., Geology/Earth Science, Hartwick College

Courses Taught

  • ESCI 534: Techniques Environmental Sci
  • ESCI 642: Biogeosci Earth System
  • ESCI 747/847: Aqueous Geochemistry
  • INCO 790: Adv Rsrch Exp/Earth Sciences

Selected Publications

Burke, S. A., Wik, M., Lang, A., Contosta, A. R., Palace, M., Crill, P. M., & Varner, R. K. (2019). Long‐Term Measurements of Methane Ebullition From Thaw Ponds. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124(7), 2208-2221. doi:10.1029/2018jg004786

Wik, M., Johnson, J. E., Crill, P. M., DeStasio, J. P., Erickson, L., Halloran, M. J., . . . Varner, R. K. (2018). Sediment Characteristics and Methane Ebullition in Three Subarctic Lakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123(8), 2399-2411. doi:10.1029/2017jg004298

Deng, J., McCalley, C. K., Frolking, S., Chanton, J., Crill, P., Varner, R., . . . Li, C. (2017). Adding stable carbon isotopes improves model representation of the role of microbial communities in peatland methane cycling. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 9(2), 1412-1430. doi:10.1002/2016ms000817

Contosta, A. R., Burakowski, E. A., Varner, R. K., & Frey, S. D. (2016). Winter soil respiration in a humid temperate forest: The roles of moisture, temperature, and snowpack. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 121(12), 3072-3088. doi:10.1002/2016jg003450

Treat, C. C., Wollheim, W. M., Varner, R. K., & Bowden, W. B. (2016). Longer thaw seasons increase nitrogen availability for leaching during fall in tundra soils. Environmental Research Letters, 11(6), 064013. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/6/064013

Wik, M., Varner, R. K., Anthony, K. W., MacIntyre, S., & Bastviken, D. (2016). Climate-sensitive northern lakes and ponds are critical components of methane release. Nature Geoscience, 9(2), 99-105. doi:10.1038/ngeo2578

Treat, C. C., Wollheim, W. M., Varner, R. K., Grandy, A. S., Talbot, J., & Frolking, S. (2014). Temperature and peat type control
production in Alaskan permafrost peats. Global Change Biology, 20(8), 2674-2686. doi:10.1111/gcb.12572

Silver, W. L., Thompson, A. W., McGroddy, M. E., Varner, R. K., Dias, J. D., Silva, H., . . . Keller, M. (2005). Fine root dynamics and trace gas fluxes in two lowland tropical forest soils. Global Change Biology, 11(2), 290-306. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.00903.x

Bubier, J. L., Crill, P. M., Moore, T. R., Savage, K., & Varner, R. K. (1998). Seasonal patterns and controls on net ecosystem CO2exchange in a boreal peatland complex. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 12(4), 703-714. doi:10.1029/98gb02426

Shorter, J. H., Kolb, C. E., Crill, P. M., Kerwin, R. A., Talbot, R. W., Hines, M. E., & Harriss, R. C. (1995). Rapid degradation of atmospheric methyl bromide in soils. Nature, 377(6551), 717-719. doi:10.1038/377717a0

Most Cited Publications