Joy Winbourne is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Department at UMass Lowell.

Joy B. Winbourne, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Kennedy College of Sciences
Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
Olney Hall 102B


Terrestrial biogeochemistry, global change biology, urban ecology, ecosystem ecology, forest ecology, plant ecophysiology

Research Interests

As a terrestrial biogeochemist and global change ecologist, my research centers on understanding how plants regulate the movement of carbon, nutrients and water in terrestrial ecosystems under a variety of human perturbations. In particular I am interested in understanding the impacts of urbanization, deforestation, forest fragmentation, and climate change on ecosystem processes. My research agenda is motivated by the need for actionable ecological data and theory to inform sustainable environmental policies and evaluate their efficacy especially in the context of global climate change. To address these research aims I have conducted studies in remote tropical forests to the densely populated cities of northeastern United States. I integrate field studies, molecular analyses, stable isotopes, remote sensing, meta-analyses, and modeling approaches to scale ecosystem processes at the individual soil core or tree to landscape scales to uncover trends in key services ecosystems provide human societies.


  • Ph.D: Ecology, (2015), University of California - Davis
  • BA: Biology, (2008), University of Massachusetts - Boston
  • BS: Earth Science and Geography, (2008), University of Massachusetts - Boston

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Voss Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2017) - Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
  • University of California at Davis Graduate Block Fellowship (2010-2012)
  • Bettina Hall Harrison Award for Outstanding Teaching (2008) - University of Massachusetts at Boston
  • University of Massachusetts at Boston Chancellor Scholarship for Academic Excellence (2003-2008)

Selected Publications

  • Winbourne, J.B. I. Smith, H. Stoynova, C. Kohler, C. Gately, B.A. Logan, J. Reblin, A. Reinmann, D.W. Allen, & L.R. Hutyra. (2021). Quantification of urban forest and grassland carbon fluxes using field measurements and a satellite-based model in Washington DC/Baltimore area. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. 127(1):e2021JG006568.
  • J.C. Turnbull, … J.B. Winbourne et al. 2021. IG3IS Urban Greenhouse Gas Emissions Observation and Monitoring Best Research Practices. WMO GAW IG3IS Report (2021).
  • I.A. Smith, J.B. Winbourne, K. F. Tieskens, T.S. Jones, , F. Bromley, D. Li, and L. R. Hutyra. (2021). A satellite-based model for estimating latent heat flux from urban vegetation. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 9: 695995.
  • Soper, F.M., B. Taylor, J.B. Winbourne, K. Dynarski, M. Wong, C. Reis, M. Peoples, C. Cleveland, S. Reed, D. Menge, & S. Perakis. (2021). A roadmap for sampling and scaling biological nitrogen fixation in terrestrial ecosystems. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 12:1122-1137.
  • Winbourne, J.B., T.S. Jones, S. Garvey, J. Harrison, L. Wang, D. Li, P. Templer, and L.R. Hutyra. (2020) The mitigation of urban heat by trees: current understanding, implications and future directions. BioScience 70 (7): 576-588. Selected as Editor’s Choice and featured interview with BioScience Talks podcast.
  • Jones, T.S., J.B. Winbourne, and L. Hutyra. (2020) Ribbonized Sap Flux: An Integrated Sap Flow Sensor Platform. Ecosphere 11 (6): e03135.
  • Gravuer, K., A. Eskelinen, J.B. Winbourne, and S.P. Harrison. (2020) Vulnerability and resistance in the spatial heterogeneity of soil microbial communities under resource additions. Proceedings in the National Academy of Science 117 (13): 7263-7270.
  • Winbourne, J.B., M. Harrison, B. Sullivan, S. Alvarez-Clare, S. Lins, L. Martinelli, M. Nasto, D. Piotto, S. Rolim, M. Wong, S. Porder. (2018) A new framework for evaluating estimates of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in forests. The American Naturalist 192 (5):618-629
  • Winbourne, J. B., A. Feng, L. Reynolds, D. Piotto, M. Hastings, and S. Porder. (2018) Nitrogen cycling during secondary succession in Atlantic Forest of Bahia, Brazil. Nature Scientific Reports 8: 1377.
  • Winbourne, J.B., and B.Z. Houlton. (2018) Plant-soil feedbacks on free-living nitrogen fixation over geological times. Ecology 99 (11): 2496-2505.
  • Winbourne, J.B., S.Brewer, and B.Z. Houlton. (2017) Iron regulation of biological nitrogen fixation in tropical karst forest. Ecology. 98(3): 773-781.
  • Marklein, A.R., J.B. Winbourne, S.K. Enders, D.J.X. Gonzalez, T.L. Van Huysen, J.E. Izquierdo, D.R. Light, D. Liptzin, K.E. Miller, S.L. Morford, R.A. Norton, and B.Z. Houlton. (2016) Mineralization ratios of nitrogen and phosphorus from decomposing litter in temperate versus tropical forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 25: 335-346.