Aquatic and terrestrial geochemist, Peatland and Permafrost Biogeochemistry, Multi-omic, Global Change, Mass Spectrometry, Gas Fluxes and Isotopes, Plant-Soil-Microbiome interactions Integration of multidisciplinary science to implement field- and laboratory-based investigations to advance understanding of how soil carbon responds to global change and the underlying microbial mechanisms and interactions that determine its response.
Excellent communication skills
Excellent written and verbal skills
Problem-solving and analysis skills
Advanced chemical research
Research and Analysis
Received the Outstanding Performance Award Award for providing scientific research within Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (2015).
Received the Director Award for Outstanding Performance, Award for providing scientific research within Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (2014).
Nominated for the The Dorothy and Russel Johnsen Dissertation Award at Florida State University (2011)
Nominated for the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (OTAA) at Florida State University (2011)
Received the best Teaching Assistant award for upper classes laboratory at Florida State University (2008 & 2009)
04/2016 to Current
Senior Research ScientistPacific Northwest National Laboratory － Richland, WA
01/2014 to Current
Scientific and technical expertise and leadershipPacific Northwest National Laboratory － Richland, WAin support of Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) user program
01/2014 to 03/2016
Terrestrial and Subsurface Ecosystems Postdoctoral FellowshipPacific Northwest National Laboratory － Richland, WA
Department of Energy's Office of Biological and
Environmental Research TES program
extraction protocols for extracting organic matter from soils and other natural environments
Optimized organic matter sample
analysis capability and pipeline established at PNNL to generate high
throughput, high resolution, and highly reproducible data
Characterized the composition
of a variety of environmental and microbial samples funded through the National
Science foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE)
Analyzed data and generated
reports for over 100 projects over the range of two years, funded externally through
NSF and DOE and internally through EMSL user projects or Laboratory Directed
Research and Development, ranging from understanding organic matter composition
across the aquatic-terrestrial interface and salt marshes, to detection of
contaminants across the Columbia river and Hanford site to linking organic
matter composition with microbial community composition. The outcome of these
projects is co-authored publications
A central member of Microbiomes
in Transition (MinT) Initiative which aims at integrating multidisciplinary
research to develop multiscale models that enable a mechanistic understanding
of microbiome function and response to perturbation, at PNNL
A member of Pan-Omics
Project, which aims
at developing and applying new omics technologies, sponsored by DOE-BER.
two personal first author publications in addition to co-authored publications
with EMSL users.
project results at several conferences.
two interns and one masters student
01/2012 to 12/2014
Postdoctoral ResearcherFlorida State University － Tallahassee, FL
Published research as first author of two scientific
journals, co-authored 7 scientific journals in high impact journals, and
co-authored an additional journal which is currently in review.
Developed and implemented
projects from idea inception through to data analysis for to investigate the lability of soil and dissolved
organic matter and the composition of decomposer microbial communities in
response to the climatic forcing of environmental processes that determine
carbon storage and sequestration in peatlands.
A central member
of the DOE-funded experiment entitled, “Spruce and Peatland Responses Under
Climatic and Environmental Change” (SPRUCE) being conducted at the Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) near
Grand Rapids Minnesota, USA, where the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge
National Laboratory and the US Forest Service.
first paper for the SPRUCE experiment regarding
the characteristics, composition and dynamics of both dissolved and soil
organic matter at MEF, which helped in establishing a benchmark for the
detection of changes following manipulation of environmental variables.
Presented project results at
Mentored a graduate student
and three undergraduates over the span of 2 years.
Participated in 4 field trips
from sample collection.
08/2007 to 12/2011
Research AssistantFlorida State University － Tallahassee, FL
Published research as first author of 4 scientific
journals and co-authored three papers
Developed, implement, and
managed projects from idea inception through to data analysis for studying dissolved
organic matter characterization using different analytical approaches
My work provided significant
advancements regarding the difference in DOM quality, reactivity and
composition between bogs and fens and their probable response to climate change
Presented project results at
Ph.D.: Analytical ChemistryFlorida State University － Tallahassee, Florida
Bachelor of Science: Chemistry General ChemistryLebanese University － BeirutLebanon
American Geophysical Union (2008-present)
Graduate Women in Science (2007-2011)
Wilson and A.M. Hopple, M.M. Tfaily
, S.D. Sebestyen , C.W. Schadt , L. Pfeifer-Meister , C. Medvedeff , K.J.
McFarlane , J.E. Kostka , M. Kolton , R. Kolka , L.A. Kluber , J.K. Keller ,
T.P. Guilderson , N.A. Griffiths , J.P. Chanton, S.D. Bridgham, and P.J.
Hanson, Stability of peatland carbon to rising temperatures, In press: Nature Communications.
James C. Stegen, Allen H. Hurlbert, Benjamin Bond-Lamberty,
Xingyuan Chen, Carolyn G. Anderson, Rosalie K. Chu, Francisco
Dini-Andreote, Sarah J. Fansler, Nancy J. Hess, and Malak Tfaily, Aligning the Measurement of Microbial Diversity
with Macroecological Theory, In
Bailey VL, AP Smith, MM
Tfaily, SJ Fansler, and B Bond-Lamberty.
2016. "Differences in the Complexity of
Soluble Organic Carbon in Pore Waters Sampled from Different Pore Size
Domains." Accepted: Soil Biology and Biochemistry.
Lawrence R.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Shaw, Jared B.; Hess, Nancy J;
Paša-Tolić, Ljiljana; Koppenaal, David W., Unambiguous Detection of Bacterial
Siderophores by Direct Injection 21 Tesla Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron
Resonance Mass spectrometry, Accepted::Metallomics
James C. Stegen, James K. Fredrickson, Michael J. Wilkins, Allan
E. Konopka, William C. Nelson, Evan V. Arntzen, William B. Chrisler,
Rosalie K. Chu, Robert E. Danczak, Sarah J. Fansler, David W. Kennedy,
Charles T. Resch, and Malak Tfaily.
Groundwater-Surface Water Mixing Shifts Ecological Assembly Processes and
Stimulates Organic Carbon Turnover, Nature
Hodgkins, S. B., M. M.
Tfaily, D. C. Podgorski, C. K. McCalley, S. R. Saleska, P. M. Crill,
V. I. Rich, J. P. Chanton and W. T. Cooper (2016). "Elemental
composition and optical properties reveal changes in dissolved organic
matter along a permafrost thaw chronosequence in a subarctic
peatland." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 187:
7. Tfaily, M. M., Rosalie K. Chu, Nikola Tolić, Kristyn M. Roscioli, Brian Anderson, Christopher R. Anderton, Ljiljana Paša-Tolić, Errol Robinson, Nancy J. Hess, Advanced solvent based methods for molecular characterization of soil organic matter by high resolution mass spectrometry. Anal. Chem. 2015.
8. Tfaily, M. M., Corbett,
J. E., Wilson. R, Chanton,
J. P., Glaser,
P. H., Cawley,
K. M., Jaffe, R., Cooper,W. T., Utilization of PARAFAC-Modeled Excitation-Emission Matrix (EEM) Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Identify
Biogeochemical Processing of Dissolved
Organic Matter in a Northern Peatland.
2015 Mar 12. DOI: 10.1111/php.12448.
J. Elizabeth Corbett, Malak M. Tfaily, David J. Burdige, Paul H. Glase , and Jeffrey
P. Chanton.biojeosciences. The relative importance of methanogenesis in
the decomposition of organic matter in northern peatlands; J. Geophys.
Res. Biogeosci., 120, 280–293. doi: 10.1002/2014JG002797.
Holmes, M. E. , Chanton, J., Tfaily, M. M., Ogram, A., CO2
and CH4 isotope compositions and production pathways in a tropical
peatland, Global Biogeochem.Cycles, Accepted,
Tfaily, M. M., Cooper, W. T., Kostka, J., Chanton, J.
P., Schadt, C., Hanson, P., Iverson, C., Chanton, J. P., Organic Matter Transformation in the Peat Column
at Marcell Experimental Forest: Humification and Vertical Stratification, Biogeosiecnes, 2014,
Hodgkins, S. B., Tfaily, M. M., McCalley, C., Logan, T. A., Crill, P., Saleska., S.
R., Rich, V. I., Chanton, J. P., Changes in soil chemistry due to permafrost
thaw increase greenhouse gas production in arctic peat, PNAS, April 7, 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314641111
Lin, X., Tfaily, M. M., Steinweg J. M.,
Chanton, P. R., Esson, K., Chanton, J. P., Cooper, W. T., Schadt, C.,
Kostka, J., Microbial
spatial niche stratification and temporal dynamics in response to organic
matter transformation in a northern forested peatland, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. June
2014 vol. 80 no. 11 3531-3540
Lin, X., Tfaily, M. M., Green, S.,
Steinweg J. M., Chanton, P. R., Esson, K., Chanton, J. P., Cooper, W. T.,
Schadt, C., Kostka, J., Integrated metagenomic and NMR spectroscopic analysis of carbon
metabolism and nutrient acquisition (N, P) in an ombrotrophic peatland Appl. Environ.
June 2014 vol. 80 no. 11 3531-3540
M. M., Hamdan, R., Corbett, J.
E., Chanton, J. P., Glaser, P. H., Cooper, W. T. (2013) Investigating
dissolved organic matter decomposition in northern peatlands using
complimentary analytical techniques.
16. Corbett, J. E., Tfaily, M. M., Burdige, D. J. ,Cooper,
W. T., Glaser, P. H., Chanton, J. P.
(2013), Partitioning pathways of CO2 production in peatlands with stable carbon
isotopes. Biogeochemistry 114,
J. E., Burdige, D. J. , Tfaily, M. M., Dial, A. R., Cooper, W.
T., Glaser, P. H., Chanton, J. P. (2013) Surface Production Fuels Deep
Heterotrophic Respiration in Northern Peatlands, accepted for publication in Global Biogeochem. Cycles
W. T., Tfaily, M. M., Corbett, J.
E., Chanton, J. P. (2013) Correlating bulk optical spectroscopy and
ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry to determine the molecular composition
of dissolved organic matter in Northern peatlands, in: Functions of natural
organic matter in changing environment, edited by: Jiaming XU, Jianjun Wu, and
Yan He Springer (2013)
X, Green S, Tfaily, M. M., Prakash,
O., Konstantinidis, K.T., Corbett, J.
E., Chanton, J. P., Cooper, W. T., Kostka, J. E. (2012) Microbial community structure and activity
linked to contrasting biogeochemical gradients in bog and fen environments of
the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland. Appl
Environ Microbiol 78(19):7023-31
Tfaily, M. M., Hodgkins, S., Podgorski,
D., Chanton, J. P., Cooper, W. T. (2012)
Comparison of Dialysis and Solid-phase Extraction for Isolation and
Concentration of Dissolved Organic Matter Prior to Fourier Transform Ion
Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry, Anal
Bioanal Chem 404:447–457
Tfaily, M. M., Podgorski, D., Corbett, J. E.,
Chanton, J. P., Cooper, W. T. (2011) Influence of acidification on the optical
properties and molecular composition of dissolved organic matter, Analytica Chimica Acta 706,
Tfaily, M. M., D'Andrilli, J., Corbett, E.,
Chanton, J. P., Cooper, W. T. (2010) Molecular characterization of dissolved
organic matter (DOM) in Northern peatlands: Identifying the chemical signatures
of climate change, Geochim. Cosmochim.
Acta, 74 (11), A1038-A103
J. E., Chanton, J. P., Burdige, D.,
Glaser, P. H., Cooper, W.T., Siegel, D. I., Dasgupta, S. S., Tfaily, M. M. (2010) Partitioning peatland gas prodution:
Determining the fraction of CO2 produced from methanogenesis, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 74
Tfaily, M. M., Corbett, J., Chanton, J.,
Cooper, W. T. (2010) DOM in Northern Peatlands: Correlating Bulk Spectroscopic
Properties with Molecular Composition, Geophysical
Research abstracts Vol. 13
Proficient in a number of DOM and SOM characterization techniques: Electro spray ionization Fourier transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance mass spectrometry (ESI- FT ICR MS) Electro spray ionization Time of Flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF MS) GC combustion-interfaced Finnegan MAT Delta V isotope ratio mass spectrometer (GC IRMS) 3D-Steady state fluorescence spectroscopy (Excitation emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy EEMS) Multivariate Parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis of fluorescence EEM data UV/Vis absorption spectroscopy Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT IR) Solid state 13C NMR GC and HPLC Proficient in a number of DOM and Soil organic matter extraction/concentrating/desalting techniques: Solid phase extraction (SPE) Dialysis Freeze drying Extraction of porewater using Rhizons Proficient in sample collection techniques: Pizeometers for porewater collection Rhizons for porewater collection Drill/hole saw: Collection of frozen uncompressed cores in poorly decomposed woody peat Russian Peat Borer: Collection of uncompressed cores in poorly decomposed woody peat. Proficient in soil incubation studies Proficient in Statistical Analyses in multiple platforms R Statistical Program (R Development Core Team) Matlab Origin ver. 8.6. (Statistical Analyses and Curve-fitting routines)
GRANTS Current Organization Providing Support U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Title of Award Illuminating the pathways to carbon liberation: a systems and modeling approach to resolving the 'consequential unknowns' of carbon transformation and loss from thawing permafrost peatlands Award Period 10/01/2016 - 09/30/2019 Total Amount for Entire Award Period $2,069,000 Number of Person-months per Year 1.2 M. Tfaily serves as Task Lead for all PNNL activities on the project including organic matter characterization and meta-omics approaches integration. Current Organization Providing Support Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lab directed research and development Title of Award Tracking the Fate of new C in Northern Peatlands by a Compound-Specific Stable Isotope-Labeling Approach coupled with FISH-NanoSIMS Award Period 10/1/2016-9/30/2018 Total Amount for Entire Award Period $ 250,000 Number of Person-months per Year 1.8 M. Tfaily serves as PI Current Organization Providing Support Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lab directed research and development Title of Award Deciphering Microbial Communication Through Metabolites Award Period 10/1/2016-9/30/2019 Total Amount for Entire Award Period $ 960,000 Number of Person-months per Year 1.2 M. Tfaily serves as task lead for secondary metabolite characterization by LC MS/MS. Current Organization Providing Support Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lab directed research and development Title of Award Advancing ecosystem understanding of carbon turnover and storage through molecular characterization Award Period 10/1/2015-9/30/2017 Total Amount for Entire Award Period $ 450,000 Number of Person-months per Year 1.2 M. Tfaily serves as task lead for organic matter characterization (primary and secondary metabolites) and integration with multiple omics approaches. Current Organization Providing Support Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lab directed research and development Title of Award Development of an in situ multimodal mass spectrometry imaging approach for studying the rhizosphere: from revealing activation of metabolic pathways to elucidating nanoscale exchanges Award Period 10/1/2015-9/30/2017 Total Amount for Entire Award Period $ 275,000 Number of Person-months per Year 1.2 M. Tfaily serves as task lead for root exudates metabolite and metabolite pathways characterization AWARDS 2015 Outstanding Performance Award, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 2014 Director Award for Outstanding Performance, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 2012 The Dorothy and Russel Johnsen Dissertation Award Nominee 2011 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (OTAA) Nominee-Spring 2010 Best Teaching Assistant award for upper classes laboratory 2008 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (OTAA) Nominee