Soils Lab

Alexander W. Cheesman

Alexander Cheesman



I am a plant ecophysiologist and soil scientist interested in the interaction between plants and plant communities and the abiotic environment. I received my Ph.D from the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida in 2010. As part of the Wetland Biogeochemistry Laboratory ( ) I collaborated with Dr. Ramesh Reddy in utilizing NMR spectroscopy to investigate organic phosphorus speciation in the soils of fresh water wetlands. In particular, I have been interested in how organic phosphorus varies among natural ecosystems with reference to geographical location and wetland type, using natural gradients to examine the role of external parameters in modifying organic phosphorus and its biological cycling. I subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama with Dr. Klaus Winter.


2010 PhD, Soil and Water Science
Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida
Dissertation Title: Biogenic phosphorus in palustrine wetlands: Sources and stabilization.

2008 MA, Natural Science (Honorary)
Pembroke College, Cambridge University

2004 BA Honours, Natural Science
Pembroke College, Cambridge University

Selected Publications at STRI

Cheesman, A. W., and K. Winter. 2013. Elevated night-time temperatures increase growth in seedlings of two tropical pioneer tree species. New Phytologist 197 (4) 1185-1192

Cheesman, A. W., B. L. Turner, and K. R. Reddy. 2012. Phosphorus forms and dynamics in a tropical ombrotrophic wetland. Soil Science Society of America Journal 76(4):1496-1506

Turner, B. L., A. W. Cheesman, H. Y. Godage, A. M. Riley, and B. V. L. Potter. 2012. Determination of neo- and D-chiro-Inositol hexakisphosphate in soils by solution 31P NMR spectroscopy. Environmental Science and Technology 46(9) 4994-5002

Sjögersten S., A. W. Cheesman, O. Lopez, and B. L. Turner. 2011. Biogeochemical processes along a nutrient gradient in a tropical ombrotrophic peatland. Biogeochemistry 104:147–163

Back to Soil Lab People