Claire Phillips

Research Soil Scientist

USDA-ARS Northwest Agroecosystem Research Unit
Pullman, WA



Dr. Phillips received B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Forest Science (soils focus) from Oregon State University in 2009. She held post-doc positions in Corvallis, Oregon, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She was an instructor in the Crops and Soil Sciences Department at Oregon State from 2013-15. She then joined USDA-ARS, first in Corvallis, Oregon, then in Ames, Iowa, and now in Pullman, WA.

Skills and Expertise

Greenhouse gas fluxes, soil carbon, soil water, biochar, climate change impacts to plants and soils, stable isotopes and radiocarbon

Role in the CAF-LTAR

I currently conduct research related to greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon sequestration.

Current Research Projects

  • Monitoring of carbon and water fluxes under the common cropping experiment at Cook Agronomy Farm, using the eddy covariance method.
  • Impacts of tillage and landscape position on soil C change through time at Cook Agronomy Farm
  • N management impacts on N2O emissions at PCFS (starting in 2023) 
  • Evaluating GHG calculators for the inland PNW

Selected Products

  • Wheat Beat podcast: Biochar in wheat systems in the Pacific Northwest:
  • The Pacific Northwest Biochar Atlas:
  • Critical Questions in Soil Carbon Sequestration Webinar Series:
  • Phillips, C.L., Wang, R., Mattox, C., Trammell, Tara L.E., Young, J., Kowalewski, A., High soil carbon sequestration rates persist several decades in turfgrass systems: A meta-analysis, Science of The Total Environment, (2023) Volume 858, Part 3,
  • Soong, J. L., Phillips, C. L., Ledna, C., Koven, C. D. & Torn, M. S. (2020) CMIP5 models predict rapid and deep soil warming over the 21st century. JGR-Biogeosciences, DOI: 10.1029/2019JG005266
  • Phillips, C.L., Light, S.E., Gollany, H.T., Wanzek, T., Meyer, K.M., Chiu, S., Trippe, K.M., (2020) Can biochar conserve water in Oregon soils? Soils & Tillage Research DOI: 10.1016/j.still.2019.104525