Zachary Freedman

Assistant Professor of Soil Microbiology

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

Zachary Freedman is an assistant professor of the Department of Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to joining UW–Madison in 2020, Freedman was an assistant professor in the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences at West Virginia University where he also served as the Program Coordinator for Environmental Microbiology. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University.

Freedman's research focuses on the ecology, evolution, and environmental significance of microorganisms and whether we can lean on microbes to help save the world. The Freedman research team uses a combination of classical and state-of-the-art techniques to investigate the impacts of environmental changes on microbial communities and their ecosystem functions in natural and managed ecosystems. In the bioenergy realm, the Freedman lab is investigating whether plant-soil-microbial feedbacks can be utilized to improve the nutrient use efficiency of Miscanthus and its associated soil microbiome on marginal lands.

  • Microbial communities and their ecosystem functions
  • Microbiome
  • Plant-soil-microbial interactions
  • Quantitative, trait-based microbial ecology