Dragos G. Zaharescu
Research Associate, Biosphere 2
(520) 332-5397

My research sits at the interface between biology, geology, population ecology and climate science. I have worked mostly on oligotrophic environments addressing fundamental questions related to ecosystem-substrate interaction and evolution from the scale of a catchment down to that of minerals. I am currently involved in an interdisciplinary effort focused on the initial stages of rock colonization by biotic communities (microbes, plant and mycorrhizae) and the initiation of mineral transformation and soil genesis. I also co-lead a world-wide adventure science initiative that pairs researchers with trained explorers under the common aim of understanding the critical role of microbes in initiating element cycle and soil genesis in the extreme environments of high altitudes and polar regions.

Selected Citations: 

Burghelea, C., D.G. Zaharescu, K. Dontsova, R. Maier, T. Huxman, J. Chorover (2015). Mineral nutrient mobilization by plant from rock: Influence of rock type and arbuscular mycorrhiza. Biogeochemistry.

Dontsova, K., Zaharescu, D., Henderson, W., Verghese, S., Perdrial, N., Hunt, E., Chorover, J. (2014). Impact of organic carbon on weathering and chemical denudation of granular basalt. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Burghelea CI, Zaharescu DG, Palanca-Soler A. 2013. Phenotypic indicators of developmental instability in an endemic amphibian from an altered landscape (Monegros, NE Spain). Amphibia Reptilia.

Burghelea CI, Zaharescu DG, Hooda PS, Palanca-Soler A. 2011. Predatory aquatic beetles, suitable trace elements bioindicators. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 13, 1308-1315.

Burghelea CI, Zaharescu DG, Palanca-Soler A. 2010. Dietary overview of Rana perezi from Monegros rice fields, NE Spain. Herpetological Journal 20(4), 219-224.

Zaharescu DG, Hooda PS, Palanca-Soler A, Fernandez J, Burghelea CI. 2009. Trace metals and their source in the catchment of the high altitude Lake Respomuso, Central Pyrenees. Science of the Total Environment 407, 3546-3553.

Zaharescu DG, Hooda PS, Fernandez J, Palanca-Soler A, Burghelea CI. 2009. On the arsenic source mobilisation and its natural enrichment in the sediments of a high mountain cirque in the Pyrenees. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11, 1973-1981

Research Themes: 
Climate change
Water quality
Animal behavior
Arid lands
Biogeochemical processes
Carbon cycling
Ecological behavior
Ecosystem ecology
Geochemical cycles
Nutrient cycling
Plant ecology
Population biology
Riparian ecology
Soil science
Species adaptation
Terrestrial ecology
Biogeochemical processes
Climate change impacts

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