Nishanth Tharayil

Associate Professor
Plant Ecophysiology, Weed Ecology

Nishanth TharayilEmail:
Office: 864-656-4453

School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences

218 Biosystems Research Complex
105 Collins Street
Clemson, SC 29634-0310

Postdoctoral Fellow, United States Dept. of Agriculture, Parlier, CA
PhD, Plant & Soil Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2008
MSc, Agronomy, G.B.P.U.A. & T. Pantnagar, India

Research: The broad research interest of the lab is in plant ecophysiology with primary aim of understanding the role of various plant metabolites in facilitating biogeochemical processes and organismal interactions at the plant-soil interface.

Plant Ecophysiology Lab: (Scroll to bottom of page for clickable link.)

Director, Multi-User Analytical Laboratory: Develop and optimize various chromatographic and mass-spectrometric techniques for the analysis of samples from various research projects across the university, and to train graduate and undergraduate students in the use and operation of various analytical instruments.

Multi-User Analytical Lab: (Scroll to bottom of page for clickable link.)

Complete list and PDF copies at

Wang J., Tharayil N., Chow A.T.,Suseela V., Zeng H. 2015. Phenolic profile within the fine root branching orders of an evergreen species highlights a disconnect in root tissue quality predicted by elemental- and molecular-level carbon composition. New Phytologist. (Accepted)

Freese D; Tharayil N.; Preston C.; Gerard P.2015. Catalytic kinetics and activation energy of soil peroxidases across ecosystems of differing lignin chemistries . Biogeochemistry. (In press)

Tamura, M. Tharayil, N. 2014. Plant litter chemistry and microbial priming regulate the accrual, composition and stability of soil carbon in invaded ecosystems. New Phytologist. 203(1):110-24.
ASSOCIATED COMMENTARY by Dr. Mathew E. Dornbush-

Suseela V., Tharayil N., B. Xing, and J. S. Dukes. 2014. Warming alters potential enzyme activity but precipitation regulates chemical transformations in grass litter exposed to simulated climatic changes. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 75. 102-112

Suseela, V., Tharayil, N., Xing, B., Dukes, J. S. 2013. Labile compounds in plant litter reduce the sensitivity of decomposition to warming and altered precipitation. New Phytologist. 200: 122-133

Tharayil, N., Alpert, P, Bhowmik, P.C., Gerard, P. 2013. Phenolic inputs by invasive species could impart seasonal variations in nitrogen pools in the introduced soils: a case study with Polygonum cuspidatum. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 57: 858–867

Triebwasser, D; Tharayil, N.; Preston, C. Gerard, P. 2012. The susceptibility of soil enzymes to inhibition by leaf litter tannins is dependent on the tannin chemistry, enzyme class and vegetation history. New Phytologist. 196: 1122-1132.

Tharayil, N.; Suseela, V.; Triebwasser, D. J.; Preston, C.M.; Gerard, P.; Dukes, J. 2011. Changes in the structural composition and reactivity of Acer rubrum leaf litter tannins exposed to warming and altered precipitation: climatic-stress-induced tannins are more reactive. New Phytologist. 191: 132-145.

PLPA 8090 - Analytical Techniques (alternate Spring)
BOT 8240 - Plant Growth Regulators (alternate Spring)
CSENV 4090/6090 - Biology of Invasive Plants (Fall)
BIOSC 4940 - Creative Inquiry: Linking Plant Invasion to Climate Change