Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

Patty Oikawa

Assistant Professor & Chair in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, CSU East Bay, CRARS Faculty Affiliate

I am a biogeochemist who focuses on nutrient cycling and climate change. I joined the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at CSU East Bay in September 2016. I am from the Bay Area and studied as a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley for 3 years before coming to CSU East Bay. My research focuses on how ecosystems interact with the atmosphere. For example, I am currently studying how wetland restoration in the Bay Area and Sacramento Delta can be used to mitigate climate change.

Professional Focus

I am particularly interested in minimizing the negative impact of managed lands on climate, water, and air quality. My expertise is in greenhouse gas and reactive trace gas emissions from diverse ecosystems including restored wetlands and agricultural land. I employ field monitoring and manipulation techniques in addition to process-based biogeochemical modeling with an emphasis on model-data fusion approaches. I collaborate with regional to global-scale modeling projects and am actively incorporating models into carbon policies in California.


  • PhD Department of Biology, University of Virginia
  • B.S. Department of Ecology and Evolution, UC Santa Barbara


  1. Oikawa, P.Y., G.D. Jenerette, S.H. Knox, C. Sturtevant, J. Verfaillie, I. Dronova, C.M. Poindexter, Eichelmann, E., D. Baldocchi. (2017) Evaluation of a hierarchy of models reveals importance of substrate limitation for predicting carbon dioxide and methane exchange in restored wetlands. Journal of Geophysical Research, Biogeosciences, doi: 10.1002/2016JG003438.
  2. Deverel, S.J., P.Y. Oikawa, S. Mack, L. Silva, 2016, Wetland Implementation and Rice Cultivation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, San Francisco Estuary and the Coast of California – Methodology for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions, Version 1.0, in review, American Carbon Registry

  3. Oikawa, P.Y., C. Sturtevant, S.H. Knox, J. Verfaillie, Y.W. Huang, D. Baldocchi. (2016) Revisiting the partitioning of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 into photosynthesis and respiration with simultaneous flux measurement of 13CO2 and CO2, soil respiration and a biophysical model, CANVEG. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 234:149-163.
  4. Knox, S.H., I. Dronova, C. Sturtevant, Oikawa, P.Y., Matthes, J., J. Verfaillie, D. Baldocchi. (2016) Using digital camera and Landsat imagery with eddy covariance data to model gross primary production in restored wetlands. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 237: 233-245.
  5. Baldocchi, D., S.H. Knox, I. Dronova, J. Verfaillie, P.Y. Oikawa, C. Sturtevant, J. Hatala-Mathes, M. Detto. (2016) The impact of expanding flooded land area on the annual evaporation of rice. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 223:181-193.
  6. Knox, S.H., J. Hatala-Mathes, C. Sturtevant, P.Y. Oikawa, J. Verfaillie, D. Baldocchi. (2015) Biophysical controls on the interannual variability in ecosystem-scale in CO2 and CH4 exchange in a California rice paddy. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, doi: 10.1002/2015JG003247.
  7. Oikawa, P.Y., C. Ge, J. Wang, J.E. Eberwein, L. Liang, L.A. Allsman, D.A. Grantz, G.D. Jenerette. (2015) Unusually high soil nitrogen oxide emissions influence air quality in high temperature agricultural region. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms9753.
  8. Sturtevant, C., B.L. Ruddell, S.H. Knox, J. Verfaillie, J. Hatala, P.Y. Oikawa, D. Baldocchi. (2015) Identifying the complex processes driving greenhouse gas exchange at multiple time scales in restored wetlands. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, doi: 10.1002/2015JG003054.
  9. Eberwein, J.E., P.Y. Oikawa, L.A. Allsman, G.D. Jenerette. (2014) The effects of C, N and temperature interactions on soil respiration quantified through Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry.
  10. Oikawa, P.Y., G.D. Jenerette, D.A. Grantz. (2014) Offsetting high water demands with high productivity: Sorghum as a biofuel crop in a high irradiance arid ecosystem. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, doi:10.1111/gcbb.12190.
  11. Oikawa, P.Y., D.A. Grantz, A. Chatterjee, J.E. Eberwein, L.A. Allsman, G.D. Jenerette. (2014) Unifying soil respiration pulses, inhibition, and temperature hysteresis through dynamics of labile carbon and soil O2. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, doi:10.1002/2013JG002434
  12. Oikawa, P.Y., M.T. Lerdau. (2013) Catabolism of phytogenic volatile organic compounds. Trends in Plant Science, 18:695-703.
  13. Oikawa, P.Y., B.M. Giebel, L. da S.L. Sternberg, L. Li, M.P. Timko, P.K. Swart, D.D. Riemer, J.E. Mak, M.T. Lerdau. (2011) Leaf and root pectin methylesterase activity and 13C/12C stable isotopic ratio measurements of methanol emissions give insight into methanol production in Lycopersicon esculentum. New Phytologist, 191:1031-1040.
  14. Oikawa, P.Y., L. Li, M.P. Timko, J.E. Mak, M.T. Lerdau. (2011) Short term changes in methanol emission and pectin methylesterase activity are not directly affected by light in Lycopersicon esculentum. Biogeosciences, 8:1023-1030.
Portrait of Patty Oikawa