Scow Soil Microbial Ecology Lab

WELCOME TO OUR LAB!


Our interests lie below-ground, in soil, where life abounds yet is often neglected, and where unseen communities drive numerous ecological processes--energy flow, nutrient cycling, waste removal-- essential for growing our food and sustaining the ecosystems we share.

We investigate interactions between microorganisms, the soil physical-chemical environment, and the substances that flow through them. Our projects span the continuum from molecules to organisms to populations/communities to the field scale. We aim to expand our understanding of how bacteria, archaea and fungi make livings and endure the challenges of disturbed ecosystems, including agricultural and polluted environments. We implement this knowledge in collaborating with farmers to develop practices that support thriving soil biological communities and activities which, in turn, regenerate resilient agroecosystems that co-exist with the natural environment.

Areas of research include broad-scale questions such as: i) how carbon flow through soil microbial communities creates soil structure and sequesters carbon; ii) how to reduce impacts of soil disturbance (e.g. tillage) and climate extremes on soil communities and processes at different scales; and iii) long-term impact of different rotations and farming systems on soil biodiversity and function. We study biodegradation of contaminants by indigenous microbial communities in the subsurface and help develop low-cost bioremediation strategies that build on microbial processes. We've also collaborated using participatory action research with smallholder farmers in Uganda to develop gender-aware and climate-smart irrigation technologies--and associated governance strategies--for vegetable production.

LATEST NEWS

  • 14Jun
  • Our entire lab participated in another successful Russell Ranch Field Day where we shared our research with farmers, industry, and other researchers from around the state.
  • 16May
  • Deirdre gave a workshop on the science of biochar to Master Gardeners in Santa Clara County.
  • 14May
  • Daoyuan's paper on biochar and aggregation was accepted to the journal Geoderma!
  • 7Apr
  • Former lab member Carolyn Anderson's paper on endocrine-disrupting chemicals in biochar/biosolid-amended soils was accepted to Chemosphere!
  • 1Mar
  • Kate was awarded the Nyle C. Brady Frontiers of Soils Science Lectureship! See her speak at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting in October 2017.
  • 1Feb
  • Deirdre attended the American Society of Agronomy-California Chapter Annual Meeting and won the poster competition.

SOILS & BIOGEOCHEMISTRY FACEBOOK FEED

LATEST BLOG POSTS

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Jul 19, 2017, 10:01 AM

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Biochar additions can enhance soil structure and the physical stabilization of C in aggregates

Daoyuan Wang, Steven J. Fonte, Sanjai J. Parikh, Johan Six, Kate M. Scow

Published online 19 May 2017