Scow Soil Microbial Ecology Lab

People

Kate Scow

Principal Investigator

Education:

Ph.D., Soil Science, Minors in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University 1989

M.S., Soil Science, Minors in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University 1986

Graduate studies, Harvard University and University of Chicago, 1973-1981

B.S., Biology, Antioch College, 1973

Research:

Dr. Kate Scow joined the faculty of University of California Davis in August 1989. I am a Professor of Soil Science and Microbial Ecology in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. I am also Director of the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility that hosts the Century Experiment. I am currently Chair of the International Agricultural Development Graduate Group and former chair of the graduate group of Soils and Biogeochemistry. My research program investigates the role of soil microbial communities in providing ecosystem services in agricultural and polluted ecosystems. Specifically we investigate linkages between diversity and greenhouse gas emissions, responses of soil functional diversity to longterm management practices, effects of co-contaminants in organic amendments on soil communities. I also work extensively in Uganda on irrigation and soil management for enhancing vegetable production for smallholder farmers.

Radomir Schmidt

Researcher

Education:

Ph.D., Bacterial Genetics, University of Queensland, Australia, 2000

B.S. Hons., Microbiology, University of Queensland, Australia, 1995

Research:

My research interests focus on the role of soil microbial communities in carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and building and maintaining soil structure. I am particularly interested in the contrasting effects of conventional versus conservation agricultural practices such as till/no till, cover cropping, and the use of composts and manures on microbial communities and the ecological services they provide. I also study the microbes involved in bioremediation of soils and groundwater contaminated by gasoline, diesel, fuel oxygenates and other additives.

Nicole Tautges

Research Manager, Russell Ranch

Education:

Ph.D., Crop Science, Washington State University

B.S., Agronomy and Spanish, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research:

I am a cropping systems specialist who joined the Russell Ranch team in late 2017 to contribute to data collection, management, and analysis; to disseminate Russell Ranch research findings through peer-reviewed journal articles and outreach materials, and to contribute to grant development. I also help coordinate research with the extensive network of University of California and industry researchers who come to Russell Ranch to conduct research in the facility's unique long-term agroecosystems.

I grew up in southern WI and consequently have a deeply instilled love for all things dairy. I double-majored in Agronomy and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed my PhD in Crop Science at Washington State University, where I did cropping systems research in dryland organic wheat-based systems. I have conducted on-the-ground agricultural research in wheat, corn, beans, forage, and grazing systems, as well as working with Kernza, a new perennial grain crop. My research is focused on cropping system diversification, organic agriculture practices, and investigating linkages between soil microbial community characteristics and agroecosystem functions.

S. Franz Bender

Post Doc

Education:

Ph.D., Agroscope Institute for Sustainability Sciences, Zürich, Switzerland and Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Science, University of Zürich, Switzerland, 2014.

Diploma, Biology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz , Germany, 2008

Research:

I study soil biological communities and the functions they provide. I’m especially interested in identifying ways to integrate soil biologically provided ecosystem services into agricultural management schemes, an approach termed ‘Soil Ecological Engineering’.

While my research covers a whole range of soil organisms and ecosystem functions, I’m particularly focused on plant symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, their interactions with soil fauna and effects on nutrient use efficiency and crop nutrition in agricultural systems. My research involves greenhouse and field based studies.

Daoyuan Wang

Post Doc

Education:

Ph.D., Environmental Science & Engineering, Donghua University, China, 2015

B.S., Environmental Science, Donghua University, China, 2009

Research:

My research interests include (1) impacts of soil amendments (e.g. manure and biochar) on soil C & N cycling, soil structure and soil microbial community, (2) how to maintain crop production and ecosystem services with reduced inputs (water, energy & carbon) using integrated agricultural management practices in agroecosystems.

Jessica Chiartas

PhD Student

Education:

B.A., Business Management, Minor: Political Science, cum laude, Washington College, 2005

Research:

My research focuses on the impacts of agricultural management on microbial community structure and physiology and how that informs the efficiency at which carbon inputs are converted to microbial biomass in the short-term and the ability of soils to sequester carbon in the long-term. I am also interested in farmer perceptions of soil health and the role of soil biology, as well as the use of technology/digital media to increase the adoption of soil health management practices.

Mariah Coley

M.S. Student

Education:

B.A. Classical Studies, Studio Art, Dartmouth College, 2011

Research:

My research interests include modeling of agricultural systems, application of models in multi- use landscapes, and using models in participatory action research to develop decision-support tools for farmers. My projects include adapting biophysical process and crop production models for use in smallholder horticulture in Uganda, and developing a participatory modeling methodology that can serve both research and agricultural development objectives for the local Ugandan communities.

Kalyn Diederich

PhD Student

Education:

M.S., Soil Science and Agroecology, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

B.S., Soil and Crop Science, Minor: Organic Agriculture, Summa cum laude, Colorado State University, 2016

A.A. Early Childhood Education, Summa cum laude, Front Range Community College, 2015

Research:

My research strives to 1) determine if the multipurpose perennial wheat known as Kernza is a viable agronomic crop for the state of California by analyzing N balances, grain yield, and above and belowground biomass yield 2) analyze soil ecosystem services Kernza provides relative to conventionally tilled and no-till annual winter wheat by quantifying how each management system affects soil health, carbon sequestration, and microbial community biomass and composition.

Mark Felice

PhD Candidate

Education:

B.A., Biology, Minor: French and Francophone Studies, cum laude, Carleton College, 2008

Research:

My research focuses on the movement of methane from soils to the atmosphere and the ecology of the methane-oxidizing bacteria that transform methane into carbon dioxide.

Deirdre Griffin

PhD Candidate

Education:

M.S., Soils and Biogeochemistry, UC Davis, 2015

B.S., Environmental Sciece and Policy, Conc: Environment & Agriculture, Minor: Soil Science, Summa cum laude, University of Maryland, 2012

Research:

My projects investigate 1) the effects of biochar on crop yields, nutrient cycling, and soil microbial communities in a field experiment, 2) the impacts of biochars on nodulation of legumes by rhizobia bacteria, 3) how wetting patterns in subsurface drip irrigation impact soil microbial communities, nutrient transformations, and soil carbon storage in organic systems.

Daniel Rath

PhD Student

Education:

M.Sc., Soil and Sustainability, University of Edinburgh, 2015

B.A., Biology, Conc: Ecology and Evolution, Magna cum laude, Carleton College, 2010

Research:

My main research interests include 1) the relationship between soil microbial communities, aggregates, and carbon movement , 2) mechanisms of aggregate formation by soil microbiota, and 3) biogeography of microbial communities within soil aggregates.

Abraham Salomon

Project Manager

Education:

B.S. Community and Regional Development, UC Davis, 2010

Research:

I am an agricultural systems professional with experience in program management, impact evaluation, agronomic research, agricultural extension, horticulture & agronomy, smallholder marketing systems, small scale agricultural finance, post harvest handling; and extended experience in rural developing countries. I am also an entrepreneur & small business owner in East Africa's smallholder agriculture sector.

Evan Dumas

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Biotechnology (Bioinformatics emphasis)

Class of 2019

Dinh Giang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Environmental Chemistry

Class of 2018

Andrew (Ranger) Kielak

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Managerial Economics

Class of 2019

Stephanie Lew

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Environmental Science and Management, Soils and Biogeochemistry track

Class of 2018

Evelyn Pena

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Class of 2019

Thanh Tu Le

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Biotechnology (Microbiology emphasis)

Class of 2018

Former Lab Members:

  • Kelly Graveur, 2016
  • Annie Bossange, MS
  • Geetika Joshi, PhD
  • Lauren Pincus, PhD
  • Carolyn Anderson, MS
  • Prapakorn (Tee) Tantayotai, PhD
  • Charlie Paradis, MS
  • Eduardo Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, 2012
  • Michael Matiasek, 2012
  • India Mansour, 2012
  • Jennifer Denbow, 2011
  • Sean Kearney, 2011
  • Reef Holland, 2011
  • Katharine North, 2011
  • Krassimira Hristova, 2010
  • Inmyoung Park, 2010
  • Irina Chakraborty, 2009
  • Nannan Zhang, 2009
  • Adriana Ortegon, 2008
  • Lianhua Dong, 2008
  • Julian Kayne, 2008
  • Ahjeong Son, 2008
  • Jenny Bradford, 2008
  • Ana Lucia Cordova-Kreylos, 2007
  • Mamie Nozawa-Inoue, 2007
  • Kristin Hicks, 2007
  • Kun Yang, 2007
  • Vince Battaglia, 2006
  • Kevin Feris, 2005
  • Rebecca Drenovsky, 2005
  • Janice Wu, 2005
  • Shira DeGrood, 2005
  • Banu Inceoglu, 2004
  • Isaac Wood, 2003
  • Deepa Gandhi, 2001
  • Deborah Bossio
  • Mary Ann Bruns
  • Margaret Edwards
  • Geoff Elliott
  • Ken Graham
  • Jessica Hanson
  • Mara Johnson
  • David LeBauer
  • Jenn Macalady
  • Yutaka Okano
  • Jim Rowe
  • Egbert Schwartz
  • Katherine Batten