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.

Emily woodward

Project Scientist, Russell Ranch

Education:

Ph.D., Soil Science and Biogeochemistry, Pennsylvania State University

M.S., Soil Science, Pennsylvania State University

B.A., Geology and Environmental Science, The University of Akron

Research:

My research is focused on the fate and transport of nutrients and organic contaminants in agroecosystems. I’m interested in analytical method development and the quantification of nutrients and organic contaminants in soils, soil solution, surface water, and groundwater. I joined the Russell Ranch team in July 2018, and I am currently working on a project to look at nitrate loss under different cropping systems.

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.

Katy Dynarski

Post doc

Education:

Ph.D., Soils & Biogeochemistry, UC Davis, 2018

B.S., Biochemistry, Minors: Mathematics & Spanish, Summa cum laude, Villanova University, 2013

Research:

I am interested in plant-soil-microbe interactions in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems and am fascinated by how soil microbes shape and are shaped by their environment. My current research focuses on mechanisms of carbon storage in soils and soil carbon longevity and vulnerability in agricultural systems. My past work has covered diverse topics including nutrient limitation of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in boreal wetlands, interactions between bedrock nitrogen weathering and nitrogen-fixing bacteria in temperate forests, and the use of stable isotopes to track plant reliance on mycorrhizal symbioses for nitrogen nutrition.

Mariah Coley

PHD 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.

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

Andrew (Ranger) Kielak

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Education:

Major: Managerial Economics

Class of 2019

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