Scow Soil Microbial Ecology Lab

Research

Our research focuses on the ways in which soil microbial communities are influenced by, and in turn modify, their surrounding environment and what are implications of this at the field and regional scale. We are involved in:

  • Studying the effects of agricultural management (tillage, irrigation, cover crops, amendments) on soil microorganisms and the processes that they facilitate in cropping systems, including aggregate formation, organic matter mineralization and carbon storage, and nutrient turnover.
  • Seeking to better understand the biological “underpinnings” of soil health and how knowledge of soil microbial taxa and functions can guide management of soils to improve soil health.
  • Understanding the physical and biological constraints on soil bacteria and archaea involved in degrading methane and other petroleum by-products to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Participatory research with Ugandan small holder farmers to develop small scale irrigation technologies and governance structure in Eastern Uganda.
  • Comparisons of farmer perceptions of soil health and soil life throughout the world.