University of Vermont

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Current Graduate Students

  • add alt tag Dana Allen
    Landscape Design, M.S. candidate
    Advisor: Aleksandra Drizo
  • Dana's current project focuses on nutrient management, specifically phosphorus, in agricultural and industrial waste water streams. He is also looking into the incorporation of innovative filter media into low-impact developments for the control of nutrients and other pollutants in stormwater runoff.

  • add alt tag Peter Austin
    Soil Ecology, M.S. candidate
    Advisor: Josef Gorres
  • The main objective of Peter’s research is to study the effectiveness of vermicompost as a fast-acting nitrogen source while investigating the invasiveness of red wigglers, Eisenia foetida, a common composting worm.  Little is known about the invasiveness of E. foetida in northern deciduous hardwood forests.

  • add alt tag Rebecca Bourgault
    Soil Chemistry and Pedology, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Don Ross
  • Rebecca is studying the hydropedology (interactions between water and soils) of Watershed 3 of Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH. Rebecca is observing the spatial distributions and interactions of pedogenically significant mobile elements (aluminum, iron, manganese, organic carbon, and rare earth elements), and implications for variability in chemistry of headwaters.

  • add alt tag Terry Bradshaw
    Apple Research, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Lorraine Berkett
  • Terry's research is focused on assessing horticultural and economic sustainability of organic apple production systems in Vermont. Emphasis is aimed at helping farmers find real-world solutions to problems on the farm, identifying potential alternative practices to improve environmental and farm sustainability.

  • add alt tag Gemelle Brion
    Food Systems, M.S candidate
    Advisor: Yolanda Chen
  • add alt tag Lily Calderwood
    Agroecology, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Josef Gorres
  • In 2011 New England hop growers began reporting serious insect pressure and damage to crop quality and yield. In response, Lily is conducting research for hop growers on integrated pest management (IPM) specific to our region. Lily aims to work collaboratively with growers to identify beneficial and harmful arthropods attracted to hop plants in the Northeast.

  • add alt tag Sebastian Castro
    Agroecology, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: Ernesto Mendez
  • Sebastian's research focuses on modelling the impact of more sustainable farming practices on farm and landscape productive and ecological functions and farmers's livelihood. He is also interested in the development of environmental monitoring and decision support systems using geoinformation technologies.

  • cording Amanda Cording
    Sustainable Landscape, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: Stephanie Hurley
  • Amanda's research focuses on investigating the mechanisms influencing greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient transformations at various depths in engineered soil media within bioretention cells. She is also interested in how these systems can be implemented to reduce pollutant loading in countries that currently lack underground stormwater infrastructure.

  • davari Agrin Davari
    Entomology, IPM, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: Bruce Parker
  • fang Lynn Fang
    Soil Ecology, M.S. candidate
    Advisor: Deb Neher
  • Lynn’s research focuses on the use of compost in suppressing soilborne plant diseases. She is developing bioindicators for predicting disease suppressive ability in different types of compost.

  • add alt tag Margarita Fernandez
    Agroecology, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Ernesto Mendez
  • Margarita's research explores social benefits and community-based management systems of urban agriculture in New York City and Havana, Cuba. Her dissertation research at UVM will explore agroecology and rural livelihood issues in coffee growing communities of Chiapas, Mexico and Nicaragua.

  • add alt tag Caleb P. Goossen
    Agronomy, M.S candidate
    Advisor: Sid Bosworth
  • Caleb is researching methods of providing year round access to organic dairy feeds & forages with increased beneficial fatty acid profiles. He is also interested in vegetable crop production & breeding.

  • add alt tag Ann Hazelrigg
    Organic Apple Management, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: Heather Darby & Lorraine Berkett
  • I am looking at 3 different organic management programs for commercial apples; traditional organic using copper and sulfur, traditional organic with no sulfur use during the period of rapid shoot growth, and Holistic Orchard Management, a program using a mix of essential microbes and plant teas with no use of copper or sulfur.

  • add alt tag Victor Izzo
    Insects and Agroecology, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Yolanda Chen
  • Victor Izzo explores the emergence of Colorado potato beetle as a global pest. In an attempt to reconstruct evolution of the pest form of Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Victor’s research looks to identify the major ecophysiological and genetic differences between L. decemlineata populations within the USA and ancestral populations in Mexico.

  • add alt tag Meghan Knowles
    Soil Science, M.S. candidate
    Advisor: Don Ross
  • Meghan is interested in the carbon dynamics of Vermont forest soils.  Her research focuses on earthworm invasion into forest ecosystems, and how their influence on aggregation may alter the carbon dynamics within those soils

  • add alt tag Karen Lamoncha
    Soil Ecology, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Deb Neher
  • add alt tag Grace Matiru
    Sustainable Landscape Design, M.S. candidate
    Advisor: Leonard Perry
  • add alt tag Ryan Melnichuk
    Chemistry and Ecology, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Josef Gorres
  • Ryan's current research focuses on the effect of invasive earthworms on forest soil chemistry and resultant effects on soil ecology and vegetative ecology.  Specifically, quantifying changes in biologically available metals and nutrients as well as nitrogen and carbon balances within a system.  Species of interest include Lumbricus rubellus, Amynthas agrestis and Lumbricus terrestris.

  • add alt tag William B. Morris
    Rural Remote Sensing of Agriculture, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Ernesto Mendez
  • Bill Morris is a cartographer in the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods lab, where his research focuses on the spatial relationships between ecosystem services and agricultural productivity. His current USDA-funded work looks at the cultural drivers and implications of land use change in the Champlain Valley.

  • add alt tagLindsey Ruhl
    Soil Science, M.S. candidate
    Advisor: Josef Gorres
  • Lindsey's research examines the relationship of flooding affects on soil quality on a microtopographical level and the ability of cover crops to alleviate soil degradation caused by prolonged periods of water saturation. The goal of this research is to diversify agricultural practice responses to weather extremes in order to increase climate change resiliency.

  • Rachel Schattman
    Agroecology, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: V. Ernesto Mendez
  • Rachel's research is climate change adaptation and mitigation on Vermont farms. Of particular interest is how growers cope with increasing weed, pest and disease pressures associated with changing climatic conditions. Farmer informed research, information transfer and Extension outreach are all components of her work. Rachel also owns Bella Farm in Monkton, VT.

  • Paliza Shrestha
    Sustainable Landscape, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: Stephanie Hurley

    Paliza is researching the effectiveness of bioretention filters in removing pollutants such as nutrients and heavy metals, and consequently improving the quality of stormwater runoff. She is also interested to study whether these filters could act as potential sources of greenhouse gases. 


  • Chase Stratton
    Insect Agroecology, Ph.D candidate
    Advisor: Yolanda Chen


  • add alt tag Annie White
    Ecological Landscape Design, Ph.D. candidate
    Advisor: Leonard Perry
  • Annie is interested in the mutualistic relationships between plants and pollinators and methods for incorporating native pollinator conservation into sustainable landscaping and agricultural practices.  Annie’s research seeks to improve flowering plant selection for pollinator habitat.

  • add alt tag Kirsten Workman
    Agronomy, MS candidate
    Advisor: Sid Bosworth
  • Kirsten's work is aimed at identifying agronomic best management practices for Vermont farmers that both protect water quality and improve crop production.  Specifically, she is conducting on-farm research investigating innovative cover cropping strategies for dairy producers that reduce soil erosion, improve manure nutrient cycling, and enhance farm sustainability.


Last modified June 02 2014 08:09 AM

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