University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Deb Neher, Ph.D.


Deborah Neher, Professor and Chair

  • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 1990
  • M.S. Plant Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign,1986
  • B.S. Environmental Science, McPherson College, KS 1984
  • C.V. (PDF)
Areas of Expertise

Soil Ecology, biological indicators of soil, plant-soil interactions, epidemiology of root pathogens

Contact Information

Phone: (802) 656-5390
Office Hours: by appointment
Website: Faculty website

I am a soil ecologist with research interests in developing biological indicators for environmental monitoring of agricultural, forest, and wetland soils. I view nature as a model and am a question-driven researcher using population and community ecology approaches.

I teach the following courses:

Recent Publications:

Google Scholar

Neher, D. A., Fang, L., and Weicht, T. R. 2017. Ecoenzymes as indicators of compost to suppress Rhizoctonia solani. Compost Science and Utilization 25(4): 251-261. DOI 10.1080/1065657X.2017.1300548

Neher, D. A., Williams, K. M., and Lovell, S. T. 2017. Environmental indicators reflective of road design in a forested landscape. Ecosphere 8(3):e01734. 10.1002/ecs2.1734.

Neher, D.A., Weicht, T.R., and Dunseith, P. 2015. Compost for management of weed seeds, pathogen, and early blight on brassicas in organic farmer fields. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 39:3-18

Neher, D.A., Weicht, T.R., Bates, S.T., Leff, J.W., and Fierer, N. 2013. Changes in bacterial and fungal communities across compost recipes, preparation methods, and composting times. PLoS ONE 8(11):e79512, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079512.