Departmental Research

Plant and Soil Science is home to a wide variety of research interests. Faculty work in diverse areas ranging from soil science to genetics, data analysis to watershed pollutants. Students are encouraged to join our faculty-scholars who are engaged in research pertinent to today's agricultural and environmental issues.

Interested in learning more regarding research? Contact us!

Areas of Research

Agroecology Livelihoods Collaborative

The Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC) is a community of practice in the Departmnet of Plant and Soil Science, which utilizes an approach grounded in agroecology, participatory action research (PAR) and transdisciplinarity. Its goal is to better understand and seek solutions to the issues facing our food systems.

Crop Breeding, Genetics

The von Wettberg Lab is a group of evolutionary ecologists who use tools from population genetics, agronomy, conservation biology and field ecology to study how population bottlenecks affect genetic diversity and stress tolerance in wild relatives of crops and in endangered species.


The Entomology Research Laboratory is committed to the development of effective biological control agents for forest, greenhouse and vegetable insect pest management.

Horticultural Research and Education

The UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center (HREC), also known as the “Hort Farm,” is the primary field laboratory site for applied teaching, research, and outreach activities on agronomic and horticultural crops, used for agricultural research and instruction of UVM classes.

Insect Agroecology and Evolution

The Insect Agroecology and Evolultion Lab focues on how humans have influenced insect pest evolution, genetics, and ecology by selecting particular strains of crop plants, cultivating crops, and moving them around the world. We research how these human-mediated historical ecological, evolutionary, and genetic changes have facilitated insect pest outbreaks in agricultural systems.

Land Use and Watershed Management

The Hurley Lab investigates mechanisms influencing sediment and nutrient retention and greenhouse gas emissions utlizing stormwater bioretention cells.

Northwest Crops and Soils Program

The Northwest Crops and Soils Program (NWCS) aims to provide the best and most relevant cropping information, both research-based and experiential, delivered in the most practical and understandable ways to Vermont farmers.

Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation

The SEGS Lab (Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation Lab) examines population dynamics within pest-crop agroecosystems, including the potential effects of climate change.

Soil Ecology Biological Indicators

The SEBIL Lab (Soil Biological Indicators Lab) developes biological indicators for environmental monitoring of agricultural, forest, and wetland soils.

People Who Do: