Deborah (“Deb”) Neher, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. She is a soil ecologist and her recent research focuses on biological communities in compost and their role in disease suppression by natural mechanisms. Dr. Neher has 35+ years of experience as a researcher, educator, and graduate student mentor. She has published 100 peer reviewed articles and 24 book chapters on topics of biological indicators of soil, ecotoxicology and biotechnology risk assessment, climate change and soil biological crusts, plant pathology and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Neher’s primary research interest is developing biological indicators for environmental monitoring of soil. She views nature as a model and am a question-driven researcher using population and community ecology approaches.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Land Institute where she chairs the science committee. She was the 2010 recipient of the HW Vogelmann Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship at University of Vermont, 2015 recipient of the Deborah A. Neher Career Award in Soil Ecology given by the Ecological Society of America, and 2017 recipient of the Service Award of the Soil Ecology Society.