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Graduate Student Directory

Research Group: Dr. Tim Setter
The goal of my research is to facilitate the breeding of improved cassava varieties through more reliable flowering. To achieve this, I am studying (1) the role of abiotic factors on flower induction (especially ambient temperature). This is because daylength in the tropics do not change significantly throughout the year whereas cassava is a tropical crop. (2) the role of phytohormones (specifically cytokinins) on post-induction developmental processes - namely flower longevity and proliferation. (3) the regulation of gene expression in response to above named factors. Studies are carried out under field conditions in Nigeria exploiting diverse agroecologies that result in contrasting flowering behaviours of identical cassava clones as well as under controlled conditions (green house and growth chamber) in Ithaca.
 
Ann Bybee-Finley
Research Group: Dr. Matthew Ryan (Lab
Ann Bybee-Finley took a giant leap for academia as the first graduate student for new faculty member, the Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, Matt Ryan in August 2012. Her current research combines her interest in low-input management solutions to climate change and farmer risk mitigation strategies.
Research Group: Dr. Carmen Enid Martinez
My research utilizes model soil systems to investigate the interplay between substrate chemistry, microbial metabolism, and the physicochemical interaction between organics and mineral surfaces. The aim of the research is to explore how efficiently soil microbial isolates metabolize various low molecular weight substrates and how the necromass produced from those substrates interacts with mineral surfaces. 
Research Group: Dr. Johannes Lehmann
Mariana’s current research interests gravitate toward the synergies within the plant-soil continuum, and how they are affected by the use of pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) as a soil amendment or Enhanced-Efficiency Fertilizers. Building on this context, her doctoral work encompasses the analyses of linkages between physicochemical alterations in the rhizosphere microcosm and the perception and incorporation by the plant of sensory signals related to resources’ availability.
Research Group: Dr. Daniel Buckley (Lab)
I study how microbes evolve and disperse in the soil. To answer questions in this field, I draw on methods and theories from microbiology, ecology and genomics. More specifically, I am interested in the bacterial genus Streptomyces, which is famous for its antibiotic production and characteristic petrichor smell. My research revolves around their habitat preferences and biogeography, Streptomyces taxonomy and phylogeny, and the evolution of antibiotic production in this group of bacteria. 

Morgan Irons

Graduate Student
Research Group: Dr. Johannes Lehmann
Morgan’s research interests are in understanding how biogeochemical cycles and feedbacks are initially established in regolith and degraded soils from Earth and other planetary bodies. Her PhD research specifically looks at soil organic matter stabilization, organo-mineral interactions, and microbiome dynamics in soil aggregates experiencing Earth gravity, microgravity, and different environmental stressors.
 
Research Group: Dr. Ludmilla Aristilde
I'm interested in the study of how plant and microbial secretions and exudates within the rhizosphere bind to soil minerals and how this process influences overall soil properties and health. 
Kavya Krishnan
Research Group: Dr. Harold van Es (Lab)
I am working on my PhD with Professor Harold Van Es. My research will broadly focus on soil health in India. I will be looking at soil health from a physical, chemical and biological perspective at both small-holder farms and long-term university trials.

Rachelle LaCroix

Graduate Student
Research Group: Dr. Johannes Lehmann
Broadly, my research is focused on the persistence of soil organic carbon. More specifically, I am interested at understanding fine-scale mechanisms that govern microbial mineralization of carbon substrates in soil.
Research Groups: Dr. Antonio DiTommaso (Lab) and Dr. Matthew Ryan (Lab
As a member of both the Weed Ecology and Management and Sustainable Cropping Systems Labs I am working on multiple projects developing perennial grain cropping systems in New York State. Our projects involve agronomic questions of fertilizer rates, planting density, weed and pest management, tillage regimes, intercropping, and harvest methods, as well as quantifying the additional ecosystem services provided by perennial crops such as soil health improvement and erosion control and preliminary work on identifying potential end uses and market space for perennial grains.
Research Group: Dr. Matthew Ryan (Lab
Jeff’s research is focused on the scalability of agroecological practices among U.S. fruit and vegetable growers who manage small- to large-scale, conventional or organic farms. The goal of this research is to elucidate the ecological, economic, socio-cultural, and institutional drivers and barriers to the adoption and continued use of agroecological practices.
 
Research Group: Dr. Matthew Ryan (Lab
I seek to understand the interactions between weed communities and crop plants in row-crop systems to promote ecological weed management. My research focuses on the competitive mechanisms of weed-crop competition.
Research Group:  Dr. Ying Sun
I am working on data analysis of solar-induced fluorescence to evaluate photosynthesis activities as well as study terrestrial carbon cycle dynamics.