NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates

Program Mentors

Mentors

  • A. Amoozegar   (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    The Amoozegar group studies the relationships between soil physical properties, soil water movement, and transport of pollutants through the vadose zone-saturated zone continuum by using multiscale laboratory column experiments and field approaches
  • R. Austin   (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    The primary focus of Austin’s lab is the use of geospatial technologies to better understand, measure, analyze, and manage spatial variability in both agricultural and environmental settings.
  • R. Cook   (Forestry and Environmental Resources)
    Cook's laboratory is interested in improving sustainable forest productivity in managed, plantation systems in the southeastern US and Latin America through a better understanding of forest soils and silvicultural techniques. Silviculture includes any practice that we may utilize to manage site resources (fertilization, vegetation control, planting density, thinning, harvesting methods, etc).
  • M. Cubeta (Plant Pathology)
    The Cubeta laboratory is interested in understanding the ecology and interaction of soil fungi with plants and how soil chemistry and microbial communities influence these interactions to improve plant health.
  • O.W. Duckworth  (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    The soil biogeochemistry laboratory focuses on the interactions between minerals, microbes, and metals in soil and natural waters. Specific emphasis is on elucidating mechanisms of biomineralization and bioweathering by utilizing microscopic, spectroscopic, and molecular biology techniques in conjunction with wet chemical approaches to study these processes at the atomistic to macro-scale.
  • A.J. Franzluebbers (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    Franzluebbers’ lab investigates how various conservation agricultural management systems affect soil carbon sequestration, nitrogen dynamics, soil microbial activity, and soil health.
  • T.W. Gannon   (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    Dr. Gannon’s research group investigates various contemporary issues related to pesticide fate and transport. Specific areas of emphasis include pesticide sorption, mobility, degradation, and bioavailability in soil, air, and water. Efforts also focus on organic arsenical pesticide and trace element behavior in managed systems. The overarching goal is to help land managers operate in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • T. Gardner   (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    Gardner’s lab focuses on improving understanding of linkages between the microbial community and diversity, and microbial mediated processes.
  • J. Heitman   (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    Heitman’s soil physics laboratory studies the transfer of water, heat, and chemicals through soil via development of new measurement techniques, field experiments, and modeling. Emphasis is placed on water availability in agricultural and natural systems and runoff reduction in urban settings
  • D. Hesterberg  (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    Hesterberg’s research program focuses on the molecular chemistry, fate, and transport of phosphate and trace elements in soils. The research couples laboratory dissolution and sorption experiments with advanced analyses of soils and model systems using synchrotron x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) techniques.
  • M.R. Hyman   (Plant and Microbial Biology)
    Hyman’s laboratory focuses on the microorganisms, enzymes, and pathways associated with aerobic biodegradation of diverse organic contaminants, including chlorinated solvents and petrochemcials . These geobiology approaches include physiological studies, chemical analyses, and genome-enabled “omic” analyses.
  • R. McLaughlin   (Crop and Soil Sciences)
    The McLaughlin group focuses research and training efforts on sediment and erosion control in urban areas in order to protect water quality.
  • B.M. Montoya   (Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering)
    Montoya’s group examines environmental implications and management of coal ash, a byproduct from coal-fired power plants that is often associated with metal contamination. A remediation method that reduces metals leaching into groundwater while improving the cohesive strength of the coal ash can mitigate the risks of spills or groundwater contamination.


Contact Details

For questions,
contact Josh Heitman (Program Leader)
and Owen Duckworth (Co-Leader)
at besst-nsf-reu@ncsu.edu


NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1358938.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



Decade of soils