Soil Science Graduate Students

Abdelsalam Aldrmon

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
abdelsalam.aldrmon@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs


 

Khalid Almesfer

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
khalid.almesfer@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. James Harsh


 

Rachel Breslauer in a canola field

Rachel Breslauer

Degree sought: M.S. in Soil Science
rachel.breslauer@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Haiying Tao

Rachel completed her B.S. in Agricultural Science in 2016 in her home state of New York. After graduating she sought to challenge herself by conducting research in dryland agricultural systems of Eastern Washington. She began her research in Dr. Tao’s soil fertility program in Spring 2017. She was fascinated by the Palouse landscape and was inspired to study how restrictive layers in the soil, such as Fragipans and Argillic horizons, impact wheat growth and nutrition.

Rachel’s joy for the inland Northwest extends beyond her research. In her spare time Rachel enjoys backpacking, painting, and cooking with others.

Educational background: B.S. Agricultural Science, Minor: Soil Science – Cornell University


 

Alexandra Davis standing in front of trees

Alexandra Davis

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
alexandra.g.davis@email.wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. John Reganold

I grew up here in Pullman and attended WSU, where I majored in Environmental Science and Spanish. I am interested in studying ecosystem services.

Educational background: B.S. Environmental Science, B.A. Spanish


 

Patrick Freeze leaning up against straw

Patrick Freeze

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
patrick.freeze@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. James Harsh

I come from a small farming community nested in the “hill country” region of central Texas, but completed my undergraduate education in Reno, NV.  At the University of Nevada, I graduated with a B.S. in environmental science, and focused on soil science, environmental chemistry, biofuels synthesis/production, environmental policy and regulations, and community outreach.  After working with indigenous groups impacted by environmental degradation through large-scale mining, in both Nevada and western Africa, I ultimately decided soil science and resource conservation were the logical foundations to center my studies on for my Ph.D.As part of the Low Impact Development research program at WSU, my research will focus on the use of iron-gluconate amended compost and its ability to mitigate the impacts of agricultural land runoff through the adsorption of xenobiotics, excess nutrients, and arsenic, with the main focus being the speciation, fate, and transport of arsenic.

Education Background: B.S. (Environmental Sciences) – University of Nevada, Minor: Analytical Chemistry


 

Anjuman Islam

Degree sought: M.S. in Soil Science
anjumanara.islam@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Tarah Sullivan


 

Leslie Michel

Degree sought: M.S. in Soil Science
lmichel@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs


 

Katherine Naasko in front of a river

Katherine Naasko

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
katherine.naasko@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Haiying Tao

As I was born and raised in the Great Lakes state, I’ve always been aware of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability, as well as the stunning beauty that nature has to offer. My interests led me to receive a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, with two minors focusing on environmental sustainability, technology and policy at Michigan State University. While finishing my last year of school, I worked in the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient laboratory where I was exposed to the fascinating world of soil and crop science. Now that I am at WSU, I plan to maximize the experience of my unique background to make advancements in soil health and fertility in the Pacific Northwest.


 

Lee Opdahl in a field

Lee Opdahl

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
lee.opdahl@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Tarah Sullivan

Growing up on a farm in rural Minnesota has made a substantial impact on my academic interests. With my life-long experience in agriculture, and the passion for biological sciences I accrued during my undergraduate education, I decided to devote my future studies towards microbiology in agriculture. This led me to a M.S. in Animal Science with an emphasis in ruminant microbiology at South Dakota State University. To broaden my skills and education, I decided to attend WSU starting in the fall of 2017, and focus my doctoral research on rhizosphere microorganisms and their effect on crop productivity. Specifically, I will be working on characterizing metal and micronutrient transformations by the rhizosphere microbiome and phytobiome that enhance plant nutrition and crop yield.

Educational background: M.S. Animal Science (Ruminant Microbiology); B.S. Microbiology, Biotechnology, and Biology; Minors: Chemistry and Psychology – South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD


 

Sai Prudhvi Oruganti Sai Prakesh

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
s.orugantisaiprakas@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. David Brown


 

Quiping Peng  standing in front of hills

Qiuping (Ellen) Peng

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
quiping.peng@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. David Huggins

I was born in a small town in Nanyang, China, a city full of history and beautiful scenery. My passion for plants and nature lead me to higher education regarding natural resources management for both of my Bachelor degree (Northwest A&F University) and my Masters degree (Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences). What I observed during my courses field trip in 2012, impressed me so much because it is so difficult to find a clear river without pollution caused  in most part by the unsustainable development of the crop lands. I came to WSU to Dr. David Huggins’s Lab in the Fall of 2014 to focus on my research interest of carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil and try to find some practical and meaningful solution for sustainable agriculture development. I like drawing, playing badminton, running and reading, and sometimes I like cooking, but it depends on my mood.

Educational background: B.S. (Northwest A&F University); M.S. (Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences)


 

Anne Pollard

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
anne.pollard@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Patrick Fuerst and Dr. Patricia Okubara


 

Marissa Porter

Degree sought: M.S. in Soil Science
marissa.porter@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Haiying Tao


 

Prudence Ramphisa

Prudence Ramphisa

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
prudence.ramphisa@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Joan Davenport

I was born in Moteti, a small village in South Africa. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Crop production and Master`s degree in Agriculture at Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa). For my M.S. research, I studied the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium release  patterns from soils amended with animal manure over time. The aim was to obtain critical nutrient release time from manures to enable smallholder farmers to synchronize maximum nutrient release with the critical growth stages of the crop grown. I then proceeded to enroll for a second Master’s degree in Soil Science at Ghent University (Belgium). Here my research focused on assessing soil quality in home gardens in a small village in Limpopo Province, South Africa. I am currently enrolled at WSU for a Ph.D. degree in Soil Science under the supervision of Dr. Joan R. Davenport. My research focuses on comparing alternative phosphorus fertilizers (from organic sources) with mineral fertilizers in terms of their ability to make phosphorus available for plants and their effect on soil quality.


 

Henry Yabbey Sintim at a podium giving a presentation

Henry Yabbey Sintim

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
henry.sintim@email.wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr.Markus Flury

I was brought up in a farming community in Ghana. I enrolled at Kwame Nkrumah University of Sc. and Tech., Kumsi, Ghana in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, where I majored in Crop and Soil Sciences. After I graduated, I served as a Teaching and Research Assistant in my department for my National Service. I pursued my M.S. degree in Agronomy at the University of Wyoming. My M.S. research focused on optimizing camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) feedstock production in wheat/fallow rotation in the Great Plains with minimum negative impact on wheat production and the environment. I am currently enrolled at WSU pursuing a Ph.D. in the Soil Science program, under the supervision of Dr. Markus Flury. My research focuses on the use of biodegradable mulch and its impact on agricultural soil ecosystems using pumpkins as a experimental crop at the Puyallup Research & Extension Center.

Educational Background: 2014, M.S. Agronomy, Minor Statistics, Univeristy of Wyoming, Laramie, WY; 2011, B.Sc. Agriculture, Major Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Sc. and Tech., Kumasi, Ghana


 

Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
stephen.e.taylor@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Markus Flury

After finishing my B.S. in Microbiology and chemistry at BYU, I started my M.S. Degree in Soil science at WSU in Aug. 2014 with Dr. Dave Huggins. My work there focused on evaluating site-specific nitrogen fertilizer management in dryland winter wheat. After completing my masters in Aug. 2016, I went directly into my Ph.D. program with Dr. Markus Flury.

My research with Dr. Flury examines the potential for and impact of plastic pollution in sewage-sludge (biosolids) amended soils. We are looking at the accumulation and potential for movement of nano- and micro-sized plastic particles in agricultural soils. Additionally, we are looking at the accumulation and molecular associations of silver nanoparticles in these same soils over time.

As part of the WSU-PNNL Distinguished Graduate Research Program, I collaborate with researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA, where I live with my wife and two children.

Educational background: BYU – B.S. Microbiology/minor Chemistry; WSU – M.S. Soil Science


 

Rachel Wieme

Rachel Wieme

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
rachel.wieme@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. John Reganold & Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs

I was born and raised in Minnesota where I grew up loving just about anything to do with the outdoors.  The most influential experiences from my undergrad include the semester I spent in Costa Rica conducting research on an organic cocoa farm. That semester provided the springboard to further research in agricultural systems once back in Minnesota, which transformed into another influential experience as I developed relationships with local farmers and organizations to promote on-farm research trials.I am interested in studying various practices that can make agriculture more sustainable, especially as related to nitrogen management. My research is focused on introducing organic quinoa as an alternative crop for the inland Pacific Northwest. Specifically, I will examine the ecological and economic impacts of incorporating quinoa into organic rotations with other crops common to the region.

Education Background B.A. (Biology & Spanish) – St. Olaf College

 


 

Hatem Younes

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
hatem.younes@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs