Soils are everywhere. We walk on them, eat food grown on them, and enjoy the aesthetic things that they support such as ornamental plants and wildlife habitats. And soils are as complex at the different aspects of our lives as they support.
Our faculty works across all of the diverse aspects of soil science (soil biological, chemical, and physical processes; soil as a supplier of water and nutrients to plants, a host to an array of living organisms, and natural and imposed events can degrade soils). We do this in concert with the broad array of animal and crop production systems in our state to support economically and environmentally sustainable practices.
My research group measures, models and explains the spatial variability of soil properties and processes with applications to precision agriculture and phenomics. We make extensive use of GIS, remote sensing, digital terrain modeling, spatial statistics, and soil sensors.
My current research focuses on water availability to plant processes in the soil/plant/atmosphere and its role in plant species progression and dormancy along with water conservation. Paramount to this effort is the conversion of sensor measurements to actionable information, so these projects include interdisciplinary collaboration between ecology, agriculture, environmental biophysics, and bioinformatics. The goal of this work is to provide stakeholders with better understanding upon which to base critical environmental decision-making.
I conduct research in sustainable and organic agriculture, with an emphasis on biological soil fertility. Current project areas include life cycle analysis of farming, management for soil health, mycorrhizal colonization of alternative crops, acid-tolerant rhizobia, and compost tea.
Through my “day job” at Decagon Devices, my research is primarily applied instrumentation development to improve biophysical observations. But, I sometimes get the chance to use those instruments to conduct basic research on biophysical interactions in the soil-plan t-atmosphere continuum.
Located at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington, my research team works on soil fertility and plant nutrient management, including irrigation water needs, for the diverse cropping systems in this region, with an emphasis on speciality crops.
Dr. Flury’s research interest is in the area of flow and transport in porous media, particularly in the vadose zone. Specific areas include: (1) Characterization of water flow and solute transport in the vadose zone, (2) colloid and colloid-facilitated contaminant transport through the vadose zone, (3) soil physical instrumentation and their applications, (4) sustainable use of soil resources.
My research focuses on identification and manipulation of mechanisms of genetic resistance to cold and improvement of wheat end use quality, specifically for club and soft white wheat. My research also focuses on statistical methods of identifying, controlling, and exploting genotype by environment interaction.
Dave Huggins is Director of the Cook Agronomy Farm Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) site and Co-Director of the Pacific Northwest Climate Hub. His research is in the area of Conservation Farming and Agroecology focusing on nitrogen use efficiency, carbon sequestration and overall agroecosystem performance.
Research activities address water movement within the vadose zone in woody perennial cropping systems. Specifically, current work is focused on use of subsurface irrigation systems in wine and juice grapes to more effectively employ deficit irrigation strategies for water conservation and improved fruit quality.
My program, the Sustainable Seed Systems Lab, is focused on the breeding and agronomy of barley, quinoa, millet, spelt, and perennial wheat. We work closely with farmers on regional to international scales to develop high yielding, nutritionally dense seed crop varieties for a diversity of cropping systems.
I conduct work at the interface between crops and soils at rhizosphere and cropping systems levels the Nutrient Cycling and Rhizosphere Ecology Analytics, Technology and Education (NCREATE) team. We digitally image root rhizospheres and we track nutrient use and cycling of crops in rotations to better inform nutrient management recommendations, which we extend to student and farming communities.
My research program focuses on the molecular genetic and genomic cues that govern root development in grasses. We use B. distachyon as a model as well as wheat to study how roots grow in their native and diverse soil environments. In addition, we study how the plant cell well and hormones mediate morphogenesis in the root.
My cropping systems research and extension program is mainly focused in low-precipitation (less than 12 inch annual) farming areas. Research interests include: best management practices to reduce wind erosion, increased cropping intensity, alternative crops, and water use efficiency in cropping systems.
Dr. Zhenqing Shi is an adjunct faculty at CSS and now is a professor at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China. His current research focuses on the interactions of heavy metals with soil and soil components with both theoretical and experimental approaches.
My research emphasizes linking the function and phylogeny of the soil microbiome, specifically with regard to interactions with plant roots and impacts on metal bioavailability and plant uptake. The soil microbiome is key in the biotransformations of many micronutrients and metals in the rhizosphere; these consortia and the mechanisms involved, drives my work.
My research focuses on soil fertility and best nutrient management practices for optimum crop yield and economic returns, while aware of environmental concerns.