Soil Science Graduate Students

Khalid Almesfer

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

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Alexandra Davis

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

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


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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


Jeremy Hansen

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
hansenjc@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. William Schillinger

Harsimran Kaur

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

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Melissa Letourneau

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

I’m  from Indiana but I moved to Washington in 2005 to be near the mountains. I studied Biology at North Seattle Community College from 2007-2009 in  preparation for graduate school. I have worked as a lab assistant, bread baker, engineering intern, and cook, and have visited eight national parks. I am researching bacterial communities that grow in the rhizosphere of dryland  wheat and produce redox-active antibiotic compounds known as phenazines. I am particularly interested in how  phenazines mobilize iron and manganese from soil minerals and promote biofilm  formation. I am also exploring how  phenazine-rich soils and biofilms might promote drought resistance among bacteria and associated crops.

Educational Background:B.S. (Geology) – Indiana University


Qiuping Peng

Qiuping 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. Tarah S. Sullivan

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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


Yuanhong Song

Degree sought: M.S. in Soil Science
yuanhong.song@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. David Brown

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Stephen Taylor

Degree sought: M.S. in Soil Science
stephen.e.taylor@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. David Huggins

I received my BS in Microbiology from BYU and joined Dr. Dave Huggins’ lab in Fall of 2014 as a Master’s Candidate. My research is focused on developing science-based decision support systems for farmers using precision nitrogen management technologies. My interests are in water and soil conservation.


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Jonathan Wachter

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Soil Science
jonathan.wachter@wsu.edu
Advisor: Dr. John Reganold

I grew up in Berkeley, California, spending my summers hiking and climbing in the  Sierra Nevada mountains, and the winters hiking in the coastal forests.  After high school, I moved to New Hampshire to  study forest ecology at Dartmouth College, where I was exposed to  interdisciplinary sustainability efforts and concepts of systems and resilience  thinking.  After a short break from  school, I decided to come to WSU to apply ecological thinking to agricultural  systems.I  plan to focus on nitrogen cycling in integrated cropping and livestock  systems. Being an NSPIRE fellow, my research will integrate research on nitrogen cycling with policy-making.


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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