Introducing Dr. Kristine Nichols, Chief Scientist.
Kris Nichols comes to Rodale Institute after working as a Soil Microbiologist with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, ND for over seven years.
Dr. Nichols received Bachelor of Science degrees in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota in 1995, a Masters degree in Environmental Microbiology from West Virginia University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Maryland in 2003.
Since 1993, Dr. Nichols has studied arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi – a plant-root symbiont. Her most recent work involves the investigation of glomalin – a substance produced by AM fungi. Glomalin contributes to nutrient cycling by protecting AM hyphae transporting nutrients from the soil to the plant and to soil structure and plant health by helping to form and stabilize soil aggregates. Dr. Nichols has been examining the impacts of management such as crop rotation, tillage practices, organic production, cover crops, and livestock grazing on soil aggregation, water relationships, and glomalin.
During this day long workshop Dr. Nichols will explore much of this work and bring us fully up to speed on the latest research into soil biology and how we can all use this knowledge to manage our soils to maximise nutrient use efficiency, while optimising plant health