The Rhizosphere Dynamics Lab Team

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CHRISTINE SPRUNGER, PhD

Principal Investigator
sprunger.29@osu.edu

Dr. Christine Sprunger joined the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor of Soil Science and Rhizosphere Processes in the fall of 2018. Her research focuses on the intersection of agriculture and the environment, where she investigates how climate change impacts crop production, nutrient cycling and rhizosphere dynamics. In addition, much of Christine’s work addresses how crop diversity, perenniality, and reduced tillage contribute to important ecosystem services such as soil carbon sequestration and nitrogen use. Christine also conducts interdisciplinary research with social scientists to understand farmer perceptions of soil health and climate adaptation.  

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MEREDITH MANN, BA

Lab Manager

mann.493@osu.edu

Meredith joined the Rhizosphere Dynamics Lab in the beginning of September 2019, after working for The Ohio State University's Soil Fertility Lab since 2017. As lab manager, she oversees lab operations and analyses, coordinates field research trials across Ohio, and facilitates graduate and undergraduate research. Meredith is a northeast Ohio native with a B.A. in Geology from the College of Wooster. She enjoys working with the environment and in her free time can be found hiking, reading, and tending sheep.

TVISHA MARTIN, BS

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TVISHA MARTIN, MS

Tvisha Martin obtained her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Toledo in May, 2019. Additionally, Tvisha obtained her M.S from The Ohio State University in May 2021 from Dr. Christine Sprunger’s Lab. Her Master’s thesis analyzed the effects of tillage and crop rotation on soil biological health through the quantification of nematode communities. Tvisha has since started her doctoral research in the Rhizosphere Dynamics Lab where her research will aim to understand how nematode communities can serve as soil biological health indicators under induced drought. Additionally, Tvisha’s doctoral research will aim to understand how soil biological health changes over the growing season under systems with a varying management gradient. Her doctoral research will be performed at the Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Restoration Site. Tvisha's research interests include quantifying soil biological health through microbial sequencing and nematode communities, optimizing agricultural management under climate change, and the using quantitative modeling to understand the soil health framework. In her free time, Tvisha enjoys running, hiking, climbing, and reading a good book.  

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PRABHJOT SINGH, MS

Prabhjot (Prabu) Singh graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in June of 2019 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Biology. Prabhjot joined the Sprunger Lab in the Fall of 2019 and completed her Masters degree in the Environmental Science Graduate Program at OSU in the Summer of 2021. Her research explores both quantitative and qualitative data to understand the existing state of soil health on farms in the Midwest and how farmers may perceive or use biological soil health data to inform their management practices. As she continues with the Sprunger Lab for her Ph.D., Prabu is interested in using interdisciplinary methods to effectively communicate scientific research with broader audiences and further study soil health on-farm. In her free time, Prabu enjoys gardening, running, crocheting, painting, cooking, and spending time with friends and family!

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COLE GOLDMAN, BS

Cole is ecstatic to be joining the Rhizosphere Dynamics Lab. He is starting as a master's student, after having obtained his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Colorado State University. Cole will be studying how severe weather, specifically flooding, impacts crop yield, soil food webs and nutrient cycling; as well as developing post-flood nutrient application recommendations to remedy flooding impacts. Additionally, Cole is interested in researching soil nematode biodiversity, mycorrhizae symbiosis, food security and the impacts of climate change on global soil integrity. Cole loves to hike, listen to nearly any kind of music, and enjoys an iced mocha while walking through a park.  

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MK KLENKAR, BS

MK Klenkar is a first-year master’s student in Dr. Sprunger’s lab. MK grew up in the Cleveland area and received their bachelor's in environmental science from OSU in 2017.
MK's primary research interests are soil microbes and native plants in natural areas, especially Ohio forests. Most recently they spent a couple of years working for the Negaunee Institute for Plant Conservation Science and Action at the Chicago Botanic Garden. There, MK studied threatened and endangered plants throughout the Cook County Forest Preserves. 
MK's personal interests include gardening, sewing, burning things in the oven, and bothering their cat Pawpaw. 

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DANIELLE BUSH

Graduate Student 
bush.474@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Danielle Bush is currently a SENR Graduate Student interested in environmental sociology, local food sources, food insecurity, and sustainable policies. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Plant Systems with a specialization in Horticulture at OSU in the winter of 2020. Her research will focus on local food sources, food policies, and urban soil health. One of her goals is to secure a position within the Agricultural Industry that will allow her to make developments that will benefit her community. In her free time, she enjoys music, strategy games, volunteering, and gardening.

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JACOB MURRAY

Undergraduate Research Assistant 
murray.1044@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Jacob is a third-year undergraduate student at Ohio State studying Ecological Engineering (in FABE) along with a minor in Science and Engineering in the Public Interest. This summer, he is very excited to be helping out with a number of projects, particularly in studying the effects of drought on nitrogen cycling and the soil food web under different management strategies; as well as the abundance of enrichment opportunist nematodes across different ecosystems. Within this, he hopes to contribute to the design of more sustainable agroecosystems under changing climatic conditions. Jacob also loves to spend any time he can outside - especially hiking and biking - or roasting his own coffee.

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RHIZO LAB 2021

From left to right:

Cole Goldman

MK Klenkar

Prabu Singh

Meredith Mann

Dr. Christine Sprunger 

Tvisha Martin

Christian Mammana &

Jacob Murray

Former Lab Members

Research Assistants

Nicole Hoekstra, M.S.

Christian Mammana, LTER REU