Grossman Lab UMN 2017 Spring Fling


Who we are

Julie Grossman, Ph.D.

Julie Grossman

Principal Investigator

Julie is passionate about how science can help us better understand plant-soil interactions in agroecological systems, and how we can best co-create that knowledge together with farmers, students and society. Julie received her graduate training at the University of Minnesota in Agronomy and Plant Genetics with an emphasis in Agroecology in Spring 2003. She was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University, and then a faculty member at North Carolina State University in the Department of Soil Science, prior to joining the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota in 2014. At UMN, Julie is the Organic Program Coordinator for the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, and an affiliated faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

Location: 454 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108

Contact: 612-625-8597, jgross@umn.edu

Miriam Gieske

Miriam

Post-Doctoral Associate

Miriam grew up in central Minnesota and has been gardening since she was six. Her interest in agricultural research was sparked by her experiences on her parents’ small farm and deepened by a research internship at The Rodale Institute. She has a master’s degree in agronomy from the University of Minnesota, and is completing a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, focused on antibiotic-producing soil bacteria which can help control crop diseases. In the Grossman lab, she works on the Organic Research and Extension Initiatives project evaluating the effects of cover crops on soil health and soil microbial communities in organic high tunnels.

Location: 405 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle, Falcon Heights, MN 55108
Contact: gies0107@umn.edu

Anne Pfeiffer, M.S.

Anne Pfeiffer

Organic Program Associate and Field Technician

Anne Pfeiffer received her MS in Horticulture at the University of WI-Madison in 2014. She has previously worked with University of WI Extension and University of WI -Madison on projects related to organic vegetable systems, urban agriculture, food access and security, and systemic capacity building in the areas of local food supply chain development and value-added processing.  Anne has farmed in Minnesota and Maine with commercial vegetable and dairy businesses supplying CSA, farmer’s markets, retail, and restaurants.  At the University of Minnesota, Anne provides scientific and technical support for organic agriculture research within the Department of Horticultural Science and the college of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Management (CFANS).  She also oversees research projects related to organic production and works to share research results through educational and outreach activities.

Location: 436 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: 612-626-2217apfeiffe@umn.edu

Sharon Perrone

Sharon Perrone

Ph.D. Student

Sharon is a New Jersey native who first became interested in agriculture while working for the Dickinson College Farm's inaugural summer crew in 2008.  She earned her BS in biochemistry & molecular biology and Italian studies in 2011 from the same school, after which she worked on a series of farms in Oregon prior to settling in Washington, D.C. to advocate for sustainable agriculture law and policy with a focus on soil health.  She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Applied Plant Sciences at the U of M with a focus in agroecology, cover cropping, and nutrient cycling.  Her broader interest is to integrate science-based minimum-input conservation practices into national agricultural extension, outreach, and policy; specifically, to prioritize soil health enhancing practices that contribute to both high yield as well as effective and healthy land management.

Location: 430 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: perro043@umn.edu

Mar Horns

Mar Horns

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Mar is an undergraduate student studying Food Systems with a focus on Organic and Local Food Production.  Mar spent much of her youth and high school years camping and canoeing in the boundary waters, Quetico, and northern Canada, which sparked a need to learn more about how humans interact with the natural world and drew her to study in a field where she could work outdoors.  She is excited to learn more about the complexity of soils and work on a variety of research projects in the Grossman Lab. Outside of work and school Mar is an avid printmaker, houseplant parent, and aspiring all-weather biker. 

Location: 455 Alderman
1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact:
 horns074@umn.edu

Vivian Wauters

Vivian Wauters

Ph.D. Student

Originally from California, Vivian earned her BA and MA in Linguistics from UC Berkeley, before farming for four years in on small-scale vegetable farms in California and Minnesota. During this time she became increasingly interested in the intersection of ecological sustainability and agricultural production. She is currently in her second year as a doctoral student in Applied Plant Sciences, where she studies agroecology, with a focus on cover crops and soil quality. Her main project is a collaboration with farmers to assess the effects of summer cover crops on diversified vegetable rotations.

Location: 452 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: vwauters@umn.edu

Charlotte Thurston

Charlotte Thurston

Masters student

Charlotte grew up in mid-coast Maine, exploring the woods and her father's garden. She received her B.S. in Plant Science from Cornell University in 2011, where she did undergraduate research in invasive species ecology in temperate forests. In subsequent years she worked for AmeriCorps, as an environmental educator, a landscaper, and on an organic farm in Oregon. She joins the Grossman lab as a Masters student in Applied Plant Science, where she is exploring the effect of cold stress and rhizobia origin on nitrogen fixation in cover crop legumes. She will also be working with farmers to implement on-farm trials of winter-hardy cover crops in high tunnels. Broadly, she is interested in small-scale organic agricultural research and practices, especially connecting research with farmers and the public in order to further soil health and sustainable production.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and vigorous outdoor pursuits.

Location: 358 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: thurs058@umn.edu

Marie Schaedel

Marie Schaedel

Ph.D. Student

Marie Schaedel earned her BA in Biology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. After graduating in 2015, she stayed at Carleton to work as an Educational Associate in her advisor’s lab studying bacterial wilt disease in tomato plants. To gain more field experience outside of the lab, Marie served as a Peace Corps Environment and Food Security Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. Her principal projects in Togo included supporting girls’ education in the sciences as well as introducing rabbit husbandry as an income-generating activity among farmers' cooperatives. As an incoming PhD student in the Grossman lab, Marie plans to forsake raising rabbits in favor of cultivating new relationships with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia in tropical forage systems. Marie is a vegetarian, cross-country skier, and aspiring fiddle player.

Location: 452 Alderman Hall
1970 Folwell Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: schae659@umn.edu