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Department of Agronomy

Soil Microbial Agroecology Lab (SMAL)


Kansas State University
2701 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-7217
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Small Microbial Agroecology Lab (SMAL)


Sustainable agricultural systems that are productive; efficient with water, nutrients and energy; resilient to climate change, and promote soil health. Scholars involved in the Soil Microbial Agroecology Program will be highly sought after to contribute to science and education.


The mission of the Soil Microbial Agroecology Program at Kansas State University is to provide state, national and international leadership in the understanding of soil microbial ecology of grassland and agricultural systems. Knowledge of soil microbial ecology will be applied to optimize management of nutrients, water, and residues for soil health and sustainable efficient production systems that conserve resources and provide ecosystem services. Students will develop the necessary skill sets to be leaders in their field and have a successful career.


The Soil Microbial Agroecology Lab is focused on three areas of research:

  • Understanding the microbial ecology, C, and N processes of grassland and agricultural ecosystems.
  • Identification of soil health biological indicators and the practices that sustain and improve soil health.
  • Understanding the role and opportunities of microbes in the rhizosphere to enhance plant growth and increase efficiency of water and nutrients.