Amy Shober, Ph.D, Professor and Extension Specialist
Maria Pautler, Research Associate III
Shawn Tingle, Research Associate II
Sydney Riggi, Extension Agent III
Current Graduate Students
Lauren Mosesso, Ph.D., Plant and Soil Sciences – Lauren obtained a B.S. in environmental geology with a minor in chemistry at University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, VA) in December 2016. Her research aims to characterize the transport pathways of subsurface phosphorus loss in ditch-drained fields on the Delmarva Peninsula using stable water isotopes. Results from this research are intended to help modify regional P indices.
Former Graduate Students (University of Delaware)
Zhixuan Qin, Ph.D., Plant and Soil Sciences – Dr. Qin’s Ph.D. research focused on understanding phosphorus dynamics in agricultural soils with high phosphorus levels (known as legacy P). She evaluated best management practices for retaining soil phosphorus, thus lessening the need for fertilizer applications and preventing the runoff of phosphorus to waterways that leads to nuisance algal blooms.
Melissa Hubert (Savin), M.S., Plant and Soil Sciences – Melissa obtained her B.S. in Environmental Science from Wesley College. Following her passion to help the agricultural community and protect the environment, her research focused on Tax Ditches throughout Delaware to improve their maintenance and minimize nutrient losses to downstream waterbodies. Specifically, she studied the Tax Ditch Dipout which is the major maintenance practice performed every 15-20+ years to remove accumulated sediment and restore ditch functionality. Research on this practice is a new field of study and potential nutrient losses. Melissa currently works for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
Sydney Young Riggi, M.S., Plant and Soil Sciences – Sydney is an Extension Agent with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. She coordinates the Delaware Nutrient Management Certification Sessions and continuing education. Sydney holds a B.S. in General Agriculture from Delaware State University and an M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Delaware. She is also a Certified Crop Advisor.
Alexander Soroka, M.S., Water Science and Policy – Alex studied environmental science as an undergrad first in New Hampshire and then New York where his experience was in rural landscapes with few humans. Alex came to Delaware to study issues at the boundary of people, food production, and sensitive water bodies. In order to find ways to maintain or increase our food production while protecting our water quality, Alex investigated how fertilizer strategies in irrigated corn can alter both yield and the plants’ nutrient use efficiency. Alex currently works for the United States Geological Survey in Baltimore, MD.
Kathryn Turner (Clark), M.S., Plant and Soil Sciences – Katie graduated from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences in May 2013 with a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management, Soil Science option, where she was also a member of the Soil Judging Team. Katie’s research focused on understanding the subsurface movement of phosphorus in ditch-drained fields in Delmarva. Her work helps us better quantify the risk of P transport in order to inform future versions of the Delaware Phosphorus Site Index. For part of her project, she used Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) to observe tracer movement beneath the ground surface. Katie currently works for the Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania.
Former Graduate Students (University of Florida)
John Gum, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Amy Hylkema, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Shawna Loper, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Jennifer Marriott, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Drew McLean, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Zhixuan Qin, M.S., Interdisciplinary Ecology
Donald Rainey, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Stewart Whitney, M.S., Soil and Water Science
Former Undergraduate Students
Kaitlyn Markey, CANR Summer Institute intern
Nicolas Villari, DWRC intern