People – Hoagland Lab

Current Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Lori Hoagland

Dr. Hoagland obtained a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), before spending three years in the organic seed industry. During this time she learned that varieties that performed best in organic systems were not always the same ones that did best in conventional systems, so she returned to UNL to learn more about what might be causing this while obtaining an MS focusing on Agroecology. Her MS thesis research identified practical approaches to integrate specialty crops into corn-soybean operations to increase farm income, while reducing nutrient loss and the need for pesticides. She also learned about the importance of soil microbes in regulating many key agroecosystem services, so she moved to Washington State University to obtain a PhD in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry. Through her doctoral research on organic orchard floor management, she determined how soil microbial communities could be manipulated using soil amendments and cover crops to suppress weeds, increase nitrogen uptake in apple trees and reduce damage by soil-borne pathogens. During her post-doctoral studies at WSU, she was able to combine the knowledge she gained during her time in the seed industry with her graduate studies in soil microbial ecology by collaborating with plant breeders to begin exploring potential for integrating selection for beneficial plant-microbial relationships into crop breeding programs. Through these projects, she identified wheat genotypes that could best support diazotrophic microbes which are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, and wheat genotypes that increased populations of beneficial soil microbes that could suppress soil-borne pathogens in wheat and subsequent apple crops. In 2010, she accepted a tenure-track faculty position in the Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University, where she has now dedicated her career to helping specialty crop growers in the U.S. Midwest overcome their production challenges while developing production systems that are more sustainable through research in soil microbial ecology. In recent years, she has began applying these skills to help growers in Colombia and Peru, who face similar production challenges but have even fewer resources to overcome them.

 Address:  625 Agriculture Mall Dr
 Phone:  (765) 494-1426


Dr. Alejandro Rodriquez-Sanchez

Dr. Rodriguez-Sanchez received his PhD from the University of Granada, Spain. He is currently conducting studies aimed at determining how the composition and functional capacity of soil and endophytic microbes is altered in heavy metal contaminated soils. He is also investigating potential remediation strategies to prevent heavy metal uptake in vegetables and quinoa.

Dr. Amit Jaiswal

Dr. Jaiswal recieved his BS in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and his MS and PhD in Agroecology and Plant Health in a joint program with the Hebrew University and The Volcani Center in Israel. His graduate studies focused on identifying the mechanisms regulating biochar mediated plant growth promotion and plant defense responses. His current studies are focused on: 1) elucidating the mechanisms regulating induced systemic resisstance to foliar pathogens by beneficial soil microbes in tomato, and 2) quantifying the impacts of tomato domestication and breeding on rhizosphere processes.

 Address:  625 Agriculture Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907

Graduate Students

Patricia Stutz

Pat received a BS from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and is currently working on an MS in the Hoagland Lab. Her research project is aimed at identifying biological approaches to mitigate Verticillium wilt in mint production systems.

Undergraduate Students

Grace Filley
Hannah Kommanapelli
Melody Weber
Silenze Esquivel Benjamin

Former Members


Dr. Sahar Abdelrazek

Dr. Abdelrazek earned a BS, MS and PhD in Plant Pathology from Assiut University in Egypt, where she conducted research to manage vegetable diseases. She joined the Hoagland Lab in 2014 to gain additional research experience in microbial ecology and molecular techniques, while earning a second PhD in Horticulture. Her doctoral research in the Hoagland lab focused on the role of endophytes in improving carrot performance and resistance to key pathogens. After successfully completing her PhD in 2018, she decided to continue working with the Hoagland research group as a postdoctoral research associate. She continues to study plant-associated endophytes in carrots, and has taken the lead on a new project to determine whether anaerobic soil disinfestation can be used to successfully control Verticillium wilt in mint crops.

Graduate Students

Kyle Richardville

Kyle is from Vincennes, IN where he attended Vincennes Lincoln High School and graduated in 2013. He played collegiate soccer at the University of Evansville and also the University of Southern Indiana where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Food & Nutrition in the spring of 2018. He joined the Hoagland Lab as a graduate student in spring 2019 and completed his MS in December 2020.

Landon Young
Lisseth Zubieta

Lisseth obtained her BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Colombia-Bogota. During the final year of her BS degree, she conducted an internship in the Hoagland Lab, where she investigated how crop management practices could alter arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and affect the potential for soybeans to tolerate water stress. After completing her degree, she returned to the Hoagland Lab as a graduate to follow up on this research and gain new research skills.

Maria Zea

Maria obtained her BS in Biology at the Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico. During her undergraduate studies, she conducted a research project evaluating the implications of unrestricted pesticide use on the health of local farm workers. Her interests in the health impacts of agricultural production led her to apply for a fellowship with the US-AID project, Cacao for Peace, which is aimed at supporting growth of the cacao industry in her native Colombia, by overcoming challenges associated with cadmium accumulation. She intiatied her graduate studies in the Hoagland lab in 2018, and is currently evaluating the potential for hyperspectral imaging to detect heavy metal uptake in plants.

Matt Rudisill
Narda Silva

Narda obtained her BS in Biology and Microbiology from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. During her undergraduate studies, she conducted internships at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) where she focused on Brachiaria diversity and nitryfing microorganisms in soil. She started her graduate studies in the Hoagland Lab in 2018, and is currently investigating differences in nitrogen scavenging among carrot genotypes, and the role that microbially mediated organic matter priming plays in these interactions. She is also identifying the best approach to identify bacterial endophyte communities in carrot roots by combining molecular and tissue techniques.

Nathan Shoaf
Xiaojun Zhao

Undergraduate Students

Camilla Bauer
Chengxuan Zhang
Judith Martin
Tim Tubbs

Visitng Scientists

Dr. Giuseppe Colla
Program/Institution:  University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
Dr. Luz Marina Melgarejo
Program/Institution:  National University of Colombia - Bogota
Dr. MariaTeresa Cardarelli
Program/Institution:  Italian Ministry of Agriculture
Lina Gonzalez
Program/Institution:  EAFIT University, Medellin, Colombia

Visiting Students

Christopher Zelayo
Program/Institution:   Honduran Agricultural University
Gabriela Santos
Program/Institution:  Zamorano University, Honduras
Gustavo Mendizable
Program/Institution:  Zamorano University, Honduras
Liliana Gomez
Program/Institution:  National University of Colombia-Bogota
Lisseth Zubieta
Program/Institution:  National University of Colombia - Bogota