People – Dr. Hoagland Soil Microbial Ecology Lab

Current Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Lori Hoagland

Dr. Hoagland received a BS in Environmental Science and MS in Agroecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and a PhD in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry from Washington State University (WSU). Prior to starting her graduate studies, she spent three years working in the organic seed industry at NC+ Organics, and after obtaining her PhD she spent three years working as a post-doctoral research associate in Plant Breeding at WSU. She joined the faculty at Purdue University in 2010 in a newly created position designed to support the growing local food industry. In 2019, she moved to Bogota to spend 6 months as a Visiting Professor at the National University of Colombia supported by the Fulbright Program.

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


Dr. Alejandro Rodriquez-Sanchez

Dr. Rodriguez-Sanchez received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from the University of Granada, Spain in Environmental Microbiology and Engineering. He joined the Hoagland Lab in summer 2019 and is activity engaged in a large, interdisciplinary project called the Arequipa Nexus Institute, which is a joint program between Purdue University and the National University of San Agustine in Peru. He is leading research trials aimed at determining how the composition of soil microbial communities on peri-urban farms near Arequipa change in response to contamination with heavy metals and salts, and how this in turn can influence the capacity of these microbes to help plants withstand salt and heavy metal stress. He is also investigating genetic controls on endophyte communities in quinoa, how these are influenced by cadmium (Cd) stress, and how they can influence Cd uptake in this important crop.

Dr. Amit Jaiswal

Dr. Jaiswal received a BS in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and an 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. He joined the Hoagland Lab in spring 2018, and is leading studies aimed: 1) elucidating the mechanisms regulating induced systemic resistance 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

Madelene Clark

Madelene received her BS in Soil and Water Sciences from the University of Florida. She joined the Hoagland Lab in summer 2021 and is currently pursing an MS degree. The primary focus of her research is help urban farmers across the state of Indiana determine how their management practices have influenced the health and productivity of their soils. She is also investigating relationships between soil contaminants and pathogen dynamics in these systems.

Undergraduate Students

Silenze Esquivel Benjamin

Silenze is a student in Natural Resources and Environmental Science program at Purdue, specializing in environmental microbiology. They started working in the Hoagland Lab in fall 2019. They are conducting a research project investigating how CO2 enrichment due to climate change can influence tripartite relationships between beneficial microbes, pathogens and plants, which could have important implications for managing diseases using biological control practices

Visiting Students

Jaime Andres

Jaime is a student at Caldas University in Manizales, Colombia studying Agricultural Business Administration. He is currently conducting a 6 month research internship in the Hoagland Lab where he is investigating genetic controls on cadmium uptake in quinoa.

Natalia Vidal

Natalia is a student at Caldas University in Manizales, Colombia studying Agricultural Business Administration. She is currently conducting a 6 month research internship in the Hoagland Lab where she is investigating biological approaches to increase the quality of mint oil while reducing damage by Verticillium wilt.

Former Members


Dr. Sahar Abdelrazek

After successfully completing her PhD in the Hoagland Lab in 2018, Dr. Abdelrazek transitioned to a postdoctoral research associate. She continued to study plant-associated endophytes in carrots, and took on a new project to aimed at determining whether anaerobic soil disinfestation could 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. During his MS project, he investigated whether leaf mold compost could restore degraded soils and increase crop productivity in urban agricultural systems and increase survival of a beneficial microbe with antagonistic activity against tomato pathogens. He also conducted a survey of graduate students at Purdue University to identify barriers and opportunities to increase food access and nutrition via participation in urban ag gardens.

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, completed her MS in 2018.

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 initiated her graduate studies in the Hoagland lab in 2018, and evaluating the potential for hyperspectral imaging to detect heavy metal uptake in plants, and completed her MS in 2020.

Matt Rudisill

Matt obtained his BS in Microbiology and PhD in the interdisciplinary PULSe microbiology training program, both at Purdue University. He conducted his doctoral research in the Hoagland Lab where he investigated how the long-term effects of different management programs could alter soil health, influence nitrogen cycling activities and affect vegetable productivity. He is now a molecular clinical specialist with Roche Diagnostics.

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, where she investigated differences in nitrogen scavenging among carrot genotypes, and the role that microbially mediated organic matter priming plays in these interactions. She also conducted studies aimed at identifying the best approach to identify bacterial endophyte communities in carrot roots by combining molecular and tissue techniques. She completed her MS in 2020 and is now a PhD student at the University of Oregon.

Nathan Shoaf

Nathan obtained his BS in English and MS in the Ecological Sciences and Engineering program, both at Purdue University. He conducted his MS research in the Hoagland Lab investigating how different types of biochar amendments could interact with soil type to influence the suppression of the pathogen, Phytophthora capsici in vegetable production systems, He is now the statewide urban agriculture coordinator for Purdue Extension.

Sahar Abdelrazek

Sahar 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 in 2018. Her doctoral research focused on the role of endophytes in improving carrot performance and resistance to key pathogens.

Xiaojun Zhao

Xiaojun completed her BS in Horticultural Science from Nanging University and completed her MS in the Hoagland Lab in 2016. During her MS studies, she investigated how residual products from the Indiana Forest Industry could alter soil microbial communities and their potential to suppress the pathogen Phytophthora capsici in pepper.

Undergraduate Students

Casey Martin

Casey was a student in the Agriculture and Biological Engineering program at Purdue. She completed a summer undergraduate fellowship (SURF) and a senior thesis in the Hoagland Lab investigating biological control strategies for pathogen nematodes in carrot

Camilla Bauer
Chengxuan Zhang
Grace Filley

Grace is a student in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering program at Purdue. She started working in the Hoagland Lab in Fall 2020 and has been conducting research to quantify genetic variation in cadmium uptake among quinoa genotypes and determine how cadmium stress can alter the composition and functional potential of endophytes in quinoa seed.

Hannah Kommanapelli

Hannah worked for the lab years assisting with several projects and completing her own independent senior thesis project investigating how mycorrhizal diversity can influence cadmium uptake in carrots.

Judith Martin
Melody Weber

Melody worked in the lab for two years, assisting with several projects including a trial investigating how different types of potting media and fertilizer can influence the composition of microbes living in the rhizosphere and endoshere of tomato transplants, and how this could influence resistance to pathogens.

Tim Tubbs

Visiting 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
Leidy Mejia
Liliana Gomez
Program/Institution:  National University of Colombia-Bogota
Lisseth Zubieta
Program/Institution:  National University of Colombia - Bogota
Usama Hashmi

Research Technicians

Natasha Cerruti

Natasha spent three years working in the Hoagland Lab, leading efforts to develop a local hop research and outreach program and quantify effects of organic soil fertility amendments on the susceptibility of vegetables to diseases and insect pests.

Dr. Hoagland Soil Microbial Ecology Lab - Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, 625 Agriculture Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907

© 2021 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Dr. Hoagland Soil Microbial Ecology Lab

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Dr. Hoagland Soil Microbial Ecology Lab at