Ph.D. Soil Microbiology Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (1991) (Dept. of Plant Pathology) M.S. Ag. Microbiology Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India (1983) B.S. Agriculture Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore,India (1981)
I am a soil microbiologist/soil scientist by training. My research expertise are on studying soil physical, chemical, and biological properties in relation to nutrient cycling and soil quality in wetland and upland systems. Utilizing microbiology as a central tool, we conduct research on microbial structural and functional diversity by traditional and molecular approaches, environmental influence on microbes structure and function, pesticides fate and transport, apply enrichment techniques to isolate and characterize pesticides degrading microbes, biodegradation processes in soil and water. For the past few years, our laboratory is working on developing novel biological control strategies for the management of invasive exotic plant species in South Florida. In another novel project, we hypothesized to mitigate freshwater toxins as well as marine toxins by applying microbiological techniques. Our group also involved in biological energy production such as biodiesel and hydrogen through plants and microorganisms. My age old expertise on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, their interactions with plants, and significant role in conservation/restoration measures for natural and agricultural systems continues. I have co-founded agroecology program through significant funding from USDA to promote education, research, training, and outreach activities for students pipelining and capacity building. I enjoy teaching soils and ecosystems, advanced soil resources analysis, agroecology, soil microbiology, soil biology, and ecology of South Florida.