Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rounak Patra successfully defends dissertation!

Congratulations to Rounak Patra, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation: “Deciphering the Role of Microbial Functional Traits in Agricultural Subsoil Organic Carbon Dynamics.” Rounak was co-advised by Dr. Sindhu Jagadamma and Dr. Debashish Saha, with additional committee members Dr. Melissa Cregger (ORNL) and Dr. Jennifer DeBruyn (BESS). Rounak has been a key lab member since his arrival in 2019 by maintaining elemental and isotope analyzers, sharing new and exciting research papers, exemplifying creative thinking, and demonstrating his prowess in securing travel and research funding.

We are very proud of you Dr. Patra!

PhD student Ravi Teja Neelipally receives Hans Jenny Soil Field Trip Award

Ravi Teja Neelipally, PhD student in Dr. Sindhu Jagadamma’s group, was selected for the 2022 Hans Jenny Soil Field Trip Award from the Soil Science Society of America. In his research, Ravi is developing organic grain rotation systems to meet the needs of Tennessee farmers and facilitate their transition to organic agriculture. This award will fund his trip to the Rodale Institute near Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where the modern Organic Movement began 70 years ago. He is eager to learn about exciting new research and to discuss his own research with professionals and farmers. Way to go, Ravi Teja!

Masters Student Ashleigh Montgomery successfully defends thesis

Congratulations to Ashleigh Montgomery, who successfully defended her Masters thesis: “Manganese Geochemistry and Plant Availability in Response to Agricultural Practices.” While at UTK, Ashleigh received numerous awards and recognitions, including travel and presentation awards at the ASA-SSSA-CSSA meeting and the Extraordinary Professional Promise award from UT. Her major advisor was Dr. Sindhu Jagadamma and committee members were Dr. Elizabeth Herndon (ORNL Environmental Science Division) and Dr. Carl Sams (UTK Department of Plant Science). Ashleigh’s research was funded by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She has recently moved to a doctoral position at the University of Delaware. We will miss you Ashleigh!

Undergrad Emily Walker receives Summer 2022 AURA

We are excited to announce that Emily Walker has received UT’s Advanced Undergraduate Research Activity (AURA) Award for Summer 2022! Through this award, Emily will receive funding for her summer research which aims to understand the effects of agroecosystem management strategies on pollinator health! Congratulations Emily!

A Volunteer of Distinction in our midst: Ashleigh Montgomery wins Professional Promise Award

Master’s student Ashleigh Montgomery received the award for Extraordinary Professional Promise for her research on manganese geochemistry and plant availability in response to agricultural practices. This is one of only a few awards given by the Office of the Provost to students in each department every year, and dignifies Ashleigh as a Volunteer of Distinction. We are very proud of Ashleigh for this huge accomplishment!

At the awards ceremony, Ashleigh had the pleasure of meeting Smokey himself.