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Sustainable Nutrient Management Systems Lab

Sustainable Nutrient Management Systems Lab

Gabriel Maltais-Landry

Gabriel Maltais-Landry (He/him) - Principal Investigator

Originally trained as an aquatic biogeochemist at Université de Montréal (B.Sc. and M.Sc.), my work shifted towards nutrient cycling in agriculture during my Ph.D. at Stanford, which focused on the effects of cover crops and organic amendments on soil phosphorus cycling in California. This work expanded to include how nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions are affected by manures and cover crops during my postdoc at the University of British Columbia. My work at UF now embraces the complexity and uniqueness of Florida’s diverse agroecosystems.

Angelique Bochnak

Angelique M.K. Bochnak (she/her) - Biological scientist

Angelique received her Ph.D. in Soil and Water Sciences, Wetland Biogeochemistry Laboratory, at UF in 2007. For the past decade or more she’s worked as an ecosystem manager in both the government and private sector on water quality and ecosystem restoration in Florida aquatic systems. Throughout her career, she has gained diverse experience and expertise in water resource science, nutrient impairment of aquatic systems, watershed management, environmental sustainability, and ecosystem modeling. Angelique joined our lab in late 2020 and is excited to apply her knowledge and expertise managing our lab and working with students. Her time is split between our lab and the Environmental Pedology & Land Use Lab.

Post-Doctoral Associates & Graduate Students

Julia Barra Netto-Ferreira

Julia Barra Netto-Ferreira (she/her) - Ph.D. student

Julia completed her B.S. in Agronomy at the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She received her M.S. in Agronomy - Soil Science from the same institution. In her thesis, she studied the effect of granulation of NPK fertilizers with biosolid to enhance fertilizer use efficiency. Her main research interests lay in understanding how agroecosystems management impacts soil health and crop nutrition. Julia's Ph.D. research will evaluate chickpea's potential to serve as a dual-purpose crop (cash and cover crop) to replace bare fallow periods in Southeastern row crop systems. Her goal is to determine if and how management will affect soil health, fertility, and the productivity of crops in the rotation system.

David Campbell

David Campbell (he/him) - Post-Doctoral Associate

David’s systems-based research focuses on sustainable and organic cropping systems with the goal of identifying management practices that ensure farmer profitability, produce health-promoting foods, and protect the environment. He received his M.S in Agronomy and Ph.D. in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida (UF). He has conducted research on commercial farming operations, university research stations, and in the laboratory on a variety of crops, including bioenergy crops, castor, carrot, citrus, peach, and sorghum. The focus of David’s research has focused on cropping systems, crop physiology, plant and soil water dynamics, entomology, and plant pathology. David’s research efforts are informed from over 10 years of work experience for universities (Georgetown, Mount Sinai, and UF) and private industry (Chromatin Inc.), as well as his experience serving as the State Food Systems Coordinator where he managed a state-wide team that implemented systems changes to increase fruit and vegetable access for limited-resource residents in Florida. David’s current research project seeks to optimize fertility, amendment, and irrigation management with organic farmers in north central Florida with the goal of maintaining yield and quality while protecting Florida’s waterways.

Ariel Freidenreich

Ariel Freidenreich (she/her) - Post-Doctoral Associate

Ariel earned her Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science from Florida International University’s Department of Earth and Environment in 2021. Her Ph.D. work focused on developing sustainable soil building and nutrient management strategies for tropical fruit production in South Florida. For her postdoc, Ariel is working on a recently funded USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative project that primarily explores the quantification of nitrogen additions through cover crop application in organic vegetable systems of Florida. This two-year field study is based at the University of Florida’s Plant Science Research and Education Unit.

Yaslin Gonzalez

Yaslin Gonzalez (she/her) - Ph.D. Student

co-chaired Ph.D. student (main advisor: Allan Bacon)

Yaslin earned an M.S. degree in Soil and Water Sciences at the University of Florida in 2018. Yaslin’s thesis focused on characterizing the origins and quantifying the mass and distribution of deep podzolized carbon in the Southeastern United States Coastal Plain. Following graduation, Yaslin worked in the Department of Environmental Protection for three years, delineating wetlands and other surface waters across the state. Currently, Yaslin is pursuing a Ph.D., evaluating the effects of cover crop treatments on soil health in a perennial tree cropping system. Another objective of this study will be to determine which traditional and novel soil health indicators are best suited for Florida’s sandy soils.

Jaya Nepal

Jaya Nepal (He/him) - Ph.D. Student

co-chaired Ph.D. student (main advisor: Zhenli He)

Jaya completed his B.S. in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University (TU) in Nepal, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences (IAAS), where he worked with different biochar and their impact on soil physical and chemical properties. He then received an M.S. degree in International Agricultural Developmental Studies from the University of Tokyo, Japan. For his master’s research project, he evaluated the effectiveness of a newly developed phosphate fertilizer using a calcination technique in Burkina Faso. His journey working on new phosphate rock fertilizers continues at UF for a Ph.D. in soil and water sciences working with Zhenli He and Gabriel. His Ph.D. work will focus on elucidating and improving the agronomic efficiency of newly developed phosphate rock fertilizers produced with Florida’s dolomite rock reserves. Jaya is stationed at the Indian River Research and Education center (IRREC) facility in Fort Pierce, FL, and he will focus mainly on utilizing new fertilizers for vegetable crops such as tomato and cabbage. This time, he wants to not only work on testing and improving the agronomic efficiency of new fertilizers through different crop and soil management techniques but also learn in-depth about phosphorus cycling in soil and its impact on soil fertility and quality. He also aims to utilize the expertise of Dr. He’s laboratory to study nanotechnology-mediated fertilizer delivery systems for the new fertilizer. His ultimate goal is to develop a strategy for optimizing the use of new fertilizers for vegetable production in Florida that can be meaningful to farmers.

Kaile Zhang

Kaile Zhang (He/him) - Ph.D. Student

co-chaired Ph.D. student (main advisor: Sunny Liao)

Kaile obtained his M.S. degree in Soil Science at Zhejiang University. His master’s thesis focused on the interaction between soil pH and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) mineralization in acid soil. His research interests focus on how the microbial communities are shaped by nutritional (e.g. C and N) and environmental variables, and how microbe-environment interactions affect soil nutrient cycling and ecosystem function. He joined our lab in Fall 2018 for his Ph.D. program. Here, his research focuses on understanding the dynamics of soil microorganisms and their functionality in sod-based rotation (SBR) systems. In particular, his study aims to understand how long-term SBR impacts microbially-triggered soil nutrient cycling.

Undergraduate Students & OPS

Allison Schmidt

Allison Schmidt (she/her) - OPS

Allison completed a B.S. in plant science at the University of Florida in 2020. For her capstone project, Allison conducted a literature review on the effects of cover crops in corn-soybean crop systems. She also studied the efficacy of collaborative education workshops to improve high school teachers’ curricula in invasive species ecology. Since joining the lab in 2021, she has measured nutrient cycling and soil health indicators for several crop production projects. For her M.S. starting in Fall 2022, Allison will focus on utilizing cover crops for soil N management in crop production.

Fabrizio Pilco

Fabrizio Pilco (he/him) - OPS

Fabrizio completed his B.S. in Agricultural Sciences and Production at Zamorano University (Honduras) in 2021, where he studied the use of organic biostimulants in pear-type tomato production in a warm tropical climate. From August to November 2021, he worked as an undergraduate intern in the Sustainable Nutrient Management Systems Lab. Fabrizio came back to the lab in February 2022, where his work focuses on water and nutrient management in organic vegetable crops under the guidance of Dr. Maltais-Landry and Dr. Campbell. His works both in the field (soil sampling, scouting crops, installation of soil moisture sensors, etc.) and lab (soil nutrient extractions, quantification of soil N species, permanganate- oxidizable carbon (POXC)).

Spring 2019 Crew

Lab personnel spring 2019

Team with certificates at the Dec. 2019 holiday banquet

Students receiving awards at the SWS 2019
recognition ceremony: (left to right) John Allar,
Gabriel Maltais-Landry, Eduardo Estevez, and
Madelene Clark.


Kaitlyn Tucker - Undergraduate intern (2019-2022)

Ethan Weinrich - OPS (2020-2021)

Gabriel Pelegrina - Undergraduate intern (2020-2021)

Sam Victores - Undergraduate intern (2020-2021)

Kayci Anderson - Biological scientist (2019-2020)

John Allar - Chaired MS student and OPS (2020)

Sainfort Vital - Chaired MS student (2020)

Madelene Clark - Undergraduate intern (2020)

Emma Goldberg - Undergraduate intern (2020)

Roxanne Sandi - Undergraduate intern (2020)

Alicia Kelley, D.P.M. – Intern working on composts (see publication from her work here)

Eduardo Estevez – Co-chaired M.S. student (main advisor: Davie Kadyamkapeni) (2020)

Yanlin Wang – Co-chaired M.S. student in Horticultural Sciences (main advisor: David Liu) (2020)

Adnan Fatehi – Graduate intern (2019)

Mia Acker – Undergraduate intern (2019)

Sean Coughlin – Undergraduate intern (2018-2019)

Jennifer Cumbie – Undergraduate intern (2018-2019)

Lauren Leverett – undergraduate intern (2018-2019)