Laura Kaminsky, Ph.D. Student Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
B.S. Cornell University (Environmental Science and Sustainability)
Awards: Penn State University Graduate Fellowship (2018-19) Penn State Fund for Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (2018-19) PPEM Library Sequence Data Generation and Curation Grant (2018) Penn State College of Agriculture Tag Along Fund (2018) 1st place in Gamma Sigma Delta Poster Competition, Biology (2018) Cornell University Merrill Presidential Scholar (2017) Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Hatch Supplement Grant (2016-17) Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Grant (2016-17)
Bio: My background and passion centers around sustainable agriculture and soil health. Outside the lab, I have worked full growing seasons on small-scale organic vegetable farms in the Northeastern US and seen firsthand the importance of soil care and management for crop success. However, many of the critical functions provided by soil are performed or influenced by microorganisms about which we still know very little because they cannot yet be cultured. I am interested in applying cutting edge “omics” technologies (amplicon sequencing (e.g. 16S rRNA gene, fungal ITS), metatranscriptomics, etc.) to provide new insights on how these microbial networks operate and impact soil function and crop health. Particularly, I am interested in plant rhizospheres as the biotic interface between plants and soil microorganisms. Previously, I have studied the effects of different fertilizer regimes on the rhizosphere microbiome of alfalfa, and subsequent consequences for alfalfa biomass and nodulation. Going forward, I plan to conduct in-lab soil microcosm research as well as longer term field trials to probe agricultural microbiome dynamics in more detail. Research Interests:
High throughput sequencing methods for the study of uncultivated bacterial and fungal communities in situ
Responses of soil microbiome structure and function to agricultural management practices
Effects of interactions between soil microorganisms and crop plants on crop health and productivity
Publications: Kaminsky LM, Thompson GL, Trexler RV, Bell TH†, Kao-Kniffin J†. Accepted. Medicago sativa has reduced biomass and nodulation when grown with soil microbiomes conditioned to high phosphorous inputs. Phytobiomes Journal. † Authors contributed equally.
Kaminsky LM, Trexler RV, Malik RJ, Hockett K, Bell TH. Accepted. The inherent conflicts in developing soil microbial inoculants. Trends in Biotechnology.
Howard MM, Kaminsky LM, Kessler A, Bell TH. Accepted. Merging microbial and plant profiling to understand the impact of human-generated extreme environments on natural and agricultural systems. In Yergeau E (ed). Advanced Techniques for Studying Microorganisms in Extreme Environments.
Presentations: Kaminsky LM, Bell TH, Thompson GL, Kao-Kniffin J. Soil microbial communities conditioned to different fertilization regimes differentially impact growth of Medicago sativa. MiCROPe 2017: Microbe-assisted crop production - opportunities, challenges and needs, Vienna, Austria, December 4-7, 2017.
Kaminsky LM. Phosphorous and the soil microbiome of alfalfa. Cornell School of Integrative Plant Sciences Senior Symposium, Ithaca NY, April 24, 2017.
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