Laura Kaminsky, Ph.D. Student Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
B.S. Cornell University (Environmental Science and Sustainability)
Awards: NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2019-2022) Offered Indigo Ag Penn State Phytobiome Fellowship (declined) 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. Soil microorganisms make critical contributions to soil and crop health; they can increase plant nutrient availability, suppress plant pathogens, stimulate plant growth, and improve soil structure. For decades, beneficial soil microbes have been applied to agricultural soils in the hopes of enhancing crop health and yield. However, these introduction attempts are often unsuccessful, as the introduced population rapidly declines and fails to colonize the target soil environment.
I am interested in the biotic and abiotic factors playing a role in this decline. My thesis work will focus on how to alleviate these stressors on introduced beneficial microbes and improve their establishment and function in agricultural soils. Research Interests:
Microbial soil inoculants in Agriculture
Next generation sequencing and -omics techniques
Publications: Bell TH, Kaminsky LM, Gugino BK, Carlson JE, Malik RJ, Hockett KL, Trexler RV. In press. Factoring ecological, societal, and economic considerations into inoculant development. Trends in Biotechnology Kaminsky LM, Trexler RV, Malik RJ, Hockett K, Bell TH. 2019. The inherent conflicts in developing soil microbial inoculants. Trends in Biotechnology 37: 140-151.
Kaminsky LM, Thompson GL, Trexler RV, Bell TH†, Kao-Kniffin J†. 2018. Medicago sativa has reduced biomass and nodulation when grown with soil microbiomes conditioned to high phosphorous inputs. Phytobiomes 2: 237-248. † Authors contributed equally.
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, Peoples T, Bell TH. 2018. Characterization of consistent primary colonizers of soils. International Phytobiomes Conference, Montpellier, France.
Kaminsky LM, Thompson GL, Trexler RV, Bell TH, Kao-Kniffin J. 2018. Medicago sativa has reduced biomass and nodulation when grown with soil microbiomes adapted to high phosphorous inputs. Wild and Tamed Phytobiomes, University Park, PA.
Kaminsky LM, Trexler RV, Thompson GL, Bell TH, Kao-Kniffin J. 2018. Repeated agricultural nutrient amendments quickly impact structure of root-associated microbiomes of Medicago sativa, with consequences for plant growth. Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo, University Park, PA.
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.