Lucas Nebert, PhD candidate at the University of Oregon

lnebert <at>


IMG_20130901_144452Bio: After obtaining a B.A. in Biochemistry (Willamette University, Salem, OR), Lucas became enamored with the fundamental importance and curious complexities of our soil. A Fulbright Scholarship brought him to the Netherlands, where he stayed for 2+ years (2008-2011), completing a M.S. in Soil Quality at Wageningen University. During his time there, he researched the role of earthworms and denitrifying soil microorganisms in agro-ecosystems, and implications for agricultural management strategies and greenhouse gas emissions. He also became engaged in the global discourse about the future of agriculture in the face of climate change, ecosystem decline, and the rapid erosion of traditional food systems. After his time abroad, he came to Eugene with a strong desire to settle down and do science with a local community of food growers. He began his PhD in the Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy (ESSP) Program, situated within the Institute for Ecology and Evolution under the mentorship of Dr. Brendan Bohannan, a soil microbial ecologist. Lucas designed this blog to keep his research open and part of a broader conversation about the food system. He’s passionate about food related issues including food sovereignty, food justice, seed stewardship, and ecologically sustainable agriculture. He’s a gardener, seed grower, fermenter, and soil builder, and enjoy applying ecological and evolutionary principles to growing food.

Undergraduate Volunteers

Jessica Smith (summer SPUR intern ‘13) – Jessica helped get the project off of the ground, particularly with field research and DNA-based methods.

Wes Horton (graduated with thesis Spring ‘14) – Wes was instrumental in establishing methods for culturing microbes from seeds and testing their potential for biological control against pathogenic Fusarium.

Adrian Robins (graduated with thesis Spring ‘15) – Adrian launched the first set of interviews and began linking interview questions with seed sample data

Kate Jaffe (junior, expected graduation Spring ’17) – Kate is expanding upon Adrian’s thesis, with more samples, with more focus on farming methods.

Roxanne Fieldhouse (sophomore, expected graduation Spring ’18) – Roxanne is conducting research on culturing of seedborne microbes

Anna Lundberg (graduated 2015) – Anna developed molecular methods to identify Fusarium and a protocol for testing Fusarium pathogenicity on seedlings.

Eric David – (graduated 2015) –  Eric pioneered efforts to study nitrogen-fixing bacteria in seeds.


Special thanks to the other undergraduate students for their support: Anna Lundberg, Jen Beard, Madi Raines, and Jessica Oda.

2 comments on “People

  1. Carol Harrison says:

    Will you be continuing this research during the 2016 growing season?

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