Kris Nichols has been a Soil Microbiologist with the USDA, Agricutural Research Service (ARS) Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, ND for over seven years. She was raised on a primarily corn-soybean conventional farm in southwestern Minnesota. Kris received Bachelor of Science degrees in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota in 1995, a Masters degree in Enivronmental Microbiology from West Virginia University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Maryland in 2003. Since 1993, she has studied arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi – a plant-root symbiont. Her most recent work involves the investigation of glomalin – a substance produced by AM fungi. Glomalin contributes to nutrient cycling by protecting AM hyphae transporting nutrients from the soil to the plant and to soil structure and plant health by helping to form and stabilize soil aggregates. Kris has been examining the impacts of management such as crop rotation, tillage practices, organic production, cover crops, and livestock grazing on soil aggregation, water relationships, and glomalin at NGPRL.
The Living Soils
Managing Soil Biology for Profitability
Measuring Soil Health Toolkit
Role of Healthy Soils in Nutrient Management
The Biology of the Soil
Agricultural Management and Soil Biology
Research Results & Technology Conference, February 15, 2010
The Undercover in Cover Crops
Research Results & Technology Conference, February 24, 2009
Microbial Engineering to Improve Profitability View Download
Soil Quality Demos
Congratulations to Kris Nichols for being selected as one of two recipients of the Conservation Research Award
from the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Kris will receive her award at the annual meetings of the SWCS in Ft. Worth, TX this July. The Conservation Research Award is conferred on SWCS society members or teams of members whose research has led to exceptional improvements in soil conservation, water conservation, and/or related natural resources research. This award is given for research excellence first and foremost. The award may be given for research excellence or results of the research that have led to significant conservation improvements.
Dr. Kris Nichols was named one of the "Top 40 under 40" by North Dakota Business Watch magazine. Dr. Nichols is recognized as "a leader in the movement to rebuild the health of our soils for the sustainability of global food production."
Dr. Kris Nichols, USDA-ARS Soil Microbiologist, was presented the "Professional Award" on Oct. 15, 2009 by the North Dakota Soil and Water Conservation Society for her research and outreach efforts in soil microbiology, nutrient cycling, crop rotation, soil aggregation, and the role 'glomalin' plays in the hidden world beneath our feet.