Author ORCID Identifier



Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology

Committee Chair

Ember M Morrissey

Committee Co-Chair

Natalie Kruse Daniels

Committee Member

Natalie Kruse Daniels

Committee Member

Zachary B Freedman

Committee Member

Louis M McDonald

Committee Member

Jeffrey G Skousen


Microorganisms influence life on earth in innumerable ways, including in medical, industrial, environmental, and agricultural contexts. Given the increasingly apparent consequences of climate warming, interest in how to better predict and manage Earth’s carbon sinks has never been greater. Soil, the largest terrestrial carbon sink, harbors an incredibly taxonomically and functionally diverse microbial community. These soil-dwelling microbes govern the fate of soil carbon and nutrients by cycling organic matter as they live, grow, and die. It has only been relatively recently that technological advancement has allowed for in-depth surveys of the vast diversity of soil microbes. High throughput analytical capabilities like next-generation DNA sequencing have resulted in an explosion of data confirming the importance of microbial communities in biogeochemical cycles. Nevertheless, many questions remain regarding microbially-mediated biogeochemical cycling in different environmental contexts (e.g., forest soil versus agricultural soil) and under changing environmental conditions (e.g., warming, agricultural intensification). In this dissertation, I examine the role of cross-kingdom interactions in shaping soil biogeochemistry under two different scenarios: 1) in a manipulated forest soil food web (animal-microbe interactions) and 2) early Miscanthus x giganteus cultivation on lands of varying disturbance histories using a suite of management strategies (plant-microbe interactions). I was broadly interested in how manipulating these interactions impacted soil carbon and nitrogen cycling and storage.