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Lab Members


Our lab group changes frequently as students go on to complete their degrees; this is our current "crop" of scientists. To see Geddes lab alumni, scroll down.


Megan Ramsett
Research Specialist

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I keep the lab running smoothly, helping students with their work and making sure everything is stocked and ready; managing a variety of timelines, lab equipment, and procedures with years of skill. My diverse background also includes experience in molecular biology, greenhouse management, and fieldwork with various plant species.

Eglantina Lopez Echartea
Post-Doctoral Fellow

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I am an environmental microbiologist who studies how microbial communities change and restructure in response to biotic and/or abiotic factors. I combine molecular and cultured based techniques with meta-omics technologies to understand such interactions and the driven dynamics. I currently work on a project to study the microbiome of dry edible pea and better understand microbe-plant-soil interactions towards a sustainable intensification of agriculture.  

I received my Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2020 from the University of Chemistry and Technology of Prague, Czech Republic. I have a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Ghent University, Belgium. 

Urmi Das
Graduate Student (PhD)

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I am a graduate PhD student in Dr Geddes’s lab. I am from Bangladesh. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Botany from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh before starting the PhD in Fall 2021 at North Dakota State University. My research interests lie in the area of plant-microbe interactions. As part of the PhD project, I am working on the diversity and structures of the microbiome in response to iron deficiency chlorosis in soybean plants, and also studying persistence of specific bacterial strains in a system to stabilize plant beneficial microbes within microbiome through synthetic 16S rRNA gene. I love traveling and watching movies.

Garret Levin
Graduate Student (PhD)

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My work involves identifying genes involved in symbiotic effectiveness between rhizobia and legumes. I enjoy fishing, watching baseball, listening to music, and eating good food.

Jake Schumacher
Graduate Student (PhD)

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My research involves nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbionts. The goal with this work is to support the eventual creation of bacteria capable of fixing nitrogen in cereal crops. When I am not in the lab, you can find me on a soccer field or throwing a frisbee around with some friends.

Brooke Benz
Graduate student (Masters)

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Co-supervised with Dr. Tom Baldwin (NDSU Plant Pathology)

I am currently studying how the barley spike microbiome changes when in the presence of the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum that causes Fusarium Head Blight versus non-diseased spikes. In my free time I like to play board games and video games, and read sci-fi and fantasy books.

Ahmad Ardi
Graduate Student (Masters)

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I am working on enhancing nitrogen fixation through synthetic biology: combining genes, promoters, and terminators to make a new design that does not exist naturally. I am also establishing bioreporters for gene expression. I enjoy working in a lab, and I also like cooking. Fun fact: I am from Indonesia, the only place you can find living dragons (Komodo dragons) and gorgeous triangle coral reefs.

 Lucas Andes
Graduate Student (Masters)

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In the spring 2021, I graduated from NDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. Currently I am pursuing a master’s degree in Microbiology in Dr. Geddes’ lab, working on a project to develop a means of quantifying the Rhizobia present in the soil. It is our hope to be able to identify a threshold of Rhizobia for various legumes to determine if farmers will benefit from inoculating their fields. By doing these two things we hope to be able to reduce the cost of planting to farmers by reducing unnecessary use of inoculated seeds.

Ahmad al-Ahmad
Graduate Student (Masters)

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I'm working on establishing artificial symbiotic relations between Rhizobia and Legumes. I am pursuing a master's degree in Microbiology under the supervision of Dr. Geddes. My undergraduate degree was completed at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I was lucky enough to participate in a biodiversity study involving yeasts isolated from global soil samples directed by Dr. Jianping Xu. I enjoy cooking, and my favourite beans are Favas!

Mia Haugan
​Undergraduate Student Researcher

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I am an undergraduate student who is exploring how bacteria associated with the alfalfa root microbiome colonize the root system and impact plant health. When not in the lab, I can usually be found outside learning more about nature, rock climbing, or reading.

Grace Loegering
Undergraduate Student Researcher

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I am researching rhizobia strains across different North Dakota soils to find the most elite strains. This research could then be used to tailor-make inoculants for farmers.
Some hobbies of mine include playing the trombone, hunting, taking care of my pet fish, and playing board games. 

Natalie Visich
Undergraduate Student Researcher

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I am working alongside the other undergraduates on the pea rhizobia project. Using pea samples from fields across North Dakota, we are trying to identify unique strains of rhizobia found in the root nodules, and determine which strains work best to fix nitrogen for the pea, as well as are most suitable to survive harsher conditions. 
I’m double majoring in Biotechnology and Microbiology, with a minor in Statistics. In my free time, I enjoy baking and cooking, reading, and listening to heavy metal. I’m a member of the Biotech + Microbiology Club, and I sing in the Cantemus choir.


Marisa Bennet: REU program Summer 2021 (Developing tools for engineering the microbiome)

Zoe Cho: REU program Summer 2021 (Developing tools for engineering the microbiome)