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Lab Members


Our lab group changes frequently as students go on to complete their degrees; this is our current research group. To see lab Alumni, scroll down.


Dr. Kim Zitnick-Anderson
Research Specialist

I received my Bachelor’s in biology in 2006 from St. Mary’s college of Southern Maryland. In search of an adventure, I decided to move halfway across the country to Fargo, ND. While in Fargo I received both my Master’s in soil science in 2010 and my PhD in plant pathology in 2013 from North Dakota State University. I have always had a passion for soil microbiology and am extremely interested in how we can better understand the soil microbiome, so that one day we might be able to work with our soil rather than destroy it. In my spare time I simply enjoy life.

Lennel Camuy-Velez
Graduate Student 

(co-supervised with Prof. Kevin Sedivec)

I am from the island of Puerto Rico where I completed my B.S. in Microbiology with an emphasis on Environmental Microbiology. During my undergraduate, I worked with the microbiota of blue crabs and their possibility of heavy metal resistance. While working in Costa Rica as part of NSF-LSAMP REU, I realized that I want to continue research. I completed my M.S. in Microbiology at the Ohio State University where I was working on gut microbes in insects . In the Ag Microbiome Lab, I will be working on the role of microbes in plant invasion. 

Debarshi Dasgupta
Graduate Student 

Hello! I am Debarshi from India. I pursued my B.Sc. in Agriculture from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya and M.Sc. in Agricultural Microbiology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru. I worked as a junior research fellow in a forest ecology project at Indian Institute of Science. Then I joined Indian Agricultural Research Institute as a senior research fellow in soil science and agricultural chemistry. I have also worked in GIZ-GmbH in an agroecology project. At NDSU, I am interested to explore how human land-use changes influence biogeochemical processes and plant-soil-microbial interactions. In my spare time I indulge in music, movies and reading books.

Sakshi Paudel
Graduate Student 

My name is Sakshi Paudel. I am from Nepal. I completed my B.Sc. in Agriculture in 2019 from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Afterwards, I worked as a Homestead Food Production and Marketing Officer for Suaahara (Good Nutrition) project of USAID.  I am working on Agriculture Microbiome Project. In free time, I  love singing, cycling and reading novels.

Miranda Vanderhyde
Graduate Student 

I am from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. I will be a junior this year majoring in microbiology and minoring in biology, chemistry and anthropology. Outside of class I am involved in the Environmental Sustainability Club and NDSUs club rugby team.

Rylie Elvers
Graduate Student 

I am from Rudolph, Wisconsin. My hobbies include dance, horseback riding and hunting.

Alan Snavely
Graduate Student 

Hi, I’m Alan and I love plants (and microbes)! Growing up in the forests of the East Coast, I was predisposed to nature - completing my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. During my time there, I studied the microbiome of industrial hemp plants, investigating how male and female hemp recruit different rhizosphere bacteria across life stage and cultivar. This research piqued my interest in bioinformatic and statistical methods for studying microbial interactions, which I am now working on as a graduate student at NDSU. In my free time, I love to cook, hike, and play video games. 

Ditam Chakraborty
Graduate Student 

Hey, I'm Ditam. I'm from the city of Kolkata in India, where I completed my BSc in Biochemistry in 2018 from University of Calcutta, and did a Master's degree in Biotechnology at Jadavpur University. During my Master's and a one-year stint afterwards when I was working as a Junior Research Fellow at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), I became intrigued by how different microorganisms can function together as a community and how to manipulate them. At NDSU, I'm working on identifying and empirically validating keystone taxa from soil microbial community using novel biotechnological approaches. In my spare time, I love to do cooking and traveling. 

Lab Alumni

Sakshi Paudel (2021-2023)

Cecelia Castleberry (2021-2023; co-supervised by Dr. Caley Gasch)

Debdutta Nath (2020-2022)