Laboratory of Soil Ecology and Microbiology |
University of Rhode Island

Who are we?

People in the lab include professor Jose Amador, research and extension soil scientist George Loomis, graduate students Alissa CoxBianca Ross and Sara Wigginton, research assistant Kevin Hoyt, and undergraduate student Alicia Boucher. The Lab started in 1994 as a collaboration between Jose and Josef Görres, now associate professor in the Dept. of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. We are housed in the Coastal Institute building on the Kingston campus of the University of Rhode Island.

What do we do?

Our research spans various aspects of the ecology and microbiology of soil, water, and
wastewater. We are interested in understanding the interplay among microorganisms, flora and fauna, and the physical environment, and how this affects the biogeochemical processes they carry out, as well as their fate. This knowledge can be used to address a variety of contemporary environmental problems, fromoptimizing soil-based wastewater treatment, to identifying the sources of bacterial contamination in surface waters, to improving soil quality and sustainable food production.

We are also interested in science education, including novel pedagogical approaches to teaching soil science, teacher training, and experiential education. The courses we teach include Introduction to Soil Science, Soil-Water Chemistry, Soil Microbiology, Senior Colloquium, and Microbial Ecology of Soils and Sediments.


  • 3 June 2017 - The Graduates and the Fellows
  • 13 April 2017 - Adios to Chelsea...
  • 18 March 2017 - Hasta luego, Brittany!
  • 4 Februrary 2017 - Congrats, Welcomes and Goodbyes
  • 4 November 2016 - More Lab Goodness
  • 30 July 2016 - Better Late Than Never...

Tweets from @URISoilMicro

Upcoming Talks


Observing Difference in Microbial Communities Against a Geographical Gradient - poster presented by Alicia Boucher at the University of Rhode Island Undergraduate Fellowship Celebration, CBLS Atrium, Kingston, RI (12 December 2017 at 2 PM)

Correlations Between Ammonium and Evenness and Diversity Indices of Genes Coding for Nitrous Oxide Reductase (nosZ) and Ammonia Monooxygenase (amoA) in Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems - poster presented by Jonathan Ludovico at the Undergraduate Fellowship Celebration, CBLS Atrium, Kingston, RI (12 December 2017 at 2 PM)

Research Findings - University of Rhode Island’s Optimizing Performance of Existing Onsite Wastewater Treatment Project - invited talk by Jose Amador to the RI Dept. of Environmental Management Technical Review Committee (12 December 2017)

Recent Publications

Long, R.J., R.N. Brown, and J.A. Amador. 2017. Growing food with garbage: Effects of six waste amendments on soil and vegetable crops. HortScience 52:896–904.

Lancellotti, B.V., G. Loomis, K. Hoyt, E. Avizinis, and J.A. Amador. 2017. Evaluation of Nitrogen Concentration in Final Effluent of Advanced Nitrogen-Removal Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS). Water, Air and Soil Pollution 228:383-298.

Brannon, E., S. Moseman-Valtierra, B. Lancellotti, S. Wigginton, J. A. Amador, J. McCaughey, and G. Loomis. 2017. Comparison of N2O emissions and gene abundances between wastewater nitrogen removal systems. Journal of Environmental Quality 46:931-938. 

Duball, C.E. 2017. Environmental impacts of oyster aquaculture on the coastal lagoons of southern Rhode Island. Master’s Thesis, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI. 96 pages.

Amador, J.A., G. Loomis, B. Lancellotti, K. Hoyt, E. Avizinis, and S. Wigginton. 2017. Reducing Nitrogen Inputs to Narragansett Bay: Optimizing the Performance of Existing Onsite Wastewater Treatment Technologies. Final Report to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, Lowell, MA.