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 associates Shawn Barron and Kevin Hoyt, and undergraduate student Connor Silverman. 

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.

Soil-Based Wastewater Treatment 
by Jose Amador & George Loomis

Available from the Soil Science Society of America: 


  • 28 May 2018 - All the lab news, all at once!
  • 27 January 2018 - Congratulations to our grantees...

Tweets from @URISoilMicro

Upcoming Talks

Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in Southern New England: Nitrogen Removal Performance, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Woes - talk by Alissa Cox, Bianca Ross and Sara Wigginton at the 6th Northeast Onsite Wastewater Treatment Short Course & Equipment Exhibition, Groton, CT on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

Nitrogen Loading from Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in the Greater Narragansett Bay Watershed: Magnitude and Reduction Strategies - talk by Jose Amador at the 6th Northeast Onsite Wastewater Treatment Short Course & Equipment Exhibition, Groton, CT on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm.

Recent Publications

Duball, C. E., J. A.. Amador, L. E. Salisbury, and M. H. Stolt. 2019. Impacts of oyster aquaculture on subaqueous soils, infauna and water quality. Soil Science of America Journal (Submitted)

Ross, B. N., G. W. Loomis, K. P. Hoyt, and J. A. Amador. 2018. User-based photometer analysis of effluent from advanced nitrogen-removal onsite wastewater treatment systems. Water, Air Soil Pollution 229:389. 

Wigginton, S. E. Brannon, P. J. Kearns, B. 

Lancellotti, A. Cox, G.W. Loomis, and J.A. Amador. 2018. Nitrifying and denitrifying bacterial communities in advanced N-removal onsite wastewater treatment systems. Journal of Environmental Quality  47:1163-1171.

Amador, J.A., J.H. Gorres, B.V. Lancellotti, and G. Loomis. 2018. Nitrogen loading from onsite wastewater treatment systems in the Greater Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island, USA) Watershed:  Magnitude and reduction strategies. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 229:65.

Cox, A., and J. Amador. 2018. How grazing affects soil quality of soils formed in the glaciated Northeastern United States. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190:159.