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In The Lab

Kamini Khosla

Lab Manager

I am a resourceful and results-driven lab manager with 7 years of experience in a research lab environment. My philosophy of work is “I’m here to help” and I’m always happy to share my skills and knowledge. I have a successful track record of developing best lab practices that facilitate more efficient processes.

Micaela Tosi

Postdoctoral Fellow

My main research interests are within the areas of microbial ecology and soil science, particularly in the role of microorganisms in ecosystem functioning and biogeochemical cycles, and the application of this knowledge in the development of sustainable practices. I especially enjoy discussing and elaborating research questions, designing experiments and sampling strategies, and analyzing and interpreting data.

Jon Gaiero

Research Associate

My current research goal is improving our understanding of microbially-mediated phosphorus (P) cycling in both natural and managed systems. One particular focus has been to target bacterial phosphatase genes that play a role in mineralizing organic P, which can account for over half of the total P found in most soils. 

Feel free to reach me at

Nicola Linton

PhD Student

Research focus: Soil bacterial communities and activity under simple and complex crop rotations, impact on nitrogen cycling and microbial diversity.  I am interested in how long term crop diversity has impacted the diversity of the soil bacterial and fungal community and whether there has been as shift in numbers or activity of key nitrogen cycling groups.

Michael Ben-Israel

Graduate Student

My research focuses on field-scale remediation of environmental contaminants in soil and water. In my work, I aim to merge my interests in biotechnology and project management for effective study, implementation, and evaluation of remedial efforts in collaborative settings.

Tolu Mafa-Attoye

Graduate Student

My name is Tolu Mafa-Attoye, my research interest lies in assessing the impact of agricultural management practices on nitrogen (N) cycling soil microbial communities and the influence this may have on the production or consumption of nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas (GHG), within different riparian land-use systems. I am also interested in understanding the link between plant functional traits and key microbial traits and how these relationships affect nitrogen-related ecosystem services in different riparian buffers and agricultural lands. 

Anibal Castillo

PhD Student

I am interested in the relationship between above-ground and below-ground biodiversity, how they influence each other and how (and if) they affect soil productivity. I also want to know about the relationship between bulk soil and rhizosphere microbial biodiversities.

John Drummelsmith

MSc Student

Travis Mazurek

MSc Student

My interest in environmental microbiology is rooted in understanding the roles of soil microbes in agriculture. I believe soil microbes are a key component in sustainable food production. In the future, I hope to communicate to farmers the importance of feeding the soil for healthy microbes and long-term crop resiliency.

Dasiel Obregón Alvarez

PhD Student

I am interested in animal health and environmental sustainability (one health). I have experience in veterinary microbiology, the ecology of vector-borne pathogens and host-pathogen interaction, using molecular and biological methods.

Linsey van Koppen

MSc Student

I am currently pursuing my undergraduate degree in Biological Science with a minor in Microbiology. From a recent summer position working with OMAFRA I have gained valuable insight on the significance of  soil biodiversity and why research in this area is so important for agricultural and sustainability purposes. I hope to gain valuable hands-on, and lab experience through this work-study position to further my skills and understanding of this area of research.

Hiba Chaudhry

BSc Student

I am currently in 3rd year of my undergraduate program in Environmental Science. I am most interested in the chemistry and microbiology of soil, which I have been focusing most of my courses in.