About Us

Dr. Samiran Banerjee

Principal Investigator

I completed my MSc in Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in the UK. Later I obtained my PhD  in Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. After a brief postdoc at the University of Alberta, I received the OCE Postdoctoral Fellowship to do my postdoc at CSIRO, Australia. I then went to Switzerland to work as a postdoc and project leader at Agroscope, Zurich. I joined North Dakota State University as an assistant professor in September 2019. When free, I enjoy bike riding and fishing with my son.

Email me: samiran.banerjee@ndsu.edu; banerjee.soilmicro@gmail.com

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.

Email me: Kimberly.Zitnick@ndsu.edu

Kelly Walter

Graduate Student

I graduated with my B.S. in Chemical Biology from the University at Albany (SUNY) in 2017 and chose to stay and pursue graduate work . I completed research synthesizing and analyzing the properties of metallo-polymers of intrinsic microporosity (MPIMs) that culminated with a M.S. in Chemistry. In May 2020, I started at NDSU to better understand microbial chemistry and how the keystone taxa affect the surrounding microbiota.

My hobbies include reading books, hanging out with friends, and fostering dogs.

Email me: Kelly.Walter@ndsu.edu

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. 

Email me: lennel.camuy@ndsu.edu

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.

Email me: debarshi.dasgupta@ndsu.edu

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.

Email me: sakashi.paudel@ndsu.edu

Miranda Vanderhyde

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am from Rudolph, Wisconsin. I am currently majoring in microbiology. My hobbies include dance, horseback riding and hunting.


Want to join the team?


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