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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

MAPS science team meets to discuss year one accomplishments and plans for year two

Year 1 Science Meeting Group at Konza Prairie Biological Station
     On November 16, 2018, faculty and students working on the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS) gathered at the Konza Prairie Biological Station near Manhattan, KS to discuss accomplishments and challenges that occurred during year one as well as review and modify research plans for year two. The morning began with a welcome from Walter Dodds, a co-principal investigator (co-PI) for the MAPS project and member of aquatic systems research team. Then, the junior faculty team leaders for the aquatic, plant and soil systems research groups each gave a ten minute research update that was followed by a five minute discussion addressing challenges and the proposed research plans for year two. Discussions on project modeling and data management issues followed the team presentations. Over the lunch hour, MAPS students participated in a poster session. Twelve undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Fort Hays State University presented their research on the following MAPS topics:
  • Methane Oxidation in Native Prairie Soil 
  • Do novel inputs to the Kansas River affect the water or sediment microbiome and water chemistry? 
  • The Effects of Climate and Land Use on Methanotropic Communities
  • Plant-soil Microbiome Feedback Impacts on Native and Non-native Grasses Throughout Kansas
  • Soil health across a precipitation gradient with different land uses
  • Impact of Drying and Rewetting Cycles on Microbial Communities in Tallgrass Prairie
  • Effects of Land Management on the Microbial Community, Soil Structure, and Nutrient Dynamics of Cultivated Grain Sorghum
  • Recurrent fires do not affect the abundance of soil fungi in a frequently-burned pine savanna
  • A Mechanistic Model of Plant-Symbiont Interactions
  • How roots and microbes transform decaying organic matter into bioavailable phosphorus: pH as a master variable
  • Time Series Transcriptomic Responses to Drought in Maize Seedings
  • Impact of Land Use on Groundwater Chemistry and Microbial Communities in Great Bend Prairie Aquifers
     Breakout sessions were held in the afternoon to discuss research methods and sites locations specific to each research team, followed by a whole group discussion synthesizing year one's findings. Publications and data sharing policies made up the final session for the day. Research team members who were unable to physically attend the meeting, were able to participate in the sessions through video conferencing.

Funding for the Science Meeting was provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas. The award's research, workforce development, and educational objectives are designed to enhance research capacity and STEM education in Kansas, expand the STEM workforce and prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.