Ken Frost, PI

A recent research focus of the Frost lab has been to investigate how the soil microbial community structure changes in response to different crop management practices. Since, soil microbial communities support a wide range of ecosystem services required for maintaining soil structure and fertility, supporting carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling, and removing soil contaminants, we are interested to learn how different crop management practices can influence soil bacterial and fungal community structure as well as plant health. Our research uses, culture-independent, high-throughput sequencing techniques to investigate changes in soil microbial community structure in response to commonly used crop production practices including crop rotation and pesticide application.

Extension website: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center


Students will learn to process and analyze amplicon sequence data to profile soil microbial communities in an agricultural field experiment or as a function of observed independent variables.


Students will learn fundamental concepts in experimental design, plant pathology, and microbial ecology. Students will learn about the capabilities and limitations of a technique used to study the soil microbiome.