Washington State University

Graduate Students

The following graduate students are currently studying at Puyallup.

Kara Lanning
Faculty Advisor: Patrick Moore
Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Anna Leon
Faculty Advisor: Gary Chastagner
Plant Pathology

Anna is a Ph.D. student in the Plant Pathology program at WSU Puyallup. She is very interested in soil-borne fungal pathogens and is looking forward to working in this area upon completion of her degree. She has a wealth of practical experience gained while working on soil-borne pathogens in Weyerhaeuser's Nursery Pathology Program and completed her M.S. degree in forestry at the University of Washington. Her M.S. research project was directed at the control of Fusarium root rot in conifer nurseries through the use of chemical fumigants.

The focus of her Ph.D. research is the development of qPCR techniques to quantify soil populations of Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium commune and to determine their pathogenicity, at various population levels, on Douglas-fir seedlings. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide information and diagnostic tools that will improve control of Fusarium root rot in conifer nurseries.

Kathleen McKeever
Faculty Advisor: Gary Chastagner
Plant Pathology

Katie is from New York State's Mid-Hudson Valley. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Health from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, NY. She has an avid interest in Forest Pathology, Ecology, and Silviculture, and has worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Forest Health and Protection Division. She joined the Plant Pathology Department at WSU in Fall 2008 to pursue a Master of Science degree under the supervision of Dr. Gary Chastagner at WSU Puyallup REC. Her research involved molecular, biological and histological characterization of the colonization and sporulation of the "Sudden Oak Death" pathogen—Phytophthora ramorum—on Douglas-fir tissues. Katie successfully completed the MS degree requirements in December 2010. She was awarded the 2009 Integrated Hardwood Resource Management Student Scholarship, 2009 WSU Puyallup Book Club Scholarship, the 2010 WSU Pierce County Master Gardener's Scholarship and won first place honors at the WSU Plant Pathology Student Research Expo in June 2010.

Nathan Stacey
Faculty Advisor: Gwen Stahnke
Turfgrass Science

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Nathan Stacey received a B.A. in Communications from Truman State University (2002), and while exploring the mountains of Colorado, discovered an intense interest in the field of plant science. Positions in Colorado, California, and Washington strengthened this interest, while the Turf Management Program (2008) at Rutgers State University, afforded a base for knowledge. The current project lies within this scope, as the investigation may provide some insight into the interaction of pathogen, plant and management practice.

Nathan joined the research staff at Puyallup in January, 2011. As he pursues his M.S. in Crop and Soil Science, his research is focused on the identification and pathogenicity of Pythium spp. affecting the turfgrass industry. Using PCR amplification and subsequent DNA analysis, the project hopes to provide a better understanding of the pathogen, and to provide Best Management Practices (BMP's) for turf managers.

Visiting Graduate Students

None currently

Former Graduate Students

Hamid Iqbal
Faculty Advisor: Markus Flury
Crop and Soil Sciences

Hamid Iqbal was a visiting Ph.D. student from the National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

Nirmalya Chatterjee
Faculty Advisor: Markus Flury
Crop and Soil Sciences

Nirmalya Chatterjee received his Ph.D. in the Soil Science program at WSU with an emphasis in Soil Physics/Vadose Zone Hydrology. His doctoral research focused on theoretical modeling of capillary forces on colloids.

Mu Qiao
Faculty Advisor: John Stark

Ziru (Steven) Liu
Faculty Advisor: Markus Flury
Crop and Soil Sciences

Ziru (Steven) Liu received an MS in Environmental Engineering from Dalian University of Technology in China and then joined the Soil Physics Group at the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University. He received a Ph.D. in Soil Science with emphasis in Soil Physics/Vadose Zone Hydrology.

Steven's research focused on studying colloid transport under field conditions representative for the semi-arid Hanford Site in south-central Washington. He conducted field experiments at the vadose zone research facility at the Hanford 300 Area, where a colloid transport experiment is being carried out in several field lysimeters. Steven analyzed how colloids move through unsaturated sediments under different natural and irrigated precipitation scenarios. Steven also investigated long-term colloid transport in undisturbed sediment cores irrigated under laboratory conditions. Steven's research is providing relevant information on whether colloid transport is possible at under semi-arid conditions typical for the Western States, and whether colloid transport can be a potential mechanism for transport of contaminants, especially radionuclides, at USDOE Nuclear Facilities.

Sandra Wayman
Faculty Advisor: Craig Cogger
Crop and Soil Science

Sandra grew up in an apple orchard (Rochester, NY), went to college in a dairy pasture (Allegheny College, Meadville, PA), and worked in a corn field (Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA). Her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science began her interest in sustainable farming and work at the Rodale Institute focused on cover cropping in no-till tomatoes. She also spent time in Costa Rica volunteering at an English/Spanish school, in Australia studying land leeches in the rainforest, and in Puerto Rico working at a B&B in the mountains caring for tropical plants. Her interests include pipe organ, bicycling, gardening, cooking, and writing.

Sandra received her master's degree in Soil Science, working with Craig Cogger, Andy Bary, Chris Benedict and Doug Collins in cover-cropping for organic vegetable production. Her research focused on cover crop variety and termination timing and techniques on soil health and weed dynamics, as part of the reduced tillage organic farming research and extension project.

Anurag Srivastava
Faculty Advisor: Joan Wu
Biological Systems Engineering

Anurag Srivastava received his MS in 2009 from the Department of Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University, Alabama. His research was to apply the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model for runoff and sediment in the forested watershed with perennial streams located in Houston, Texas.

He continued his research on improving and applying the WEPP model in his Ph.D. program in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University. The research goal is to incorporate base-flow subroutines into WEPP using a linear reservoir model and to assess its performance by applying it to a large watershed. With the new improved WEPP model users will be able to more adequately simulate and predict stream flow from large watersheds that will help in management and protection of water resources.

Facilities & Housing

Guest House Exterior

Housing for graduate students at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center. More »

Facilities available to graduate students. More »

Puyallup Research and Extension Center, 2606 West Pioneer, Puyallup WA 98371-4900, 253-445-4500, Contact Us