College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources


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Doctoral student earns fellowship to study soil ecology in Senegal

Heather Dose, an NDSU doctoral student in soil science, was recently awarded a fellowship to receive advanced training in tropical soil ecology in Senegal.

Dose is one of eight doctoral students and early career scientists from the United States selected to attend “MicroTrop: Soil Microbial Ecology and Ecosystem Services.” The advanced course is scheduled for May 19 to June 13 in Dakar.

“I am very much looking forward to my experience in Senegal,” said Dose, whose research at NDSU focuses on soil health on saline and salt-affected soils in North Dakota. “I am humbled and grateful to be chosen for such an opportunity.”

Students from the United States were selected for the fellowship through a competitive process. They will join eight students from Africa.

The first half of the course is a scheduled lecture series provided by internationally recognized soil ecologists, soil microbiologists, a soil physicist, plant pathologists, a plant physiologist and entomologists.

The second half of MicroTrop is dedicated to cutting-edge laboratory techniques and training. An important component to the course is the development of micro-projects by the students. Students from the United States are paired with students from Africa to explore a research question. 

The students’ research findings will be presented during the final week of the course.

The fellowship is supported by the National Science Foundation. Ann-Marie Fortuna, assistant professor of soil health, nominated Dose for the fellowship.

“I look forward to working with and developing friendships with scientists from around the world, learning about other cultures and learning about agriculture in tropical Africa,” said Dose, from St. Paul, Minnesota. “I look forward to implementing what I learn about soil microbiology and agroecosystem services in Africa to agriculture here in the Northern Great Plains.”

NDSU is recognized as one of the top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


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