Faculty Information

NameHoward Ferris
Office206 Robbins Hall
WebsiteWeb Link
EducationPh.D. North Carolina State 1972
Research InterestsResearch in my laboratory explores the structure (the component organisms, their dynamics and interactions) and functions (decomposition of organic matter, mineralization of nutrients, suppression of opportunists, etc.) of the soil food web. Major focus is on the effects of management and perturbation on the soil nematode fauna and on the contribution of these organisms to ecosystem processes. In both environmental assessment and management of sustainable agricultural systems, soil nematodes are proving to be useful indicators of soil health and productivity. At a higher level of resolution, we are interested in signals in the rhizosphere that determine the dynamics, behavior and interactions of rhizosphere organisms. Direct herbivory of nematodes on plant roots is a related area of study and includes alleviating crop damage through understanding of the effects of plants and cropping system on plant-feeding nematodes.
Areas of EmphasisAgricultural Ecology
 Conservation Ecology
Research Abstract 
Recent PublicationsFerris, H., T. Bongers, and R. G. M. de Goede. 2001. A framework for soil food web diagnostics: extension of the nematode faunal analysis concept. Applied Soil Ecology 18:13-29.
 Okada, H., and H. Ferris. 2001. Temperature effects on growth and nitrogen mineralization of fungi and fungal-feeding nematodes. Plant and Soil 234:253-262.
 Bongers, T. and H. Ferris. 1999. Nematode community structure as a bioindicator in environmental monitoring. Trends in Evolution and Ecology 14:224-228. Ferris, H., R. C. Venette, H. R. van der Meulen, and S. S. Lau. 1998. Nitrogen mineralization by bacterial-feeding nematodes: verification and measurement. Plant and Soil 203:159-171.
Examination Topics 
Accepting StudentsNo
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