Forty members of the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS) research team consisting of faculty, post-docs, lab techs, and students met on November 4, 2019, at the Kansas Biological Survey located in Higuchi Hall at the University of Kansas (KU) to provide research updates and plan next steps for the MAPS project. Co-Pis, Dr. Walter Dodds from Kansas State University (KSU), Dr. Jim Bever (KU) and Dr. Sharon Billings (KU) welcomed the group and outlined the logistics of the meeting. Team leaders, Dr. Lydia Zeglin (KSU) and Dr. Amy Burgin (KU) from the Aquatic research group, Dr. Ben Sikes (KU) from the Plant research group, Dr. Matt Kirk (KSU) from the Soils research group and Dr. Tom Platt (KSU) and Dr. Fola Agusto (KU) from the Synthesis team reported on the accomplishments of their specific research teams. The presentation updates were followed by post-docs and students from each research group presenting their research projects and progress in using a lightning talk presentation format. The following students, post-docs and lab techs presented their specific MAPS research project.

 From the Plant Research team:

  • Abigail Urban – Response of plan Communities to land use across the precipitation gradient in Kansas (WSU Houseman Lab)
  • Hannah Dea – MAPS: Plant Microbiome Samples Summer 2019 (KSU Jupponen Lab)
  • Matthew Kolp – Maize drought experiment and synthetic microbial communities (KU Wagoner Lab)
  • Susan Magnoli – Legume-rhizobia mutualism as a driver of grassland composition and community resistance to invasion (KU Bever Lab)

From the Soil Research Team:

  • Stephan Koenigsberger – Variation in soil redox with land use across the Kansas precipitation gradient (KSU Kirk Lab)
  • Irosha Wanighunga –  Effects of land use on methane oxidation (KSU Rice Lab)
  • Marcos Sarto – Soil microbial community composition across a precipitation gradient with different land uses (KSU Rice Lab)
  • Paige Hansen – EPSCoR soil microbial communities (KU Sikes Lab)
  • Annie Telegin – Exploring leachate from intact mesocosms (KU Burgin-Loeke Lab)
  • Matt Sena – Influence of precipitation and land use in pore geometry of soils with vertic properties (with KU Sullivan, Hirmas Billings, Brookfield, Lang)

 From the Aquatic Research Team:

  • Kyle Cochran – Distribution of stream water and sediment algae and bacteria across KS precipitation and land-use gradients (KSU Zeglin Lab)
  • Kynser Wahwahsuck – Nitrogen cycling in grassland vs. cropland dominated watersheds (KU Burgin Lab)
  • Joshua Dimapilis – Nitrogen-cycling microbes in Kansas stream sediments: linking structure and function
  • Janaye Hanschu and Abagel Pruitt – Nitrogen and microbiome effects on lake toxin production (KU Burgin Lab)
  • Anne Schechner – Spatial heterogeneity of metabolism in Kansas River (KSU Dodds Lab)
  • Bre Waterman – Contribution of groundwater to stream discharge and biogeochemistry across the precipitation gradient (KSU Kirk Lab)
  • Jess Wilhelm – Biogeochemical implications of stream intermittency across the precipitation gradient (KU Burgin Lab)

From the Synthesis Research Team:

  • Rebekah Wagner – Rhizobia-AMF synergism model (KU Bever and Agusto Lab)
  • Ha Le – Adaptation of pipelines to the Slurm system (KSU Liu Lab)

       Dr. Andrea Brookfield (KU) presented her and Dr. Amy Hansen’s (KU) progress on their MAPS Research Education and Innovation (REI) Award project titled Integrated groundwater and surface water modeling for predicting aquatic microbiomes, and Samantha Thomas, MAPS Data Manager, provided information on options and best practices for collecting and sharing data. Following the whole group presentations, each team met to discuss future collaborative and synthesis opportunities.

   The next MAPS team meeting, The 2020 MAPS Research Symposium , will take place in the Spring on March 2, 2020, at the Adams Alumni Center on the KU campus. In addition to the research faculty, post-docs, and students, the MAPS team will invite outreach participants, partners, stakeholders, state representatives, and university administrators across the state to participate.  Register for the event here.

Workforce Development, Education and Outreach funding for the MAPS annual all hands science meeting s provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas. The grant’s workforce development and educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.