2022 Conference Schedule

The Foundation for Healthy Ecosystems: Healthy Living Soil

Saturday November 12, 2022



8:15 AM – 8:45AM – Doors open, Registration, Coffee, Exhibitors Showroom


8:45 AM – Welcome


9:00 AM – 10:15AM Meghan Midgley, Ph.D. – Life Below Ground: An Introduction to Soil Biodiversity and Plant-Soil Interactions Soils contain a phenomenal diversity of organisms, including bacteria, fungi and invertebrates. These organisms are responsible for the critical processes that support agriculture, determine nutrient and carbon cycles, maintain clean air and water, and sustain plant biodiversity. This talk will briefly cover the foundational physical, chemical and biological properties of soil before digging into the wide diversity of soil organisms. We will then explore how these organisms can positively or negatively influence plants and how plants and plant communities can, in turn, impact soils beneath them.


10:15AM – 11:00AM – Break, Food and Drink, Networking, Exhibitors Showroom


11:00 AM – 12:30PMEmma Leavens, M.S. and Jennifer Bell, Ph.D. – Prairie Plants and Restoration Prairies are one of the most diverse and densely populated plant communities on the planet, yet they are also among the most endangered. To better understand how this rich community assembles and stabilizes so that we may better conserve and restore prairie biodiversity, we study plant/microbe interactions in an experimental prairie. We will share how this experiment is designed to understand the impacts of both individual plants and diverse plant communities on soil characteristics and microbes and how those impacts support overall ecosystem health with special attention to the critical role of soil microorganisms. Finally, we will cover how you can support plant-microbe interactions in your own garden.


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