Dr. Taniya RoyChowdhury is a soil microbiologist who studies soil systems at both the broad ecological scale and the complex microbial scale to assess change and resilience in response to climate change. Microbes play a large role in the carbon cycle, emitting greenhouse gasses and working alongside plants to cycle nutrients. In her recent research, Dr. RoyChowdhury is taking a holistic approach, harnessing the functional potential of the soil microbiome to assess whether adopting sustainable soil management practices leads to improved soil health.
Dr. RoyChowdhury continues to advance the field of soil science through primary research and is the author of over 25 published papers that focus on soil microbial processes, greenhouse gas dynamics, carbon sequestration, and nutrient cycling. Her topics of study have varied from the impacts of seasonal and tidal wetland drawdowns on methane production, to the impact of drought on prairie grasslands, to the connection between land-use change and microbial processes. She is actively involved in projects that evaluate sustainable agricultural practices in India and the U.S.
Dr. RoyChowdhury earned her Ph.D. in soil science from the Ohio State University and went on to two postdoctoral fellowships with the U.S. Department of Energy where she worked on Arctic permafrost systems—first identifying the importance of diverse microbial processes in controlling carbon loss from vulnerable ecosystems, then conducting experiments that helped predict physiological responses to change from microbial communities.
Dr. RoyChowdhury has also worked as research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, leading wetland restoration and carbon sequestration research, and was a research soil scientist with the USDA. She also participates in proposal review panels for various granting agencies.
Dr. RoyChowdhury draws her inspiration and motivation to keep working towards a sustainable future from her young toddler and hopes a better fundamental understanding of soil systems will help us accomplish that.