Ever wonder how those garden chemicals that give you healthier-looking vegetables affect the soil organisms that keep the soil rich and healthy? My lab explores the behavioral and neuron-specific effects of common lawn chemicals on the beneficial soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is a terrific model organism for exploring mechanisms of toxicity. We are also concerned about the effects of chemical use in gardens and agricultural settings on overall soil health, particularly on nematodes.
Photo: Buck Lewis / Vassar College