SEBIL- Soil Ecology and Biological Indicators Laboratory

Welcome to the Neher Lab

Professor Deborah Neher
Dr. Deborah Neher, Professor, Plant and Soil Science, UVM


University of Vermont, Plant & Soil Science, Professor

Gund Institute For the Environment Affiliate

Soil Ecology Society

Society of Nematologists

Ecological Society of America


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(802) 656-0474

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Jeffords Hall Room 342, 63 Carrigan Dr. Burlington VT 05405

Research and Outreach Interests

Soil Ecology

Biological indicators of soil

Plant-soil interactions

Epidemiology of root pathogens

What we do

Our lab is named the Soil Ecology and Biological Indicators Laboratory or, SEBIL. Our research examines biological communities in compost and their role in disease suppression by natural mechanisms, developing biological indicators for environmental monitoring of agricultural, forest, and wetland soils, ecotoxicology and biotechnology risk assessment, climate change and soil biological crusts. Our work also involves plant pathology and issues surrounding sustainable agriculture.

I am a soil ecologist with formal training in plant population ecology and plant pathology. I view nature as a model and am a question-driven researcher using population and community ecology approaches.


Our lab is located in Jeffords Hall, a LEED Gold certified building completed in 2010 and equipped to face research challenges today and in the future.

Vermont is home to over 7,000 farms, an ideal location to create partnerships for our research.

“The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.”

Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America, 1977

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