Aditi  Sengupta

Aditi Sengupta, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Swenson Science Center


Dr. Sengupta is a soil microbial ecologist with research interests in understanding how microorganisms are impacted by their environment and in turn influence local-to-global environments. Originally from India, Dr. Sengupta came to the United States in 2010 for her PhD. She has expertise working with agricultural, incipient, and coastal soils. Her professional preparation includes a PhD from The Ohio State University, followed by postdoctoral research at University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington).

Dr. Sengupta's teaching interests align with her research goals and she is currently teaching Microbiology and Molecular Biology. She values the power of mentorship and continues to actively form mentor-mentee relationships. She has many mentors to thank who continue to inspire her and guide her in her professional and personal life. Dr. Sengupta is interested in involving students outside her classroom in research projects which include opportunities in bioinformatics and microbial sequence data analysis. 

A microbe enthusiast, Dr. Sengupta integrates field and lab experiments to derive omics-related understanding of soil-microbe interactions. Dr. Sengupta is a proponent of open-science, inclusive excellence, science communication, and STEM outreach. In her non-work hours, Dr. Sengupta enjoys hiking, cooking, painting-by-numbers, traveling, and watching Indian movies and TV shows when she is homesick.



Ph.D. Ohio State University, 2015, Environment and Natural Resources with specialization in Soil Science

M.Sc. The Energy and Resources Institute, India,  2010, Environmental Studies

B.Sc. University of Delhi, India, 2008, Biochemistry


Environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, -omics studies, soil science, climate change, ecosystem science




1. Danczak, R.E., Sengupta, A. +7 co-authors. Inferring the contribution of microbial taxa and organic matter molecular formulas to ecological assembly. Frontiers in Microbiology. Document Online


2. Sengupta, A., et al., Contrasting community assembly forces drive microbial structural and potential functional responses to precipitation in an incipient soil system. Frontiers in Microbiology. Document Online

3.      Sengupta, A., Fansler, S., Chu, R., Danczak, R.E., Garayburu-Caruso, V.A., Renteria, L., Song, H-S., Toyoda, J., Well, J., and Stegen. J.C. Disturbance triggers non-linear microbe-environment feedbacks. Biogeosciences. Document Online.

4.     Graham. E.B., Sengupta, A, + 28 co-authors, Towards a unifying framework of disturbance ecology through crowdsourced science. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Document Online


5.     Sengupta, A., Stegen, J.C., Bond-Lamberty, B., Rivas-Ubach, A, Zhang, J., Handakumbura, P. P., Norris, C*., Peterson, M. *, Yabusaki, S., Bailey, V.B., Ward, N.D. Antecedent salinity determines the biogeochemical response of coastal soils to seawater exposure. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. *Undergraduate intern Document Online

6.   Wang, W., McDowell, N., Pennington, S., Grossiord, C., Leff, R., Ward, N.D., Megonigal, P., Bond-Lamberty, B., Bailey, V. L., Sengupta, A., Sezen, U. U., Rich, R., & Stegen, J. C. Tree growth, transpiration, and water-use efficiency between shoreline and upland red maple (Acer rubrum) trees in a coastal forest. Agricultural & Forest Meteorology. Document Online

7.     Nayfach, S. +32 co-authors, Sengupta, A. (as part of IMG/M consortium), Eloe-Fadrosh, E. A. A Genomic Catalogue of Earth’s Microbiomes. Nature Biotechnology. Document Online

8.    Ward, N., +20 co-authors, Sengupta, A., Windham-Myers, L. Representing the Function and Sensitivity of Coastal Interfaces in Earth System Models. Nature Communications. Document Online

9.    Yabusaki, S. B., Myers-Pigg, A. N, Ward, N. D., Waichler, S. R., Sengupta, A., Chen, X., Fang, Y., Duan, Z., Serkowski, J. A, Indivero, J. L., Gunn, C.M. Floodplain inundation and salinization from a recently restored first-order tidal stream. JGR Water Resources Research. Document Online

10.    Sengupta, A., Kushwaha, P., Jim, A*., Troch, P.A., and Maier, R.M. New soil, old plants, and ubiquitous microbes: Evaluating the potential of incipient basaltic soil to support native plant growth and influence belowground soil microbial community composition. Sustainability. * Undergraduate intern Document Online

11.     Sengupta, A. Hariharan, J, Grewal, P., and Dick, W.A. Bacterial community dissimilarity in soils is driven by long-term land-use practices. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment, Document Online

12.  Bloemendaal, L. H., Matos, K., Walters, K., and Sengupta, A. Raising our voices for diversity in geosciences. AGU Eos. Document Online


13.  Bond-Lamberty, B., Pennington, P., Jian, J., Megonigal, P.J., Sengupta, A., Ward, N. D. Seconds to years: soil respiration variability and correlation across temporal scales. JGR Biogeosciences, Document Online

14.  Sengupta, A., Stegen, J. C., Meira-Neto, A, Wang, Y., Nielson, J. W., Tatarin, T., Hunt, E., Dontsova, K., Chorover, J., Troch, P.A., and Maier, R. M. Assessing microbial community patterns during incipient soil formation from basalt. JGR Biogeosciences. Document Online

15.  Sengupta, A., Indivero, J., Gunn, C., Tfaily, M. M., Chu, R. K., Toyoda, J., Bailey, V. L., Ward, N. D., and Stegen, J.C. Spatial gradients in soil-carbon character of a coastal forested floodplain are associated with abiotic features but not microbial communities. Biogeosciences, Document Online


16. Wang, C, McNew, C.P., Lyon, S.W., Walter, T., Volkmann, T.H.M., Abramson, N., Meira-Neto, A, Sengupta, A., Wang, Y., Pangle, L., Troch, P.A., Kim, M., Harman, C., and Dahlke, H.E. Particle tracer transport in a sloping soil lysimeter under periodic, steady state condition. Journal of Hydrology. Document Online

17. Sengupta, A. and Waldrip, H. Balancing personal-professional responsibilities. Crops, Soils, and Agronomy News, 63 (12), 36-38. Document Online

18.  Jim, A*. and Sengupta, A. Assessing the ability of incipient basaltic soil to support plants native to Southwestern United States. The Journal of Undergraduate Research. Document Online * Undergraduate intern

19.  Meredith, L.K., Ogée, J., Boye, K., Singer, E., Wingate, L., von Sperber, C., Sengupta, A., Whelan, M., Pang, E., Keiluweit, M., Brüggemann, N., Berry, J. A., and Welander, P. V. Soil exchange rates of COS and CO18O shift with the diversity of microbial communities and their carbonic anhydrase enzymes. The ISME Journal. Document Online

20.  Volkmann, T.H.M., Sengupta, A .,+33 co-authors. Controlled Experiments of Hillslope Coevolution at the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory: Toward Prediction of Coupled Hydrological, Biogeochemical, and Ecological Change, Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments. Ed Jiu-Fu Liu and Wei-Zu Gu, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72325. Document Online

21.  Sengupta, A., Self-awareness: An essential tool for effective leadership. Crops, Soils, and Agronomy News, 63 (4), 29-29. Document Online

22.  Sengupta, A., Making your postdoctoral experience productive. Crops, Soils, and Agronomy News, 63 (3), 26-27. Document Online


23.  Hariharan, J., Sengupta, A., Grewal, P., Dick, W.A. Functional predictions of microbial communities in soil as affected by long-term tillage. Agricultural and Environmental Letters. Document Online

24.  Sengupta, A. and Dick, W.A., Methanotrophic bacterial diversity in two diverse soils under varying land use practices as determined by high-throughput sequencing of the pmoA gene. Applied Soil Ecology. Document Online

25.  Sengupta, A., + 14 co-authors. Advancing understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical interactions in evolving landscapes through controlled experimentation at the Landscape Evolution Observatory. In Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Infrastructures: Challenges, New Developments, and Perspectives. Ed: Abbad Chabbi and Jacques Roy. Taylor and Francis Group [Invited book chapter, ISBN 9781498751315].


26.  Sengupta, A., Wang, Y., Meira-Neto, A., Matos, K., Dontsova, K., Root, R., Neilson, J.W., Maier, R. M., Chorover, J., and Troch, P. A. Excavation of a synthetic landscape to study spatial heterogeneity of hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological processes. Journal of Visualized Experiments. Document Online

27.  Sengupta, A. and Dick, W.A. A priori steps when conducting high-throughput amplicon-based sequence analysis. Agricultural and Environmental Letters. Document Online


28.  Sengupta, A. and Dick, W.A. Bacterial community diversity using pyrosequencing in soils under tillage practices. Microbial Ecology. Volume 70, pp 853-859. Document Online


29.  Dick, W.A., Thavamani, B., Conley, S., Blaisdell, R. and Sengupta, A. Prediction of β-glucosidase and β-glucosaminidase activities, soil organic C, and amino sugar N in a diverse population of soils using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Volume 56, pp. 99-104. Document Online



Grant Funding

2021: National Science Foundation. $88,122 for a collaborative research project titled "Growing a New Science of Landscape Terraformation: The Convergence of Rock, Fluids, and Life to form Complex Ecosystems Across Scales" in collaboration with University of Arizona

2020: Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Community Science Program New Investigator, Capability Grant. Biogeochemical impacts of salinity in coastal rivers corridors: From molecular processes to emergent function. Lead PI.