Research Assistant Professor
Soil Health & Biogeochemistry

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I am a researcher in soil health, with a focus on various aspects such as benchmarks, microbes, plant-microbe interactions, and soil health management and measurement. I come from a small town in Assam, northeastern India, known for its rich cultural heritage and natural resources like tea, rhinos, silk, and petrochemicals. I am currently working in Nebraska, where the diverse climate, topography, and soil types provide a unique opportunity for me to study how climate and management affect soil health. My research interests include addressing critical questions and proposing innovative concepts, such as the Soil Health Gap and the Cropland Reference Ecological Unit, to raise awareness and drive the adoption of soil health management practices. I am open to collaborating with others in the field of soil health, microbes, and plant-microbe interactions and welcome any questions or inquiries.


  • Ph.D. Microbiology (Soil & Water Science)
  • M.Sc. Biotechnology
  • B.Sc. Biology



  1. Das, S., Ray, M. K., Panday, D., & Mishra, P. K. (2023). Role of biotechnology in creating sustainable agriculture. PLOS Sustainability and Transformation2(7), e0000069.
  2. Das, S., Liptzin, D., & Maharjan, B. (2023). Long-term manure application improves soil health and stabilizes carbon in continuous maize production system. Geoderma, 430, 116338.
  3. Silva, S. D., Yapa, P. I., Mahatantila, K., Das, S., & Maharjan, B. (2023). Creeper legume, in conjunction with biochar, is a potential tool to minimize soil erosion. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment, 6(2), e20394. 


  1. Das, S., & Maharjan, B. (2022). Cropland Reference Ecological Unit: A land classification unit for comparative soil studies. Ecological Indicators, 144, 109468.
  2. Ray JG, Das S, Sasidharan S, and Thakur N (2022) Editorial: Soil biology for sustainable agriculture and environment. Front. Soil Sci. 2:947619.
  3. Das, S., Berns, K., McDonald, M., Ghimire, D., & Maharjan, B. (2022). Soil health, cover crop, and fertility management: Nebraska producers’ perspectives on challenges and adoption. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 77(2), 126-134.  
  4. B. Maharjan, Das, S., & Shapiro, C (2022). Effects of fused and blended fertilizers on maize yield and soil properties. Agronomy Journal


  1. Maharjan, B., Das, S., Nielsen, R., & Hergert, G. W. (2021) Maize yields from manure and mineral fertilizers in the 100-year-old Knorr-Holden Plot. Agronomy Journal. 
  2. Ghimire, D., Das, S., Mueller, N. D., Creech, C. F., Santra, D., Baenziger, P. S., ... & Maharjan, B. (2021). Effects of cultivars and nitrogen management on wheat grain yield and protein. Agronomy Journal113(5), 4348-4368.
  3. Borah, M., Das, S., Bora, S. S., Boro, R. C., & Barooah, M. (2021). Comparative assessment of multi-trait plant growth-promoting endophytes associated with cultivated and wild Oryza germplasm of Assam, India. Archives of Microbiology203(5), 2007-2028.  


  1. Maharjan, B., Das, S., & Acharya, B. S. (2020). Soil Health Gap: A concept to establish a benchmark for soil health management. Global Ecology and Conservation, e01116.
  2. Kumar, S., Abedin, M., Singh, A. K., & Das, S. (2020). Role of phenolic compounds in plant-defensive mechanisms. In Plant phenolics in sustainable agriculture (pp. 517-532). Springer, Singapore. 
  3. Das, S., Plyler-Harveson, T., Santra, D. K., Maharjan, B., Nielson, K. A., & Harveson, R. M. (2020). A longitudinal study on morpho-genetic diversity of pathogenic Rhizoctonia solani from sugar beet and dry beans of western Nebraska. BMC microbiology20(1), 1-12. 

Extension Publication


  1. Invited talk for "Scottsbluff Gering Lions Club" at Scottsbluff Country Club, Scottsbluff, NE. May 17, 2023. title of the talk: "Soil Health Research at Panhandle"
  2. Keynote Speaker for Soil Health for Sustainable Development. International Seminar on Ecotechnological Perspective for Sustainable Development. School of Biosciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. March 21st, 2023.


  1. Invited talk at World Food Forum: FAO, Youth Innovation Event, Guiding Early Career Researcher (October 18th, 2022); timestamp: 3:50 – 8:54
  2. Invited talk: Soil Health Gap. Venue: 3rd Panhandle Annual Soil Health Workshop. Location: Bridgeport, NE, March 2nd, 2022. Link:


  • 2023 – 2024 Title: Native Grasslands to Cheatgrass Dominance: A Comparative Analysis of Soil Health Across Ecological Transitions. USDA – NRCS, USA. $8,000. PI
  • 2023 - 2023 Departmental fund (Agronomy & Horticulture & PREEC, UNL) to support students on the project “Land use effect on SOM dynamics: meta-analysis.” UNL, $3,000, PI.
  • 2022 - 2024 Title: “Soil Health Gap Framework,” USDA – NRCS, USA; $338,000. CO-PI.
  • 2020 - 2022 Title: "An Interactive Soil Health Reference Map for Nebraska,” USDA – NRCS, USA. $150,000. CO-PI (Collaborator).
  • 2012 - 2017 Title: A study on arsenic-tolerant bacterial communities prevalent in contaminated groundwater of upper Assam. Graduate Research Fund from University Grant Commission, Government of India, INDIA. $35,000. PI.

Awards and Honors


  • Chair in the SSSA Society Meeting for session, "Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of SOM Oral: Importance of Regionally Significant Management Practices". November 6 - 9, 2022. Baltimore, MD


Panhandle Research, Extension, & Education Center, Scottsbluff, NE


100% Research

Professional Interests

  • Soil Health
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Carbon & Nitrogen Biogeochemistry
  • Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Data Science

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union, USA
  • Soil Science Society of America, USA
  • Agronomic Society of America, USA
  • Society for Green Environment, India

Notable distinctions

  • Associate Editor in Frontiers in Soil Science
  • Academic Editor in PeerJ