Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Emmanouil Anagnostou, Ranjan Srivastava

Field of Study

Environmental Engineering


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


The soil microhabitat contains a complex network of microbial, biochemical, and physical interactions, all of which have very important implications for remediation technologies as well as agriculture. As a result, observing and quantifying this environment has been of recurring interest to scientists and engineers, but by nature many of these processes are difficult if not impossible to observe in situ. To that end, we have developed techniques utilizing soil-structured microfluidic devices for direct observation of soil microbial processes. Specifically, natural soil protists were observed moving through fabricated artificial soil networks, and their impact on the spatial and temporal distribution of fluorescent particles was quantified. Protists were found to significantly enhance the transport of non-motile particles through the microstructured environment, spreading them throughout the area five days before diffusion alone brought them to the beginning of the patterned area.

Major Advisor

Leslie M. Shor