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Graduate Student Studies the Relationships within the Soil Ecosystem to Advance Soil Health

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Grace Williams is originally from Chicago and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas. During her time as a student at the University of Kansas, Williams focused her studies on environmental science.


Growing up, Williams said she was extremely shy, but at age 18, she made the decision to attend college eight hours away from home.


“This challenge pushed me to step out of my comfort zone, and it was through this experience that I fully developed into the person I am today,” she said.


For her thesis, Williams is investigating the intricate relationships between microbial activity and abundance, enzyme activity and soil properties.


“My research project involves a unique combination of meta-analysis of over 100 publications and a lab incubation study,” Williams said.


By integrating the two research approaches, she aims to gain a better understanding of the soil ecosystem.


Williams is passionate for the environment, and she said that passion has guided her life’s path.


“Within that realm, I discovered my deep interest in soil health. This focus on soil health has become my niche, and I am committed to dedicating my life to its advancement,” she said.


Oklahoma State has played a significant role in nurturing her passion through education and life experiences.


As a graduate student, Williams loves being able to learn in a hands-on way, as well as pushing herself past her limits. In the future, she will pursue a Ph.D. in Environmental Science/Soil Health and hopes to work within the soil health realm. “I chose OSU because of the incredible learning opportunities and the chance to work with an exceptional advisor/mentor,” Williams says.  Her experience at Oklahoma State University has also introduced her to amazing friends from diverse backgrounds and has enriched her journey.


In her free time, Williams loves to paint, draw and design clothing.

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