Megan Chawner


Now with Penn State Extension

MS Soil Science and Agroecology

Leo Walsh Graduate Fellow in Soil Fertility

Graduated 2014

Project: Quantifying benefits of radish as a cover crop



B.S. Biology, Lafayette College, PA (2008)

M.S. Soil Science with joint degree in Agroecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Degree expected December 2014)

Thesis: Assessing the Benefits of Radish as a Cover Crop

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award–North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference (2014)
  • M.S. Graduate Student Oral Competition winner– ASA, CSSA, & SSSA International Annual Meeting (2014)
  • M.S. Graduate Student Poster Competition winner– ASA, CSSA, & SSSA International Annual Meeting (2013)

Personal Info:

Megan was born and raised in New York’s dairy country in the heart of the Hudson Valley. She graduated from Lafayette College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, with an emphasis on plant genetics. After school, she accepted an internship with the Student Conservation Association in Fort Lauderdale, FL. There, Megan worked with an entomologist as part of a bio-control team, using insects to eradicate invasive plant species from the Everglades. After this, she was employed by the USDA in Salinas, CA. She honed her agricultural skills working in a classical plant breeding program, developing new varieties of disease-resistant lettuce.

Megan joined the lab in August 2012 to pursue a master’s joint degree in Soil Science and Agroecology. Her current research focuses on the effects of radish as a cover crop on soil fertility, soil compaction, and nematode suppression. In the future, she hopes to combine her passion for environmental conservation with her scientific expertise.