Christine Sprunger, Ph.D.

Christine Sprunger

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Assistant Professor
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences


Dr. Christine Sprunger is an Assistant Professor of soil health in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences and is based at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Her research focuses on the intersection of agriculture and the environment, where she investigates how various agricultural management practices impacts soil health and ecosystem services. In addition, Dr. Sprunger is interested in understanding how nematode communities can serve as a key soil biological health indicator within agroecosystems. Lastly, Dr. Sprunger explores how climate change impacts rhizosphere dynamics and soil food webs.

Christine Sprunger Lab Website

Christine Sprunger publications on Google Scholar

Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Sprunger was an assistant professor of soil science and rhizosphere processes at Ohio State University from 2018-2022. Prior to starting a faculty position, Dr. Sprunger completed a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Biology at Columbia University, where she examined the relationship between soil carbon dynamics and crop productivity in small holder farming systems in Kenya and Tanzania. Dr. Sprunger holds a Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Sciences and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior from Michigan State University, and she received both a B.S. in Forest Resources and a B.A. in Program on the Environment from the University of Washington with a minor in Human Rights.

Current Projects

  • Assessing a suite of indicators to predict soil carbon trajectories in agricultural systems. Environmental Defense Fund, with C. Cordova and Y. Lin. 2022-2024
  • FUTURE Restoration: Food in Urban Environments-Training Undergraduates for Research and Extension in restoration and agroforestry. USDA Education Workforce Development, with Hattey, J., N. Basta, M. Davies, M. Rodriguez, B. Slater, B. Wenner, and R. Williams. 2021-2025
  • Comparing Environmental Tradeoffs and Synergies of Alternative Modes of Integrating Livestock into Cash Grain Cropping Systems. USDA NIFA IDEAS, with Jackson-Smith, D., M. Chiavegato, S. Culman, S. Lyon, T. Parker, and A. Shah. 2021-2025
  • After the Flood: Impacts on Rhizosphere Biology, Nutrient Cycling, and Corn Growth and Yield. USDA AFRI with A. Lindsey. 2022-2026.
  • Organic dual-use perennial grain crops: Pathways to profitability and soil health. USDA OREI. with Culman, S.W., M. Sulc, B. Ward, R. Hayden, J. Jungers, M. Ryan, T. Crews, and L. DeHaan. 2019-2023.