Rajan Ghimire, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor and Principal Investigator

My research focuses on improving efficiency, profitability, and soil environmental quality in dryland and irrigation cropping systems. The primary area of my research involves soil organic matter dynamics, carbon and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems, greenhouse gas emissions, soil organic matter-microbial community interactions, and their relationships with sustainable crop production and ecosystem services. Contact me if you are interested in these research topics. More information about

Laboratory Members

Deb Raj Aryal, Ph.D.
Dr. Aryal joins our group as a Visiting Scholar from the Mexico National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT). He has expertise in carbon sequestration and ecosystem services in natural and managed ecosystems. He will be with us for a year and is interested in expanding collaboration. 

Anuoluwapo (Anu) Ogunleye, Ph.D.
Dr. Ogunleye has expertise in soil health and forage production/quality. Her research interest includes soil health, carbon dynamics, regenerative agriculture, climate change, and agricultural and environmental sustainability. 

Atinderpal Singh, Ph.D.
Dr. Singh has expertise in soil health and water dynamics. He is interested in soil and water conservation, irrigation, and sustainable agriculture research.

Dotun Arije
Ph.D. Student

Barsha Sharma
MS Student

Amrit Dhoj Adhikari
MS Student (ENMU)
Amrit's research involves studying soil/residue carbon mineralization kinetics in laboratory conditions and litter decomposition study in the field. He is a graduate student at Eastern New Mexico University and is engaged in my research group through ENMU-NMSU collaboration. 

Hamza Badrari
MS Student (EPPWS)
Hamza works on cover crop, compost, and tillage effects on weed dynamics in semi-arid dryland and limited irrigation cropping systems. 

Olufemi Adebayo
Ph.D. Student
Olufemi Adebayo is interested in soil health and soil-plant water dynamics. His research project evaluates cover crop and compost effects on soil health and soil-plant water dynamics in winter wheat - sorghum - fallow rotation.

Sundar Sapkota
Ph.D. Student
Sundar is interested in farming systems innovations for improving soil health and agroecosystem resilience. His project evaluates the effects of circular grass buffer strips on soil health and C/N cycling.

Pramod Acharya 
Ph.D. Student
Pramod is working on forage production systems. He investigates soil C cycling and sequestration potential, greenhouse gas emissions, and nitrogen transformation in forage production systems.  

Recent graduates and postdocs

Wooiklee S. Paye, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Scholar
Dr. Paye's research explores the potential to improve soil health and resilience through innovative crop and forage production practices, tillage management in drylands, and perennial/pasture cropping. 

Sk. Musfiq-Us-Salehin,
M.S. 2020: Evaluate soil N pools and N2O emissions in the dryland sorghum. More on his work is available here

Abdelaziz Nilahyane, Ph.D., 2018-2019: Evaluating soil health indicators and forage quality in a corn-sorghum rotation. Now Research Fellow at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco.  

Vesh R. Thapa
M.S. 2018, 
Ph.D. 2021, 
Post-Doc. 2021-2022: 
Worked on various projects related to agricultural management systems affecting soil health and crop production in drylands of Eastern New Mexico (Role: Major advisor). Now Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Mikayla J. Allan, M.S. 2018: Understanding soil spatial and temporal variability for forage corn production and hydrological modeling within New Mexico. Now working for NRCS, NM.  

Binod Ghimire, M.S. 2017, Cover crops effects on soil organic matter dynamics, weed suppressionNow a Ph.D. Student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL. 

Visiting Scholars

Babu Ram Khanal
, Visiting Scholar from Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal. Soil C and N change during the transition from irrigated to dryland cropping. October 2018 to January 2019. 

Yaqiong Fan, Visiting Scholar from China Agricultural University, Simulating SOC dynamics and GHG emissions in cropping systems using DayCent Model, September/October 2017.