Examine the effects of agricultural management practices on soil ecology and soil microbial processes. Particular research topics include: assessment of the impact of transgenic crops on the soil microbial food web, the development of soil health diagnostics; the impact of soil microbial diversity and community composition on agroecological function; and the use of environmental genomics to identify and characterize novel microorganisms in soils.
Soil and Water Management - van Es
Managing water quality and quantity in rural communities: comparing private and public options.
Predictive tests for trace elements in soils; trace element uptake by grasses and forage legumes treated with sludge; biogeochemical behavior of cadmium and zinc in natural landscapes and soils.
Assessment of nitrogen and phosphorus cycle processes in agricultural soils with respect to enhancing plant nutrient uptake. Specific research topics include: improve fertilizer N recovery by crops; the functions and dynamics of soil organic matter; appropriate practices for management of soil organic matter.Soil Biogeochemistry – Lehmann
Analysis of nutrient and carbon turnover in soils with regard to fluxes within soils and across ecosystem boundaries to aquatic ecosystems. Research topics include: carbon sequestration in the context of climate change and black carbon dynamics; using synchrotron-based NEXAFS and FTIR for the micro- and nano-scale observation of biogeochemical cycles in soils; and the study of so-called Terra Preta de Indio (Amazonian Dark Earths), anthropogenic soils.
Soil Physics/Environmental Biophysics – van Es
Examination of physical soil characteristics that contribute to soil fertility, soil quality, transport and exchange processes in soils. Research topics include: soil physical tests to determine soil quality; examination of natural porous media; transport theories; the effect of microorganisms (in particular, bacteria and protozoa) on the transport properties of soils and aquifer materials; the exchange of cations on clays and soils; the interplay between exchange and transport of electrolytes in natural porous media; and the influence of exchangeable cations on the interaction forces between soil colloids.
Soil Genesis/Classification/Pedology – Russell-Anelli
Examination of the spatial distribution and variability of soil characteristics in urban and human influenced environments.
Assessment of pathogens in composting systems; microbial diversity, and relationships between microbial diversity, environmental characteristics, and ecosystem processes; methods to assess soil biological quality, remediate degraded soils, and improve soil management practices.