Soil Microbiology

If you wish information on specific programs or wish to learn of openings for new students in individual laboratories, please contact professors directly.

Study of microorganisms and enzymes present in soils and their activities bearing on soil fertility, plant growth, and the decomposition of organic residues and environmental pollutants.

Programs Available in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry:

Cambardella, Cynthia A. Associate Professor (USDA Collaborator). Soil microbiology and biochemistry, especially as they relate to processes controlling the turnover of C, N, P, and S in managed and natural ecosystems. Current research focuses on the dynamics of N cycling in soil as influenced by agricultural management practices and land use patterns.

Castellano, Michael Assistant Professor. Soil biogeochemistry with particular focus on nitrogen. Cycling and transport of nitrogen and carbon in solid, solution and gaseous phases. Biogeochemical cycling as affected by soil water.

Loynachan, Thomas E. Professor. Microbial ecology in soil and interactions with higher plants: Bradyrhizobium and Rhizobium ecology and survey/ecology of endomycorrhizae of Iowa soils.

Moorman, Thomas B. Associate Professor (USDA Collaborator). Research emphasizes the microbial processes and ecological relationships which affect environmental impacts of farming systems. Current projects are assessing the relationship between microorganism distributions and the bioavailability and transformations of pesticides in soils, subsoils and riparian sediments. Other projects are examining the relationship between carbon sources and denitrification in subsoils and the fate of bacterial pathogens in land-applied swine manure.