Soil Fertility

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

Field and greenhouse studies of the factors affecting availability of plant nutrients in soils, crop responses to added fertilizers and nutrient removal by crops and laboratory tests for plant-available nutrients.

Programs Available in Soil Fertility:

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.

Cruse, Richard M. Professor. Soil management and soil physical properties as related to crop growth and soil erosion. The effect of management practices such as tillage, fertilization, crop sequences, and field traffic patterns on soil hydraulic, thermal, and strength properties is evaluated.

Karlen, Douglas L. Professor (USDA Collaborator). Interactions among soil, water, nutrient, and crop management practices that influence soil tilth and can reduce nutrient and pesticide losses from the crop root zone.

Kovar, John L. Associate Professor (USDA Collaborator). Nutrient management, with emphasis on soil phosphorus; soil-plant relationships, root growth and development, and rhizosphere chemistry as affected by inorganic and organic amendments.

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.

Mallarino, Antonio P. Professor. Soil fertility and plant nutrition, with emphasis on phosphorus and potassium. Research on soil testing, plant analysis, and methods of fertilizer application for improving profitability of crop production and quality of surface waters.

Sauer, Thomas J. Professor (USDA Collaborator). Effects of tillage, crop residue, and manure management on energy, water, and carbon fluxes in soil/plant/atmosphere systems; coupled transport of water and energy in near-surface soil layers; water and nutrient cycling in agroforestry systems.

Sawyer, John. Professor. Soil fertility and nutrient management practices for efficient crop production.

Wolt, Jeffrey D. Professor. Soil chemistry and fertility with emphasis on applied soil solution chemistry as it relates to nutrient availability and xenobiotic activity. Concurrent sorption/degradation processes affecting the fate and transport of bioactive compounds.