Ph.D., 1995, The Pennsylvania State University (Soil
Microbiol. & Biochem.)
1991, The Pennsylvania State University (Soil Microbiol. & Biochem.)
BS, 1987, Beijing Agricultural University (Soil & Agric.
2004 - present: Associate Professor, Auburn University
1998 - 2004: Assistant Professor, Auburn
1995 - 1998: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Michigan
1987 - 1989: Research Assistant,
Institute of Agric. Environ., Tianjin, China
research focuses on microbial processes that
are important to environmental quality and soil
productivity. One area of research is the environmental
fate of agricultural chemicals and other organic
pollutants in soil and water environments. Microbial
degradation is considered to be one of the dominant
mechanisms for the destruction of organic pollutants.
When applied to soil, pesticides and other organic
chemicals are sorbed by soil organic matter and
clays. Sorption may result in decreased bioavailability
of these compounds to degradative bacteria. This, in
turn, leads to increased chemical persistence in soils.
We seek to understand the mechanisms governing the
bioavailability of soil-sorbed organic pollutants.
Current work in progress includes assessment
of bioavailability of soil-sorbed atrazine and
carbaryl and impact of crop residue burns on
Another area of my research
is assessing the role of soil microbial communities in maintaining soil quality.
Soil harbors the most diverse microbial life on earth.
The biogeochemical processes driven by the microorganisms
have a profound impact on the productivity of soil.
However, little is known regarding the composition,
organization, and variation of soil microbial communities.
We assess various approaches for studying changes in
soil microbial community structure. We examine the
interactions among soil microbial community structure,
soil physical properties, and soil carbon status under
no-till and conventional tillage ecosystems. We attempt
to provide information relevant to the development
of sustainable agricultural systems. Research projects
completed in this area are: 1) soil microbial community
response to subsurface aeration and a growth regulator
in a creeping bentgrass putting green, and 2) effects
of tillage systems on soil microbial communities under
a continuous cotton system.
A third area of research
is bacterial source tracking of fecal contamination
in surface water. Fecal contamination in streams and
rivers can originate from both human and non-human
sources including surface runoff from land application
of animal wastes or farm animal feedlots, inadequate
septic or sewer systems, improper waste disposal, and
wildlife impact. Determining the sources of fecal contamination
is necessary to develop effective pollution control
strategies to protect water quality. We recently initiated
a project to determine the sources of fecal contamination
in the Catoma Creek watershed using rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting
|Honors and Awards:
- Adjunct graduate faculty in the Department of
Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University
of Arkansas, since 2002
- Sigma Xi Honor Society, since 2002
- Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture,
Student Award (Beijing Agricultural University), 1984 and 1985
|Professional Societies Membership:
- Soil Science Society
- American Society of Agronomy
- American Society for Microbiology
- American Chemical Society
- International Society for Microbial
||Basic Soil Science