Yucheng Feng
Associate Professor

Contact Information:

228 Funchess Hall

Selected Publications


Education :
Ph.D., 1995, The Pennsylvania State University (Soil Microbiol. & Biochem.)
MS, 1991, The Pennsylvania State University (Soil Microbiol. & Biochem.)
BS, 1987, Beijing Agricultural University (Soil & Agric. Chem.)

Professional Experience:
2004 - present: Associate Professor, Auburn University
1998 - 2004: Assistant Professor, Auburn University
1995 - 1998: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Michigan State Univ.
1987 - 1989: Research Assistant, Institute of Agric. Environ., Tianjin, China

Professional Activities:
     My 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 pesticide bioavailability in soils.
      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 technique.

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, since 1992
  • Best Student Award (Beijing Agricultural University), 1984 and 1985
Professional Societies Membership:
  • Soil Science Society of America
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Chemical Society
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology


AGRN 2040 Basic Soil Science
AGRN 5060/6060 Soil Microbiology






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@2004, Department of Agronomy and Soils
202 Funchess Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5412
Telephone: (334) 844-3952, FAX: (334) 844-3945