Soil Science

Tillage-induced soil erosion in Costa Rica

The Department carries out research in a wide range of soil-science related areas, including soil chemistry, soil physics, soil conservation and ecology, soil fertility and soil fauna in both agricultural and forested milieus. Macdonald's research farm and the Morgan Arboretum are well located to study a diverse range of soils. Research facilities include on-campus field sites, well equipped laboratories and equipment suitable for field work.

For more information please visit some of the individual professor's web sites:

  • BENNETT, Elena. Ecosystem services and their management: management of trade-offs among ecosystem services and the role of slowly-changing variables in determining system dynamics, urban ecology, scenarios, and adaptive management often using GIS to understand the role of spatial pattern and land use change as influences on soil nutrients and nutrient runoff to lakes.
  • FYLES, James. Forest biogeochemical ecology: relationships between plant productivity and nutrition, quality and turnover of plant residues and soil organic matter, and soil nutrient dynamics, and how these relationships influence, and are influenced by, disturbance and vegetation change.
  • KALLENBACH, Cynthia. Soil biogeochemistry and ecology: Plant-soil-microbial interactions affecting carbon and nutrient cycling under agricultural land use and global change; Factors influencing soil organic matter turnover, chemistry, and accumulation including the relationships between microbial communities and interactions with their soil environment.
  • WHALEN, Joann. Soil ecology and fertility, particularly in agro-ecosystems: soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics, ecology and spatial distribution of lumbrid earthworms and nutrient management practices for optimal crop production and environmental protection.

or contact

Macdonald Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies