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Department of Agronomy

External Collaborative Research Program

Biogeochemistry of Arsenic

NSF OISE funded project titled "Investigating the interaction between dissolved organic matter, microbial communities, and arsenic biogeochemistry in groundwater of a pristine delta."  We are collaborating with Natalie Mladenov (PI) currently at San Diego State University and colleagues at the University of Botswana and the Okavango Research Institute on investigating interactions between organic matter, arsenic, microbes, and metals in a pristine, arid environment, the Okavango Delta of Botswana. 




 Okavango River/Cubango River Basin 


Aluminium toxicity in wheat plants grown in alkaline soils

Collaborators: Ehsan Tavakkoli, Jason Kirby, Mike McLaughlin

One third of the world’s soils are alkaline, a large part of which are used for agricultural production. However, little work has been undertaken into assessing the mechanism of Al toxicity to plants in alkaline soils. In this study near isogenic lines of wheat plants with contrasting ability to tolerate Al toxicity will be investigated using soft X-ray fluorescence microprobe (mainly for distribution and speciation of Al in plant roots), HPLC-ICP-MS (solution Al speciation) and lability information (isotope dilution and resin complexation) to obtain a more holistic understanding of the uptake and bioavailability of Al to wheat plants in alkaline soils. 


Speciation and partitioning behavior of cobalt in select soils

Collaborators: Doug Beak, Jason Kirby, Laura Wendling, Mike McLaughlin

The speciation and partitioning of Co in soil is poorly understood.  This study was conducted to gain insight into the speciation and partitioning behavior of Co in soils.  X-ray absorption spectroscopy was utilized to determine Co speciation and relative distributions of Co in a range of soils with respect to aging, redox cycling and in the presence of in vivo rice roots.