1999 Lecturer | Dr. Rufus L. Chaney

About the Lecturer

Dr. Chaney received the B.S. degree in Chemistry (1964) from Heidelberg College in Ohio, and the Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry (1969) from Purdue University. He studied as an NAS-NRC Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Mineral Nutrition Pioneering Research Laboratory during 1969-1971. During 1983, he was on sabbatical leave and conducted research with the Soil Science Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is an Adjunct Professor of Agronomy with the Pennsylvania State University.

He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.


Dr. Chaney conducts research on the fate, food-chain transfer, and potential effects of soil micro-elements. His research includes studies on:

  1. Plant uptake of metals and translocation to edible plant tissues;
  2. Speciation of metals in plants and bioavailability to animals;
  3. Development of hyperaccumulator crops to phytoextract and recycle metals in contaminated soils;
  4. Bioavailability of Pb and other metals in soils, biosolids, and composts directly ingested by animals;
  5. Development of "Tailor-Made Composts and Biosolids" to remediate Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, and other element contaminated soils; and
  6. Potential methods to reduce food-chain transfer or toxicity of metals in these organic resources and potential regulatory approaches to protect food safety and soil fertility.


Dr. Chaney received awards for excellence in:

  • Agricultural Research Service Outstanding Senior Research Scientist of the Year (1995)
  • Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (1992)
  • Beltsville Area Senior Research Scientist of the Year (1995)
  • Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (1993)
  • Research from USDA (1977 and 1991)
  • USDA Secretary's Honor Award for Environmental Protection (1997)
  • USEPA (1990)