2010 Lecturer | Dr. David Laird

About the Lecturer

He is an active member of the Soil Science Society of America, the Clay Minerals Society, and the American Society of Agronomy. Dr. Laird has been recognized as a Fellow in both the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.

He has chaired the Soil Chemistry Division (S2) of the Soil Science Society of America, currently serves as the Vice President of the Clay Minerals Society, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Nevada Iowa Public School District.

Dr. Laird has served as Associate Editor for both Clays and Clay Minerals and Soil Science Society of America Journal. Dr. Laird is author or co-author of 72 refereed journal articles and 9 book chapters.


He has received the Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award in 2003 and the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson Soil Science Award (2000)


Research interests include the use of pyrolysis to process biomass into bioenergy and biochar co-products, and the impact of biochar amendments on soil quality, the stability of biochar in soils, and the net impact of biochar on greenhouse gas emissions from soils.

Other research interests include the chemical, mineralogical, and surface properties of soil clays, interactions of pesticides and other organic compounds with clays, the nature of soil humic substances, clay-humic interactions, and the development of field-mobile near infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for mapping soil organic carbon and other properties.

His current research is heavily focused on the influence of bio-char amendments on soil properties carbon sequestration and crop production. Dr Laird is leading the USDA-ARS Biochar and Pyrolysis Initiative.


Dr. David Laird earned a B.S. in Geology from the University of Kansas, a M.S. in Soil Science from Oregon State University, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Iowa State University.