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Department of Agronomy

Department of Agronomy
Kansas State University
2004 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-0110

Ph: +1-785-532-6101
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Dr. Colby Moorberg

Dr. Colby Moorberg

Assistant Professor

Root Ecology and Hydropedology
Email Dr. Moorberg

Kansas State University
2106 Throckmorton Hall
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-7207
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Biography & Education


Dr. Moorberg grew up on a small family hog farm in northern Iowa. While growing up he was active in FFA and in sports, but it was duck hunting that set him on his career path with soil science. Wading through prairie pothole wetlands while waiting for the sun to rise sparked his first academic interest in wetlands. That interest took Dr. Moorberg to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where he would receive his B.S. in Environmental Science.

While attending ISU, soil science became his favorite subject. He decided to pursue his soil science and wetland interests as a graduate student in the Department of Soil Science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. There his M.S. and Ph.D. research focused on phosphorus dynamics in restored wetland soils in Carolina bay wetlands.

After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Moorberg began a postdoctoral appointment with the University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. There his research focused on methane oxidation in the rhizospheres of wetlands plants in Alaskan boreal bogs and fens. While he started at Kansas State University in January of 2015, he is still actively participating in that research project.

Dr. Moorberg joined the Kansas State University Department of Agronomy in January of 2015. His appointment is primarily teaching, which includes the introductory soil science class – Agronomy 305, and starting this fall a class in Soil Conservation and Management – Agronomy 635. In addition to teaching and advising activities, Dr. Moorberg’s research will continue to focus on soil-root interactions, with a focus on methods of studying roots.

In his free time, Dr. Moorberg enjoys spending time with his wife, Stacy and their dog. He also enjoys cycling, camping, hunting, fishing, homebrewing, blogging about soil science, and cheering on his favorite college sports teams.

  • Ph.D. Soil Science, North Carolina State University, 2014
  • M.S. Soil Science, North Carolina State University, 2010
  • B.S. Environmental Science, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, 2008


Peer-Reviewed Publications
  • Moorberg, C.J., M.J. Vepraskas, and C.P. Niewoehner. 2015. Phosphorus Dissolution in the Rhizosphere of Bald Cypress Trees in Restored Wetland Soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 79:343-355. doi:10.2136/sssaj2014.07.0304
  • Adewopo, J.B., R. Bhomia, M. Almaraz, A. Bacon, E. Eggleston, J. Judy, R. Lewis, M. Lusk, B. Miller, C. Moorberg, E. Hodges Snyder, M. Tiedeman, and C. VanZomeren. 2014. Top-Ranked Priority Research Questions for Soil Science in the 21st Century. Soil. Sci. Soc. Am. J. 78:370-347. doi:10.2136/sssaj2013.07.0291.
  • Moorberg, C.J., M. J. Vepraskas, and C.P. Niewoehner. 2013. Dynamics of P dissolution processes in the matrix and rhizospheres of bald cypress in saturated soil. Geoderma. 202-203:153-160. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.03.017.
  • Moorberg, C.J., D.A. Crouse. 2016. Soil Science Laboratory Manual. Printed in-house. Kansas State University.


Dr. Moorberg’s research focuses on soil-root interactions with both agronomic and ecological applications. Current projects include a study examining methane oxidation in the rhizosphere (the small zone of soil immediately surrounding roots) of wetland plants in Alaskan boreal bog and fen wetlands, and a study examining root growth patterns as impacted by phosphorus fertilizer application method (deep-band vs broadcast) in a long-term strip-tillage experiment.

Additional research interests include root exudation of phytosiderophores by crops as a mechanism for iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) tolerance, wetland restoration, water quality and phosphorus pollution management, soil and water conservation, and more.


  • Mosaed Majrashi, Ph.D. Graduate Student
  • Marcie Sindt, M.S. Graduate Student


  • Agronomy 305 - Soils
  • Agronomy 598 - Undergraduate Research in Agronomy
  • Agronomy 635 - Soil and Water Conservation
  • Agronomy 935 - Topics in Soils: Root and Rhizosphere Analysis