- Graduate Education
- M.S. Soil and Biogeochemistry, University of California - Davis, 2011
- Ph.D, Soil and Biogeochemistry, University of California - Davis, 2014
- Courses Taught
- SCSC 310 - Soil Morphology and Interpretations - (1 - 3) Credits - 2 - Field study of morphological features of soil profiles and the morphological characterization of important soils of Texas in relation to soil use and management. Prerequisites: SCSC 301 Spring semester only
- SCSC 489 - Soil Judging - Training for members of the soil judging team.
- SCSC 605 - Credits-3 Soil genesis, morphology and classification; development of a working knowledge of soil taxonomy and diagnostic horizons used in placement of soils. Prerequisites: SCSC 301 or equivalent; or approval of instructor. Two 2-day field trips for which departmental fees may be assessed to cover costs. Spring semester
Pedology and Soil Biogeochemistry
Growing demands for food, fiber, energy, and space impose mounting pressure on already limited soil resources worldwide. Intensification of farm and forestlands management together with urban and industrial sprawling degrade and alter soil functions and the ecosystem services they naturally provide. Soil forming factors and supporting pedological processes determine overall soil functions and distribution patterns from ped to global scales. In addition, these properties determine the productivity, resistance, and resilience of soils to natural and anthropic disturbances.
In my research, I explore landscape-scale processes, human-soil interactions, and biogeochemical controls on soil mineral weathering, elemental cycling, and soil development. I emphasize pedological mechanisms and soil functions that support vital ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, nutrient and water cycling, and interactions among soils, microbes, vegetation, and hydrology at different scales.
In my research program, I study the underpinning pedological mechanisms that control soil formation, like mineral weathering and secondary mineral formation and biogeochemical supporting processes that define ecosystem productivity and resilience. I believe an enhanced understanding of these mechanisms in natural and managed environments will allow the prediction of temporal, horizontal, and vertical distribution and changes of soil properties and functions and derived services at the landscape scale.
In my previous research, I looked at soil development and weathering patterns in different environmental settings using traditional chronosequences and climosequences approaches. I also studied the effect of human disturbances, including agriculture and forest use intensification, grazing, fire, erosion, etc., on intrinsic soil properties linked to soil functions. I also direct and collaborate in applied research projects that look at the rate and state of recovery of inherent soil properties (e.g., mineralogy), microbial and fauna diversity, and C and nutrient cycling after restoration or reforestation with native vegetation.