Climate Change, Bioenergy
We are studying the application of biochar, produced from pyrolysis (charring) of poultry litter or pyrolysis production of biofuels from plant residues, to the soil as an amendment to improve soil chemistry and increase carbon sequestration. The improvements in soil chemistry include the removal of deleterious chemicals from ground water, resulting in a cleaner environment and increased animal and plant biomass and diversity.
Children's Nutrition /Health
Inadequate specification of the construction design of community playing fields, parklands and lawns results in turf that increases injuries to children using these facilities and require significant economic inputs for maintenance. We are studying plant/soil interactions and playing field construction specifications to develop best management practice specifications for more resilient, sustainable, and safe community lawns, parks and playing fields.
Global Food Security, Safety
Global demands for food are requiring the utilization of agriculturally marginal lands for routine food production. This project is studying methods to ameliorate the constraints soils in these marginal lands place on crop production and quality (i.e. the application of.agricultural and industrial by-products, the design of plants adapted to these soils). Fundamental research on the toxicological and physiological characteristics of metals leads to the reduced uptake of toxic metals, the phytoremediation of contaminated sites, and the increased productivity of acidic soils.
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