Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Meet Our Director
headline bar
Dr. Matt J. M. Romkens
Römkens, Mathias J. M.
Soil Scientist
(662) 232-2940
Oxford MS 38655



Ph.D. Agronomy--Soil Physics (minors: Appl. Physics and Phys. Chem), Cornell University, 1968.

Ir. Drainage and Soil Phys. Chem. (cum laude), Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1964.

M.S. Agronomy--Soil Physics (minor: Physics), Mississippi State University, 1963.

Cand. Ir. Agric. Engineering (cum laude), Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1959.


Soil erosion processes, soil physics, infiltration, surface sealing, soil erodibility.


1968-1973 GS 12 Soil Scientist USDA-ARS West Lafayette, IN, Adjunct Assistant Professor Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

1973-present GS 12, 13, 14, 15 Soil Scientist USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MS.

1994-present Research leader

1996-present Acting Director and Director.

1975-present Adjunct Associate Professor and Professor, Mississippi State University

1989 Visiting Professor, Univ. of Minnesota.


M. J. M. Römkens has participated in many national and international meetings and conferences in the USA, Argentina, Australia, Venezuela, South Africa, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Netherlands, India, China, Indonesia, Malasia, Thailand, and Poland. He has been Associate Editor of the Soil Science Society of America Journal and Editor of Soil Technology. He has served as an external examiner on dissertations of universities in the USA, Australia, and Germany. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America.


M. J. M. Römkens made many significant contributions in several disciplines including soil physics, soil physical chemistry, soil water hydrology, agricultural engineering, and in the environmental area. He (i) collected a basic data set of cotton plant growth in relation to soil water regimes which became the impetus to the development of cotton plant growth models; (ii) quantified the relative significance of salt and water transport in thin water films on surfaces with diffuse electric double layers which affect processes of regulation in ice, frost heaving of soils, and salt retention in clay membranes; (iii) pioneered research on nutrient transport in runoff from agricultural land in different management systems; (iv) developed a new particle size based predictive relationship of the USLE soil erodibility factor and improved predictions of this factor for high clay subsoils; (v) developed equipment and techniques for soil erosion and hydrologic research involving rainfall simulation and laser-based topographic measurements; (vi) formulated a physically based soil roughness parameter and related changes of this parameter to tillage and rainfall; (vii) analyzed the effect of rainfall on surface sealing and recognized the important role soil physical, chemical, and pysico-chemical properties have on surface seal development; (viii) collaborated in the development of the spectral series solution technique for the Richard's equation for infiltration processes; (ix) encouraged and participated acoustical/seismic research in soil science and was instrumental in applying acoustic principles to the measurements of soil physical properties; (x) developed detailed DEM's for studies on soil erosion processes on soil surfaces; (xi) established the importance of subsurface soil water pressures on sediment concentrations in runoff; (xii) demonstrated the important role surface sealing has on sediment yield especially on limed variable charge clay soils; (xiii) cooperated in the measurements and analysis of drainage network development on upland source areas; (xiv) encouraged and cooperated on fundamental studies of gravity flow and sediment transport in shallow flow; (xv) guided experimental work on infiltration into swelling/cracking soils and soils susceptible to surface sealing.

Last Modified: 8/12/2010
Footer Content Back to Top of Page