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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Hero T Gollany

Soil Scientist

Hero Gollany

Educational Background:

Dr. Hero Gollany received her BS degree in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota in 1984, MS in Agronomy (Soil Physics/Management) in 1986, and PhD in Agronomy (Soil Biochemistry/Chemistry) in 1992 from South Dakota State University.

Research Program: Soil Chemistry

Current Research Highlights:

My research program focuses on impacts of agricultural practices on soil chemical and physical properties, biogeochemical processes that influence carbon and nitrogen dynamics and cycling, and studying interactions within the soil-water-plant-air continuum using process based models.

    • Cropping System Impact on Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
      Several decades of wheat-fallow rotation with intensive tillage have resulted in reduced soil organic matter and associated soil organic carbon in the Pacific Northwest dryland region. Recent work has indicated that management practices that reduce fallow period and decrease tillage and residue incorporation can reduce soil organic matter loss, and even increase soil organic carbon to a limited extent. As part of an ARS project known as GRACEnet. I am measuring soil organic carbon and greenhouse gases in six cropping systems under various field conditions to determine the most effective agricultural practices to maximize soil organic carbon and minimize net greenhouse gas emissions. The primary goal of this project is to reverse the soil organic matter lost over the last century and improve soil properties and productivity. A secondary benefit, if possible, would be to reduce production of greenhouse gases.

  • Predicting Crop Residue Removal Viability using the CQESTR model
    Maintaining soil organic carbon is vital for maintaining soil productivity and environmental quality. Removing stover or straw from the field may result in loss of SOC and nutrients, greater rates of erosion and loss of soil productivity which could have long-term economic, environmental, and sustainability costs. As part of an ARS project known as REAP (Resilient Economic Agricultural Production). I am using CQESTR to predict and evaluate the effect of residue removal on soil organic carbon. Soil organic carbon is recognized as one of the six limiting factors for sustainable biomass for biofuel production. My goal is to predict from climate, initial soil organic carbon content, past management, tillage practices and cropping system, how much crop residue can be sustainably harvested without jeopardizing soil organic carbon stocks and associated physical, chemical and biological processes.

Other Research Interests:


Recent News:



  • ARS scientists help improve soil carbon calculations, PHYS.ORG

Selected Professional Societies and Activities:

  • American Society of Agronomy, ASA.
  • Soil Science Society of America, SSSA.
  • Chair of Best Paper Award Committee, 2013 - 2015, Soil & Water Management & Conservation Division, SSSA.
  • Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Community (SCGHGEC) Chair - 2015, ASA.
  • Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Community Chair elect - 2014, ASA.
  • Graduate Student Research Poster Judge, 2013 - 2014, SCGHGEC, ASA.
  • Methods of Soil Analysis Committee, 2014 - 2017, SSSA.
  • International Humic Substances Society, IHSS.
  • International Union of Soil Sciences, IUSS.
  • Soil and Water Conservation Society, SWCS.
  • European Geosciences Union, EGU.
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Last Modified: 10/19/2016
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