MICHAEL L. THOMPSONProfessor of Soil Science
Ames, Iowa 50011
CURRENT RESEARCH RESPONSIBILITIES
The research program centers on environmental soil chemistry and mineralogy. The program's primary thrust is the investigation of organomineral complexes, phosphorus, and anthropogenic organic compounds in soils. The overall aim of these studies is to identify chemical and physical conditions that favor movement and transformations of organic matter, contaminants, and clay in soils.
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
Soil Organic Matter in Agricultural Landscapes
Principal Investigators: M.L. Thompson, Agronomy, and K. Schmidt-Rohr, Chemistry, ISU.
This research is a scale-integrated program to improve understanding of recalcitrant (decomposition-resistant) soil organic matter (RSOM) in cultivated Mollisols, the most widely distributed soils in the Upper Midwest. RSOM includes charcoal, lipids, lignin, and humic substances and is a critical component of biogeochemical models of carbon cycling. Yet little is known about its spatial distribution at the landscape or micrometer scales. The project examines both the spatial and temporal variability of belowground processes related to carbon. In two classic suites of Mollisols that are developed in till and loess, we are quantifying RSOM with respect to landscape position and depth. We are also measuring the seasonal and annual rates at which recalcitrant components in crop biomass are added to the soil. To identify and quantify recalcitrant components of soil organic matter, we apply advanced nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as well as diffuse reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, extractions with organic solvents, and thermal oxidation techniques. Both scanning and transmission electron microscopy are critical to understanding the effects of chemical extractions on RSOM as well as documenting its association with inorganic soil components at the micrometer and nanometer scales. Energy dispersive x-ray analysis will allow us to differentiate organic compounds from inorganic minerals in plant tissue and in the soil, either before or after labeling the RSOM with heavy metals. With a focus on quantifying the spatial distribution of RSOM components, this project is unique in its explicit attempt to connect measurements of molecular-scale soil properties with their distribution in soil at landscape scales.2. Colloid-Mediated Transport of Hormones with Land-Applied Manure
CURRENT TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES
Agronomy 459 / 559, Soil Chemistry (with laboratory)
Agronomy 259X, Organic Compounds in Plant and Soil Environments
Agronomy 388X, Agronomic Sciences in Theory and Practice
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, Ph.D., Agronomy (Soil Genesis), 1980
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.S., with High Honors, Agricultural Sciences, 1974
Agronomy Department, Iowa State University, Ames
Professor (2005-present), Pioneer Hi-Bred Professor of Agronomy (2007 – 2010)
Associate Professor (1989-2005), Assistant Professor (1980-1989)
RECENT PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Quality (2002 – 2008)
Chair-elect, Chair and Past-Chair of Division S-9 (Soil Mineralogy), Soil Science Society of America, 2005 – 2007
AWARDS AND HONORS
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2010
Fellow, Soil Science Society of America, 2008
Fellow, American Society of Agronomy, 2008
Outstanding Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Quality, 2008
(*graduate students and post-doctoral research associates)
Hongthanat*, N., J.L. Kovar, M.L. Thompson. 2011. Sorption indices to estimate risk of soil phosphorus loss in the Rathbun Lake Watershed, Iowa. Soil Sci. 176:237-244.
X., T. Chua, K. Schmidt-Rohr, and M.L. Thompson. 2010. Quantitative 13C
NMR of whole and fractionated Iowa Mollisols for assessment of organic
matter composition. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 74:584-598.
Laird, D.A., M.A. Chappell*, D.A. Martens, R.L. Wershaw, and M. Thompson. 2008. Distinguishing black carbon from biogenic humic substances in soil clay fractions. Geoderma 143:115-122.
Pereira*, T.R., D.A. Laird, M.L. Thompson, C.T. Johnston, B.J. Teppen, H. Li, and S.A. Boyd. 2008. Role of smectite quasicrystal dynamics in adsorption of dinitrophenol. Soil Sci Soc Am J 72:347-354.
Mao, J.D., X. Fang, K. Schmidt-Rohr, A.M. Carmo*, L.S. Hundal*, and M.L. Thompson. 2007. Molecular-scale heterogeneity of humic acid in particle-size fractions of two Iowa soils. Geoderma 140:17-29.
Khanal, S.K., B. Xie, M.L. Thompson, S. Sung, S.-K. Ong, and J. van Leeuwen. 2006. Fate, transport, and biodegradation of natural estrogens in the environment and engineered systems. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40:6527-6546.
Hundal*, L., and M.L. Thompson. 2006. Soil aggregation as a source of variation in sorption isotherms of hydrophobic organic compounds. Soil Sci. In press.
Chappell*, M.A., D.A. Laird, M.L. Thompson, and V.P. Evangelou. 2006. Co-sorption of atrazine and a lauryl polyoxyethylene oxide nonionic surfactant on smectite. J. Agric. Food Chem. In press.
Chappell*, M.A., D.A. Laird, M.L. Thompson, H. Li, B.J. Teppen, V. Aggarwal, C.T. Johnston, and S.A. Boyd. 2005. Influence of smectite hydration and swelling on atrazine sorption behavior. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39:3150-3156.
Sonon*, L.S., and M.L. Thompson. 2005. Sorption of a nonionic polyoxyethylene lauryl ether surfactant by 2:1 layer silicates. Clays Clay Miner. 53:45-54.
Mbila*, M.O. and M.L. Thompson. 2004. Plant-available Zn and Pb in soils at the Mines of Spain, Iowa. J. Environ. Qual. 33:553-558
Han*, N., and M.L. Thompson. 2003. The influence of biosolids-derived dissolved organic matter on Cu transport in an aquifer material. J. Environ. Qual. 32:1829-1836.
Mbila*, M.O., M.L. Thompson, J. Mbagwu, and D.A. Laird. 2003. Morphological and chemical properties of selected sludge-amended Nigerian soils. Soil Sci. 168:660-669.
Mao, J.-D., L.S. Hundal*, K. Schmidt-Rohr, and M.L. Thompson. 2003. Nuclear magnetic resonance and diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier-transform spectroscopy of sludge-derived biocolloidal organic matter. Environ. Sci. Technol. 37:1751-1757
Lee, J., L.S. Hundal*, R. Horton, and M.L. Thompson. 2002. Influence of ionic strength and flow velocity on sorption and transport behavior of naphthalene in aggregated soil. J. Environ. Qual. 31:1716-1721.
Mao, J.-D., L.S. Hundal*, M.L. Thompson, and K. Schmidt-Rohr. 2002. Correlation of poly(methylene)-rich aliphatic domains in humic substances with sorption of a nonpolar organic contaminant, phenanthrene. Environ. Sci. Technol. 36:929-936.
Hundal*, L.S., M.L. Thompson, D.A. Laird, A.M. Carmo*. 2001. Sorption of phenanthrene by reference smectites. Environ. Sci. Technol. 35:3456-3461.
Mbila*, M.O., M.L. Thompson, J.S.C. Mbagwu, and D.A. Laird. 2001. Distribution and movement of sludge-derived trace metals in a Nigerian Ultisol. J. Environ. Qual. 30:1667-1674.
Sui*, Y., and M.L. Thompson. 2000. Phosphorus sorption, desorption, and buffering capacity in a biosolids-amended Mollisol. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 64:164-169.
Carmo*, Ana M., L.S. Hundal*, and M.L. Thompson. 2000. Sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds by soil materials: Application of unit equivalent Freundlich sorption coefficients. Environ. Sci. Technol. 34:4363-4369.
Hundal*, L.S., A.M. Carmo*, W.L. Bleam, M.L. Thompson. 2000. Sulfur in biosolids-derived fulvic acid: characterization by XANES and selective dissolution approaches. Environ. Sci. Technol. 34:5184-5188.
Wu, J., D.A. Laird, and M.L. Thompson. 1999. Sorption and desorption of copper on soil clay components. J. Environ. Qual. 28:334-338.
Han*, N., and M.L. Thompson. 1999a. Soluble organic carbon in a biosolids-amended Mollisol. J. Environ. Qual. 28:652-658.
Han*, N., and M.L. Thompson. 1999b. Copper-binding ability of dissolved organic matter derived from anaerobically digested biosolids. J. Environ. Qual. 28:939-944.
Sui*, Y., M.L. Thompson, and C.W. Mize. 1999a. Redistribution of biosolids-derived total P applied to a Mollisol. J. Environ. Qual. 28:1068-1074.
Sui*, Y., M.L. Thompson, and C. Shang*. 1999b. Fractionation of phosphorus in a Mollisol amended with biosolids. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 63:1174-1180.
Sandor, J., L. Burras, and M. Thompson. 2004. Human impacts on soil formation. Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment, edited by D. Hillel. p. 520- 532. Elsevier. Invited.
Thompson, M.L., and L. Ukrainczyk. 2002. Micas. p. 431-466. In J.B. Dixon and Darrell Schulze (ed.) Soil Mineralogy with Environmental Applications. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Book Ser. 7. Madison, WI. Invited.
Olson, C.G., M.L. Thompson, and M.J. Wilson. 1999. p. F77-F123. Phyllosilicates. In Malcolm Sumner (ed.) The Handbook of Soil Science. CRC Press, Boca Raton , FL. Invited.
Recent Technical Reports
Thompson, M.L., and K.J. Poppens. 2004. Using the Iowa Phosphorus Index to assess risk of off-site P movement in biosolids management. A demonstration project for the Iowa Water Pollution Control Association. Compact disk published by the Agronomy Department, Iowa State University.
Thompson, M., R. Blaisdell, R. Conant, W. Dick, A. Dobermann, C. Izaurralde, M. Ransom, C. Rice, P. Robertson, J. Stuth. 2003. Recommended procedures for collecting, processing, and analyzing soil samples in CASMGS research projects. CASMGS web site: http://www.casmgs.colostate.edu.
Colletti, J., M.L. Thompson, R.C. Schultz, C.W. Mize, and I.C. Anderson. 1998. Demonstration of an agroforestry system to minimize pollution hazards from land application of treated municipal sludge. Final report for Project 95-47, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University.
Thompson, M.L. 1997. Colloid-facilitated transport of heavy metals in a sludge-amended agroforestry system. Technical Report for U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Grant No. R81-9996-01-0.
Thompson, M.L., J. Colletti, R.C. Schultz, C.W. Mize, and I.C. Anderson. 1996. Demonstration of an agroforestry system to minimize pollution hazards from land application of treated municipal biosolids. Report to the City of Ames by the Agronomy and Forestry Departments, Iowa State University.
Thompson, M.L., R.L. Scharf*, and C. Shang*. 1995. Zero-tension lysimeters: An improved design to monitor colloid-facilitated contaminant transport in the vadose zone. Characterization, Monitoring, & Sensor Technology Crosscutting Program, Office of Technology Development, U.S. Department of Energy. Ames Laboratory Publication IS-5117, UC-600.