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Molecular Environmental Soil Science: Understanding Critical Zone at the Molecular Level

2018-05-15 10

Time:         3:00-4:30PM, 21st May (Monday) 2018

Venue:         Lecture Hall 221, Building No. 16 (ISESS)

Speaker:      Dr. Yuji Arai, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  

Abstract:     Molecular environmental soil science is to understand the molecular level chemical reactions of nutrients, metal(loid)s and radionuclides at the soil mineral-water interface that are responsible for the field-scale processes (e.g., trace element and nutrient cycling). Using the state of the art spectroscopic approaches and tools (e.g., synchrotron based X-ray techniques) over a range of temporal scales, mechanisms of (a)biotically influenced partitioning (i.e., adsorption, desorption, precipitation, redox, and dissolution) reactions of contaminants in geomeda are elucidated. In this presentation, examples of uranium aqueous geochemistry at the U.S. Department of Energy site and phosphorus soil biogeochemistry at the intensively managed U.S. Midwestern agricultural field will be discussed.

About the Speaker:    Dr. Arai is an associate professor of environmental soil chemistry at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a B.S. degree in soil and water sciences form University of California at Davis and a Ph.D. in environmental soil chemistry from the University of Delaware. Dr. Arai has been employing a broad range of traditional and cutting-edge molecular scale approaches and tools at various temporal scales to understand the reaction mechanisms responsible for macroscopic reactions (e.g., adsorption, precipitation, redox reactions) of nutrients and inorganic contaminants, including engineered nanoparticles, in soils. He is known for the synchrotron based X-ray research in the environmental soil/geo chemistry field. He has been active in disseminating research findings in >50 peer reviewed international publications and more than 80 scientific conferences including invited lectures. He is a recipient of 2017 Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Award from The Soil Science Society of America and a 2017 NACTA educator award by North American College and Teachers of Agriculture.