Professor of Soil Science

Iowa State University
Agronomy Department
Ames, Iowa 50011

Telephone: 515-294-2415
E-mail: mlthomps@iastate.edu

My research program centers on environmental applications of soil chemistry and mineralogy. These studies seek to identify chemical and physical conditions that favor stability, transformations, and movement of nutrients, soil organic matter, and anthropogenic contaminants in soils. Current research projects include quantification of the impacts of biofuel cropping systems on plant nutrients in soil, the mechanisms of colloid-mediated transport of hormones derived from municipal biosolids, the impacts of legacy phosphorus in sediments on water quality, and the composition of organic matter preserved in Quaternary paleosols.

Agronomy 459 / 559, Soil Chemistry (with laboratory)
Agronomy 259, Organic Compounds in Plant and Soil Environments

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)
Visiting Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, China (2016  – present)

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

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

Research Publications Since 1999

(*graduate students and post-doctoral research associates working with Thompson)

Chen, X., A. Mao, Y. Zhang, L. Zhang, J. Chang, H. Gao, and M.L. Thompson. 2017.  Carbon and nitrogen forms in soil organic matter influenced by incorporated wheat and corn residues. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition In press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2017.1359797

Liang*, X., Liao, C., Soupir, M.L., Jarboe, L.R., Thompson, M.L., Dixon, P.M. 2017. Escherichia coli attachment to model particulates: The effects of bacterial cell characteristics and particulate properties. PLOS ONE. In press.

Liao, C., Liang*, X., Yang. F., Soupir, M.L., Howe, A.C., Thompson, M.L., Jarboe, L.R. 2017. Allelic Variation in Outer Membrane Protein A and Its Influence on Attachment of Escherichia coli to Corn Stover. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:708.

Meng*, Y., T. Chua-Ona, and M.L. Thompson. 2017. Short-term nitrogen mineralization potential in soils of biofuel cropping systems. Soil Sci. 181: 503–512.

Fidel*, R.B., D.A. Laird, M.L. Thompson, and M. Lawrinenko. 2017. Characterization and quantification of biochar alkalinity. Chemosphere 167:367–373.

Liang* X., Liao C., M.L. Thompson, M.L. Soupir, L.R. Jarboe, and P.M. Dixon. 2016. E. coli surface properties differ between stream water and sediment environments. Front. Microbiol. 7:1732. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01732.

Gao, H., X. Chen, J. Wei, Y. Zhang, L. Zhang, J. Chang, and M.L. Thompson. 2016. Decomposition dynamics and changes in chemical composition of wheat straw residue under anaerobic and aerobic conditions. PLOS ONE 11:e0158172. 10.1371/journal.pone.0158172.

Hongthanat*, N., J.L. Kovar, M.L. Thompson, J.R. Russell, and T.M. Isenhart. 2016. Phosphorus source—sink relationships of stream sediments in the Rathbun Lake watershed in southern Iowa, USA. Environ. Monit. Assess. 188:453-467. doi:10.1007/s10661-016-5437-6.

Prater*, J.R., R. Horton, and M.L. Thompson. 2015. Reduction of estrone to 17 β-estradiol in the presence of swine manure colloids. Chemosphere 119:642–645.

Zhou, Z., N. Chen, X. Cao, T. Chua*, J. Mao, R.D. Mandel, E.A Bettis III, and M.L. Thompson. 2014. Composition of clay-fraction organic matter in Holocene paleosols revealed by advanced solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Geoderma 223:54-61.

Jarchow, M.E., M. Liebman, S. Dhungel, R. Dietzel, D. Sundberg, R.P. Anex, M.L. Thompson, and T. Chua*. 2014. Trade‐offs among agronomic, energetic, and environmental performance characteristics of corn and prairie bioenergy cropping systems. GCB Bioenergy 7:57-71. DOI:10.1111/gcbb.12096.

Rivas*, F.A., M.A. Tabatabai, D.C. Olk, M.L. Thompson. 2013. Kinetics of short‐term carbon mineralization in roots of biofuel crops in soils. Biology and Fertility of Soils 50:527-535.

Fidel*, R.B., D.A. Laird, M.L. Thompson. 2013. Evaluation of modified Boehm titration methods for use with biochars. Journal of Environmental Quality 42:1771‐1778.

Mao, J.-D., R.L. Johnson, J. Lehmann, D.C. Olk, E.G. Neves, M.L. Thompson, and K. Schmidt-Rohr. 2012. Abundant and stable char residues in soils: Implications for soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46: 9571–9576.

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.

Fang, 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.

Recent Chapters in Books
Graber, E.R., L. Tsechansky, R.B. Fidel, M.L Thompson, and D.A. Laird. 2017. Determining acidic groups at biochar surfaces via the Boehm titration. In: Singh, B., Camps-Arbestain, M., Lehmann, J. (Eds). Methods of Biochar Analysis. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Chapter 8.

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., J. Seibel, T. Chua. 2007. Nutrient Loading in Streams Near Two Wastewater Treatment Plants in Central Iowa. Final Project Report to Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology, Health and Ecological Criteria Division, Ecological and Health Processes Branch, Nutrient Criteria Program.

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.

Soil Health in Biofuel Cropping Systems. Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. M.L. Thompson, M. Liebman, M. Helmers. 2016 – 2019

Improving the Reliability of Soil Potassium Testing and Recommendations for Crops through Improved Knowledge of Relationships between Exchangeable and Non-Exchangeable Soil Potassium Pools, A. Mallarino and M. Thompson, International Plant Nutrition Institute, 2013 – 2017

Processes Controlling the Source, Movement, and Release of Soil Phosphorus in Midwestern Streams from Pasture and Crop Land, R. Schultz et al., USDA – National Institute for Food and Agriculture, 10/1/2013 – 9/2017

Environmental Fate of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Association with Biosolids-Derived Dissolved Organic Matter, M. Thompson, B. Chefetz, R. Horton, and J. Prater. Binational Agric. Res. and Dev. Fund, 11/2013 – 12/2016

Investigation of Bacteria Transport and Resistance Mechanisms and Implications for Water Quality from Confinement Swine and Beef Grazing Production Systems in Iowa. M. Soupir et al., Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, 3/2012 – 2/2015

Genetic and Environmental Factors Driving E. coli Attachment to Particles in Streams. M. Soupir, L. Jarboe, and M.L. Thompson. National Science Foundation. 2012 –  2016

Stabilized Organic Carbon and Paleoenvironmental Interpretations of Late Quaternary Paleosols, M. Thompson and A. Wanamaker, National Science Foundation, 2012 –  2015

Biofuel Cropping Systems for Feedstock Production and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation, M. Thompson et al., USDA – NASA – Carbon Cycle Science Program, (shared among 8 PIs), 2011 – 2015

Colloid-Mediated Transport of Hormones with Land-Applied Manure, with collaborator R. Horton, USDA National Research Initiative (NRI), 2007-2010