Research Interests of Dr. Smucker and his
Soil Biophysics Laboratories
• Computer microtomography (CMT) imaging of
soil aggregates at the APS with Dr. Mark Rivers at the GSECARS
Sector 13-BM-D. This project in collaboration with Dr. George
Stockman (Computer and Engineering Sciences) offers excellent quantification of the
pore formation mechanisms, their structural configurations, multiple
diameters and connectivities within individual soil aggregates.
• Quantification of bacterial numbers, carbon
biomass, and communities in concentric layers of soil aggregates
using the CMEIAS microbial imaging software and ECOSTAT with the
goal of using tRFLP evaluations for further identifying microbial
communities within spatially specific regions of soil aggregates
having multiple dimensions.
• Micro flow cell for measuring soil aggregate processes: Saturated
hydraulic conductivity, advective ion flux, pH, redox, carbohydrate
and nitrate leaching, oxygen consumption and clay particle losses.
• Concentric soil layer removal from
individual aggregates, sampled from multiple ecosystems, by the soil
aggregate erosion (SAE) chamber method. This method assists with the
quantification of multiple biophysical and biogeochemical processes
within soil aggregates.
• Identification of carbon sequestration
mechanisms within soil aggregates. Modifications of the
organic-mineral interface during ever-changing intra-aggregates pore
• Plant root C sources and contributions to
soil aggregation processes.
• Image processing of plant root structures
and intra-aggregate porosities.