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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Crop and Soil Sciences

Think and Do The Extraordinary Support the College
Think and Do The Extraordinary Support the College

Dean Hesterberg

William Neal Reynolds Professor

Soil & Environmental Chemistry


Williams Hall 3235


Research is directed toward developing basic soil chemical principles and applying these principles toward solving environmental and agricultural problems. Current program emphasis is on (i) speciation and solubility of phosphate in soils as affected by redox potential, (ii) characterizing solid-phase speciation of heavy metals in contaminated soils using molecular spectroscopy and (iii) characterizing molecular-scale interactions of contaminants with clay mineral surfaces and organic matter.


Recent Publications:

  • Li, J., K. Deng. D. Hesterberg, Xia, C. Wu, R. Xu. Mechanisms of enhanced inorganic phosphorus accumulation by periphyton in paddy fields as affected by calcium and ferrous ions. Science of the Total Environment, 609, 466-475.
  • Santos, S.R., D. Hesterberg, and L.R.F. Alleoni. Phosphate speciation and citrate-induced mobilization of P in an Acric Oxisol. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. Accepted.
  • Scheibener, S., N. Rivera, D. Hesterberg, O. Duckworth, D. Buchwalter. 2017. Periphyton uptake and trophic transfer of coal-ash derived trace elements. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Pre-Published 17 July 2017. doi: 1002/etc.3864.
  • Hesterberg, D. I. McNulty, and J. Thieme. 2017. Speciation of soil phosphorus assessed by XANES spectroscopy at different spatial scales. Journal of Environmental Quality. Pre-published 27 July 2017. doi:10.2134/jeq2016.11.0431.
  • Barnes, J., P. Nelson, B.E. Whipker, D.A. Dickey, D. Hesterberg, and W. Shi. 2017. Modeling impact of nitrogen carrier and concentration on substrate pH. Plant Nutrition. Pre-published. 19 July 2017. doi:10.1080/01904167.2016.1143502.
  • Rivera, N., D. Hesterberg, N. Kaur, and O.W. Duckworth. 2017. Chemical speciation of potentially toxic trace metals in coal fly ash associated with the Kingston fly ash spill. Energy and Fuels. Pre-published 18 July 2017. doi: 1021/acs.energyfuels.7b00020.
  • Colzato, M., M.Y. Kamogawa, H.W.P. Carvalho, L.R.F. Alleoni, and D. Hesterberg. Temporal changes in cadmium speciation in Brazilian soils. Journal of Environmental Quality Pre-published 12 Dec. 2016. doi:10.2134/jeq2016.08.0316.
  • Deiss, L., A. Franzleubbers, A. Amoozegar, M.L. Polizzotto, D.L. Hesterberg, and F.W. Cubbage. Soil carbon fractions from an alluvial soil texture gradient in North Carolina. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. Pre-published Sept. 2016. doi:10.2136/sssaj2016.09.0304.
  • Doydora, S., D. Hesterberg, and W. Klysubun. 2017. Phosphate Solubilization from Poorly Crystalline Iron and Aluminum Hydroxides by AVAIL Copolymer. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 81:20-28.
  • Terres, M.A., M. Fuentes, D. Hesterberg, and M. Polizzotto. 2016. Bayesian spectral modeling of microscale spatial distributions in a multivariate soil matrix. Bayesian Analysis. (Online Publication) DOI: 1214/16-BA1034.
  • Gillispie, E.C., R.E. Austin, N.A. Rivera, R. Bolich, O.W. Duckworth, P. Bradley, A. Amoozegar, D. Hesterberg, and M.L. Polizzotto. 2016. Soil weathering as an engine for manganese contamination of well water. Environmental Science and Technology. 50:9963-9971.
  • Santos, W., D. Hesterberg, E.M. Mattiello, L. Vergutz, M.S.C. Barreto, L.F. da Silva Souza Filho, and I.D.P. de Resende Filho. 2016. Increasing soluble phosphate species by treatment of rock phosphate with acidic mine waste. Journal of Environmental Quality 45:1988-1997.
  • Eriksson, A.K, D. Hesterberg, W. Klysubun, and J.P. Gustafsson. 2016. Phosphorus dynamics in Swedish agricultural soils as influenced by fertilization and mineralogical properties: Insights gained from batch experiments and XANES spectroscopy. Science of the Total Environment 566:1410-1419.
  • Eriksson, A.K, S. Hillier, D. Hesterberg, W. Klysubun, B. Ulen, and J.P. Gustafsson. 2016. Evolution of phosphorus speciation with depth in an agricultural soil profile. Geoderma 280:29-37.
  • Lopez, A.R., D. Hesterberg, D.H. Funk, and D.B. Buchwalter. 2016. Bioaccumulation dynamics of arsenate at the base of aquatic food webs. Environmental Science and Technology 50:6556-6564.
  • Oh, Y.-M., P.V. Nelson, D.L. Hesterberg, and C.E. Niedziela Jr. 2016. Efficacy of a phosphate-charged soil material in supplying phosphate for plant growth in soilless root media. International Journal of Agronomy Article No. 8296560.
  • Oh, Y.-M., P.V. Nelson, D.L. Hesterberg, and C.E. Niedziela Jr. 2016. Desorption characteristics of three mineral oxides and a non-crystalline aluminosilicate for supplying phosphate in soilless root media. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 47:753-760.
  • Rippey, J., P.V. Nelson, D. Hesterberg, and W. Shi. 2016. Importance of limestone specific surface area for assessing neutralization effectiveness in soilless root substrate. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 47:521-526.
  • Hesterberg, D., M. Polizzotto, C. Crozier, and R. Austin. 2015. Assessment of trace-element impacts on agricultural use of water from the Dan River following the Eden coal ash release. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 12:353-363.


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