Climate Science Program

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Robert Horton

Distinguished Professor



Office: 2543 Agronomy Hall

Phone: 515-294-7843









Department: Agronomy

Research Interests: heat, water, and chemical transport processes in soil, instrument development

Brief description of current research:

Dr. Robert Horton is recognized nationally and internationally for his study of coupled heat and mass transfer in soil. His fundamental work on coupled heat and mass transfer in soil has greatly enhanced understanding of the following: climatology (the importance of surface energy partitioning); water quality (the impacts of soil water and chemical movement); agricultural production (the impact of the near surface environment on seed and root functions); ecosystem products and services (the impact of the near surface soil environment on microbial functions and gas exchange); and environmental investigations (thermal and mass flow methods for remediation of soil pollution). Dr. Horton leads a distinguished soil physics research and teaching program.

Recent publications:

Wang, L., R. Horton, and Z. Gao, 2009: Comparison of six algorithms to determine the soil apparent thermal diffusivity at a site in the Loess Plateau of China. Soil Sci., in press.

Wei, X., M. Shao, X. Fu, and R. Horton, 2009: Changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen after 28 years grassland afforestation: Effects of tree species, slope position and soil order. Plant and Soil, in press.

Fu, X., M. Shao, X. Wei, and R. Horton, 2009: Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen as affected by vegetation types in Northern Loess Plateau of China. Geoderma, in press.