Thomas Borch Professor, Soil and Crop Sciences

Office: C019

Phone: (970) 491-6235



  • Ph.D., Montana State University


My research is directed at determining reactions influencing the fate of trace elements and organic contaminants in soils. In addressing the fate of environmental contaminants, one must consider the complete system rather than solely a simplified fraction of the soil. However, due to the extreme heterogeneity of soils, identifying key-reactions influencing the (bio)degradation, (bio)reduction, and (bio)availability of contaminants has proven difficult. Therefore, my research focuses on both simplified systems, often composed of a single mineral and solution reactant, and natural soil systems. I use a multitude of traditional soil chemistry methods in combination with various chromatographic (e.g. GC, HPLC and IC), spectroscopic (e.g. FTIR, XPS), and microscopic (e.g. SEM, TEM andAFM) methods, including state-of-the-art techniques such as synchrotron radiation-based X-ray techniques, to elucidate (bio)degradation products, chemical states of trace elements and structural states of minerals within soils and pure mineral systems. The ability to identify organic metabolites, the chemical state of trace elements and potential “host” mineral-phases is essential for ascertaining contaminant fate and mobility within soils andwaters. Please see my home page for more specific information.
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