Aqueous and Terrestrial Geochemistry Laboratory

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Current research focuses on:
  • Determining the nutrient and carbon distribution in agricultural soils subjected to different best management practices.
  • Determine the parameters that enhance nitrate and phosphate removal from agriculture tile drainage employing edge-of-field practices (e.g., woodchip bioreactors and steel slag filters Fe-oxide filters).
  • Identify the effects of dredged material on soil health, crop yield, inorganic and organic contaminants bioaccumulation in grains and nutrient export into waterways.

Faculty

Angelica-Vazquez-Ortega
Dr. Angélica Vázquez-Ortega | Assistant Professor of Geochemistry | Click image for CV

Graduate Students

Samira-Rifat-Prova
Samira Rifat Prova | MS Geology, 2022 BGSU
Umme-Fatema
Umme Fatema | MS Geology, 2022 BGSU
Steven-Diaz
Steven Diaz | MS Geology, 2022 BGSU
Shikshya-Gautam
Shikshya Gautam | MS Biology, 2023 BGSU (Co-advisor)
Caroline-Barth
Caroline Barth | MS Biology, 2023 BGSU (Co-advisor)

Undergraduate Researchers

Katarina-Keiffer
Katarina Keiffer | BS Geology, 2021 BGSU
Margaret-Rettig
Margaret Rettig | BS Biology, 2021 BGSU
Madisyn-Noel-Rex
Madisyn Noel Rex | BS Geology, 2022 BGSU

Alumni

Samuel-Jeffers
Samuel Jefferson | Alumnus, BS in Psychology
Madison-Brown
Madison Brown | Alumna, BS in Environmental Science
Lydia-Archambo
Lydia Archambo | Alumna, BS in Environmental Science
Matthew-Franks
Matthew Franks | MS in Geology
Russell-Brigham
Russell Brigham | MS in Geology
Grad-Student-Wyderka,Melissa
Melissa Wyderka | MS in Geology
Bidisha-Faruque-Abesh
Bidisha Faruque Abesh | MS in Geology
Adam-Swint
Adam Joseph Swint | BS in Environmental Science
Undergrad-Manner,Emily
Emily Manner | BS in Environmental Science
Undergrad-Honeck,Sara
Sara Honeck | Pre-Philosophy, Politics, Economics, Law
Undergrad-Bebinger,-Hannah
Hannah Bebinger | BS in Environmental Science/Music

CURRENT RESEARCH

The Role of Dissolved Organic Matter on Phosphorous Sorption onto Iron-Enhanced Activated Alumina Media using In-Field and Flow-Through Column Experiments

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The variables that control the magnitude of total P removal and the cost and feasibility of the P removal structures depends on the total mass of phosphorous sorption materials (PSMs) required to meet the total phosphorous removal and cost per unit mass in the structure that in return depends on the lifetime of the structure. If dissolved organic matter (DOM) reduces or block the phosphate sorption onto the media, the lifetime of the P removal structure can decrease due simultaneous adsorption competition of phosphate and DOM. To our knowledge, the generation of PSM design curves using batch and flow-through column experiments do not take into the consideration the interaction of DOM with the phosphate anions and/or the media. Therefore, this research will provide insights on the effect of DOM on P sorption onto the Fe-oxide media to inform future P filter designs. Collaborative research with Dr. Penn from Lafayette USDA.

Characterization of humic suprastructures in a farm soil and lake sediments by Humeomics and fluorescence spectroscopy

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research-2C
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Soil organic matter (SOM) or humus comprises small-size heterogeneous organic molecules arranged in complex meta-stable suprastructures. SOM is viewed as a non-covalent supramolecular association of small heterogeneous molecules, that survive microbial degradation of plant and animal tissues, and are held together mainly by weak dispersive forces, hydrogen bonds, and metal-bridged intermolecular electrostatic bonds. This project employs Humeomics to characterize dredged material from the Western Lake Erie Basina and agricultural soils. Humeomics can be described as “a stepwise separation of molecules from humic suprastructures by progressively breaking intermolecular bonds and characterizing their structure by advanced analytical instrumentation. Collaborative research with Dr. Furgal from BGSU.

Strategic Positioning Plan for Lake Sediments as a Specialty Crop Amendment

This project will investigate the beneficial use of dredged sediments as soil amendment for specialty crops, including tomato, carrot, strawberry, and lettuce, by conducting both greenhouse and field experiments We will determine the potential bioaccumulation of inorganic and organic contaminants in the specialty crop fruit and edible tissue to ensure food safety. In addition, we will conduct an agronomic evaluation integrated with an economic analysis to estimate the effects of dredged sediment use on crop yield, quality of produce, and economic returns to specialty crop producers dedicated to different production systems. We will also investigate alternative value chain arrangements for moving, processing, selling, and using a commercial LS amendment. Collaborative research with Dr. Signorini from OSU.

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Beneficially using Dredged Material as Farm Amendments to improve Soil Health and Crop Yield: A Farm Demonstration Project

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Our phased project approach embeds stakeholder engagement and collaborative decision points accounting for adapting to uncertainties that will be encountered rather than a prescriptive performed-in-isolation study. Incorporated within the phases below are our professional assumptions that as stakeholder input, analytical data, permit conditions, natural weather conditions, etc. are received may warrant adjustment yet will be adjusted in active coordination with Lucas SWCD. The phases are: Stakeholder Engagement, Application Rates, Permitting & Preparations, Loading, Hauling, & Stockpiling, Spreading, Tilling, Seeding & Harvesting, and Monitoring & Reporting. Collaborative research with Corry Plat from Coldwater Consulting.

Pilot Watershed Project

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Despite conservation initiatives across the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), the lake and its tributaries contend annually with water quality impairment, including harmful algal blooms. The problem is largely due to runoff from agriculture, which makes up more than 70% of the land in the basin. While conservation practices have reduced nutrient runoff at the field scale, there is still no evidence of water quality improvements at a watershed scale. This situation demonstrates a major knowledge gap for practitioners and legislators: to date there has been no definitive demonstration that large-scale, continuous implementation of conservation practices will lead to attainment of water quality goals and diminish algal blooms. Accordingly, our goals are 1) to establish Shallow Run (Hardin County, Ohio) as the first sub-watershed in the Western Lake Erie Basin to achieve target Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus and Total Phosphorus concentration reductions, and 2) to describe a pathway to achieve these targets in other watersheds. To achieve this reduction, the best models say that we need at least 70% of acres in the watershed with effective conservation practices. We will achieve this adoption rate through innovative tactics, including an “agglomeration bonus” that increases payments as more producers implement practices, and through farmer engagement and toolbar sharing led by trusted agricultural retailers. This “Pilot Watershed” will leverage existing and add new water quality monitoring infrastructure in both the 6800-acre Shallow Run treatment watershed as well as a neighboring control watershed in Hardin County, OH. This public-private partnership includes universities, agricultural organizations, NGOs, state agencies, three agricultural retailers, and $6M in cash from the state of Ohio to support practices, holistic monitoring, and outreach. 

Analytical-balance
Analytical balance
pH-Meter-Probe
pH meter probe
Centrifuge
Centrifuge
Fluorescence-UV-Vis-Spectrometer
Fluorescence Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrometer
ICP-OES
Inductively coupled plasma optimal emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES)
Carbon-analyzer
Carbon analyzer
Shaker
Shaker
Water-Bath
Water bath
Ultra-Pure-Water-System
Ultra pure water system
EC-Meter
EC Meter
Oven
Oven
Column-and-Fraction-Collector-System
Column and Fraction Collector System
Top-Balance
Top balance
Furnace
Furnace
Vacuum-pump
Vacuum Pump

Desorption of uranium from acid-waste weathered Hanford sediments.
Vázquez-Ortega, A.
, Perdrial, N., Reinoso-Maset, E., O'Day, P.A., Root, R., and Chorover, J., 2021. Journal of hazardous materials. 416, 126240.

Assessing the Effects of Lake-Dredged Sediments on Soil Health: Agricultural and Environmental Implications on Northwestern Ohio.
Brigham, R., Pelini, S., Xu, Z., and Vázquez-Ortega A., 2021. Journal of Environmental Quality. 50(2), 494-503

Role of Fe- and Mn-(oxy)hydroxides on carbon and nutrient dynamics in agricultural soils: A chemical sequential extraction approach.
Franks, M., Duncan, E., King, K., Vázquez-Ortega, A., 2021. Chemical Geology 561, 120035.

Effects of Detritivores on Nutrient Dynamics and Corn Biomass in Mesocosms.
Lindsey-Robbins, J., Vázquez-Ortega, A., McCluney, K., Pelini, S., 2019. Insects, 10, 453.

Mapping Invasive Phragmites australis in the Old Woman Creek Estuary Using UAV Remote Sensing and Machine Learning Classifiers.
Abeysinghe, T., Simic Milas, A., Arend, K., Hohman, B., Reil, P., Gregory, A., and Vázquez-Ortega, A., 2019. Remote Sens., 11, 1380.

Uranium speciation in acid waste-weathered sediments: The role of aging and phosphate amendments.
Perdrial, N., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Wang, G., Kanematsu, M., Mueller, K.T., Um, W., Steefel, C.I., O'Day, P.A., Chorover, J., 2018.  Applied Geochemistry 89, 109-120.
 
A net ecosystem carbon budget for snow dominated forested headwater catchments: linking water and carbon fluxes to critical zone carbon storage.
Perdrial, J., Brooks, P.D., Swetnam, T., Lohse, K.A., Rasmussen, C., Litvak, M., Harpold, A.A., Zapata-Rios, X., Broxton, P., Mitra, B., Meixner, T., Condon, K., Huckle, D., Stielstra, C., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Lybrand, R., Holleran, M., Orem, C., Pelletier, J., Chorover, J., 2018.  Biogeochemistry 138 (3), 225-243.
 
Thermodynamic modeling of Mn(II) adsorption onto manganese oxidizing bacteria.
Vazquez-Ortega, A.
, Fein, J.B., 2017. Chemical Geology 464, 147-154.
 

Geochemical evolution of the Critical Zone across variable time scales informs concentration-discharge relationships: Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory.
McIntosh, J.C., Schaumberg, C., Perdrial, J., Harpold, A., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Rasmussen, C., Vinson, D., Zapata-Rios, X., Brooks, P.D., Meixner, T., Pelletier, J., Derry, L., Chorover, J., 2017.  Water Resources Research 53 (5), 4169-4196.

U-series isotopic signatures of soils and headwater streams in a semi-arid complex volcanic terrain.
Huckle, D., Ma, L., McIntosh, J., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Rasmussen, C., Chorover, J., 2016. Chemical Geology 445, 68-83.

Solid-phase redistribution of rare earth elements in hillslope pedons subjected to different hydrologic fluxes.
Vazquez-Ortega, A.
, Huckle, D., Perdrial, J., Amistadi, M.K., Durcik, M., Rasmussen, C., McIntosh, J., Chorover, J., 2016. Chemical Geology 426, 1-18.
 
Rare earth elements as reactive tracers of biogeochemical weathering in forested rhyolitic terrain.
Vazquez-Ortega, A.
, Perdrial, J., Harpold, A., Zapata-Rios, X., Rasmussen, C., McIntosh, J., Schaap, M., Pelletier, J.D., Brooks, P.D., Amistadi, M.K., Chorover, J., 2015.  Chemical Geology 391, 19-32.
 
Fractionation of Dissolved Organic Matter by (Oxy)Hydroxide-Coated Sands: Competitive Sorbate Displacement during Reactive Transport.
Vazquez-Ortega, A.
, Hernandez-Ruiz, S., Amistadi, M.K., Rasmussen, C., Chorover, J., 2014.  Vadose Zone Journal 13 (7).
 
Experimental Assessment of Passive Capillary Wick Sampler Suitability for Inorganic Soil Solution Constituents.
Perdrial, J.N., Perdrial, N., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Porter, C., Leedy, J., Chorover, J., 2014.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 78 (2), 486-495.
 

The influence of goethite and gibbsite on soluble nutrient dynamics and microbial community composition.
Heckman, K., Welty-Bernard, A., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Schwartz, E., Chorover, J., Rasmussen, C., 2013.  Biogeochemistry 112 (1-3), 179-195.

Heckman, K., Vazquez-Ortega, A., Gao, X., Chorover, J., Rasmussen, C., 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75 (15), 4295-4309.  

Courses:
Teaching:

ENVS 1010 Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENVS 3040 Water Quality in the Environment
GEOL 4310/5310 Aqueous Geochemistry
SEES 4600/5600 Soil Science
GEOL 6810 Geochemistry Seminar
Environmental-Studies-Class-Service-Learning-Field-Trip
Students participating in service learning field trip.
Environmental-Studies-Class-Water-Quality
Students learning about water quality in environmental studies class.
Water-Quality-Measuring-Nutrients
Students measuring water quality parameters in the Geochemistry Lab.
Water-Quality-Class-Oil-Spill
Students designing prototypes to clean an oil spill.
Water-Quality-Posters-Environmental-Issues
Students sharing their environmental issues research during poster session.

Updated: 10/27/2021 11:20AM