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Name: Nair, Vimala
Title: Research Professor
Organization: Soil and Water Science
Education: Ph.D, Chemistry/Soil Science, Goettingen University, Goettingen, Germany, 1978
Office Address: 2181 McCarty Hall P.O. Box 110290 Gainesville, FL 32611-0290
Email: vdn@ufl.edu
Telephone: +1 (352) 294-3137

My primary area of research is on the fate and transport of phosphorus (P) from agricultural lands and hence the water quality implications of animal-based agriculture. This is a part of a nation-wide effort ongoing within the USDA/NRCS and land grant colleges to establish guidelines for the management of manure P that will protect the water resources. My research evaluates the efficacy of the leaching criteria for assessment of the relative vertical transport risk for coastal plain soils of the SE USA. Another aspect of my research is to develop a simple soil parameter that would help predict the extent of environmental risk in P application to a soil in the form of dairy lagoon effluent (FDEP). The primary criterion for evaluating the P status of the soil is the ?degree of P saturation? (DPS) and the concentration of soluble P associated with a particular DPS value (Publication 1). The concept was extended to predict the remaining soil P storage capacity that would capture risks arising from previous loading as well as inherent low P sorption capacity (supported by USDA-IFAFS) and hence a more useful indicator of P-related environmental risk than a soil test P, such as Mehlich 1-P (Publication 2). Since the fate and transport of P is a major environmental concern, my research program also addresses mechanisms for P retention within a site. Retention of P in manure-impacted soils by soil amendments and evaluation of the long-term stability of P in manure-impacted soils (USDA-NRI) are well-recognized aspects of my work at the state and national levels (Publication 3). My research activities also include agroforestry practices (in comparison to sole crop stands) that may reduce runoff and leaching of chemicals from farmland, and thereby improve environmental quality (USDA-IFAFS). The approach I have adopted involves incorporating the theoretical knowledge acquired through my various research projects into practical situations (Publication 4).Associate Editor and Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Quality 1999?2004.Selected recent publications: 1. Nair, V.D., K.M. Portier, D.A. Graetz, and M.L. Walker. 2004. An environmental threshold for degree of phosphorus saturation in sandy soils. J. Environ. Qual. 33:107-113.2. Nair, V.D., and W.G. Harris. 2004. A capacity factor as an alternative to soil test phosphorus in phosphorus risk assessment. New Zealand J. Agric. Res. 47:491-497.3. Josan, M.S., V.D. Nair, W.G. Harris, and D. Herrera. 2005. Associated release of magnesium and phosphorus from active and abandoned dairy soils. J. Environ. Qual. 34: 1-6.4. Nair, V.D. and D.A. Graetz. 2004. Agroforestry as an approach to minimizing nutrient loss from heavily fertilized soils: The Florida experience. Agroforestry Systems 61-62: 269-279.