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McDonald, Louis Jr.

Professor of Environmental Soil Chemistry and Soil Fertility

Louis McDonald’s research interests are acid mine drainage geochemistry, the reclamation and remediation of disturbed and metal-contaminated soils, and nutrient cycling in managed and disturbed ecosystems. In 2016 he began experiments on the suitability of industrial hemp for agricultural production in WV and brownfields remediation. He oversees the Division’s analytical suite and teaches courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, graduate seminar, and analytical methods. He has hosted visiting scientists and scholars from China, India, Iran, France and South Korea. Dr. McDonald travels frequently to China where he has an on-going research collaboration and has taught courses.

Dr. McDonald is a graduate of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (BS), the Louisiana State University (MS), and the University of Kentucky (PhD). He joined the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences as an assistant professor in 1997 and was promoted to full professor in 2010.


  • Huang, D., Z. Li, and L.M. McDonald. 2017. Heterogeneous selenite reduction by zero valent iron-steel wool. Water Science and Technology. 75(4):908-915.
  • Skousen, J., C.E. Zipper, A. Rose, P. Ziemkiewicz, R. Nairn and L.M. McDonald, R.L. Kleinmann. 2017 Review of passive systems for acid mine drainage treatment. Mine Water & the Environment. 36(1):133-153.
  • Daniels, W.L., C.E. Zipper, Z.W. Orndorff, J. Skousen, C.D. Barton, L.M. McDonald and M.A. Beck. 2016. Predicting TDS release from central Appalachian coal mine spoils. Environmental Pollution. 216:371-379.
  • Chintala, R., R.K. Owen, T.E. Schumacher, K. Spokas, L.M. McDonald, S. Kumar, D.E. Clay. D.D. Malo, and B. Bleakley. 2015. Denitrification kinetics in biomass- and biochar amended soils of different landscape positions. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 22(7):5152-5163.
  • Roy, M. and L.M. McDonald. 2013. Metal uptake in plants and health risk assessments in metal contaminated smelter soils. Land Degradation & Development. 26(8):785-792.