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McDonald, Louis Jr.

Professor of Environmental Soil Chemistry and Soil Fertility

Louis McDonald’s research interests are the reclamation and remediation of disturbed and metal-contaminated soils and nutrient cycling in managed and disturbed ecosystems with the goal of improving soil, environmental, and food quality. In 2016, he began experiments on the suitability of industrial hemp for agricultural production in WV and brownfields remediation. He teaches courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, and has graduate seminar, and analytical methods. He has hosted visiting scientists and scholars from China, India, Iran, France, and South Korea. Dr. McDonald traveled frequently to China where he had an on-going research collaboration and 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. 


  • Chaudhuri, S., Roy, M. McDonald, L.M., and Y. Emendack. 2023. Land degradation-desertification in relation to farming practices in India: An overview of current practices and agro-policy perspectives. Sustainability. 15, 6383.  
  • Riddell, J.L., Vesper, D.J., McDonald, L.M. 2023. Adherence of polystyrene microsphereres on cave sediment: implications for organic contaminants and microplastic in karst systems. Environmental and Engineering Geoscience: Special Issue: Karst. 
  • Lei, L Holásková, I., Thompson, J.A., and L.M. McDonald. 2022. Fe-bound organic carbon and sorption of aromatic dissolved organic carbon in surface soil: Comparing a forest, a cropland and a pasture soil in the central Appalachian region, West Virginia, U.S.A. Environments. 9(9). DOI 10.3390/environments9090113. 
  • Chaudhuri, S., M. Roy, L.M. McDonald, and Y. Emendack. 2021. Coping Behaviours and the concept of Time Poverty: a review of perceived social and health outcomes of food insecurity on women and children. Food Security. 13(4):1049-1068. 
  • Lei, L., J.A Thompson, and L.M McDonald. 2021. Soil Organic Carbon Pools and Indices in Surface Soil: Comparing a Cropland, Pasture, and Forest Soil in the Central Appalachian Region, West Virginia, U.S.A. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 53(1):17-29.
  • Mishra, B., L.M. McDonald. M. Roy, A. Lanzirotti, SCB Myneni. 2020. Uptake and speciation of zinc in edible plants grown in smelter contaminated soils. PLOS One. (15(4): e0226180.