OSU Navigation Bar

The Ohio State University

School of Environment and Natural Resources

Our People: Nicholas Basta

Nick Basta
Nicholas Basta
410C Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Rd., Columbus, OH 43210

Curriculum Vita

Lines/areas of Research

My research program focuses on environmental soil chemistry:

  • Fundamental biogeochemical processes that affect heavy metal and trace element bioavailability, human health, and ecological risk in soil-water systems
  • Development of innovative chemical methods and techniques to evaluate soil chemical processes and soil components that control bioavailability and/or risk of chemical species (e.g., nutrients, contaminants)
  • Risk-based environmental chemistry of organic and inorganic pollutants in contaminated soils with emphasis on human (e.g., public health), agronomic (e.g., crop, animal), and ecotoxicity  bioavailability and contaminant transmission pathways
  • Development and evaluation of new technologies used for remediation of contaminated soils (e.g., in situ immobilization, bioremediation); development of innovative in vitro chemical methods to evaluate the ability of new remediation methods to reduce contaminant bioavailability and risk and to evaluate the long-term environmental fate (e.g., longevity) of remediation
  • Beneficial use of agricultural, industrial, and municipal by-products through land application; soil and environmental chemistries of by-products in agronomic/environmental systems with emphasis on their risk and environmental impact

Links to news articles
Associated Press. Lead, other chemicals taint some urban gardens.  David Runk. March 23, 2011.  Also featured on the national ABC News and in the Huffington Post.

OSU NEWS release: Scientists Simulate Gut Reaction to Arsenic Exposure. Oct. 7, 2008. OSU Research News, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Courses offered

Environment and Natural Resources 5262: Soil Chemical process and environmental quality  
ENR 5262 (3 semester hr) has two 1-hr lectures and a 2-hr wet/computer laboratory.
A comprehensive study of chemical processes in soil systems that impact biogeochemical cycles and environmental quality.  Modern theory of thermodynamics and kinetics of soil chemical processes.  Effect of soil and environmental chemistries of agricultural/environmental systems on risk and environmental impact.  Environmental soil chemistry topics including environmental fate of toxic substances, contaminant bioavailability, water quality, and remediation of contaminated soil.  Course included hands-on experience with modern techniques used for soil chemical investigations including USEPA geochemical speciation models used to predict chemical reactions and chemical species in soil and aqueous environments (offered every Autumn Semester).

Environment and Natural Resources 5273: Environmental Fate and Impact of Pollutants in Soil and Water
ENR 5273 (3 semester hr) has two 1.5 hr lecture classes.  (offered every Spring Semester).
An overview of pollutant sources, pollutant transport through soil and water, and environmental fate of pollutants.  Soil and environmental chemistry or organic and inorganic contaminants. Pollutant transport through human and ecosystem exposure pathways.  

Environment and Natural Resources 5266: Field Soil Investigation of Soil Chemistry, Fertility, and Biology
2 semester hr (two 3-hr laboratory). A comprehensive overview of theory, principles and techniques of laboratory methods used for chemical analysis of soil, plant material, and environmental samples.

Course Objectives:  

  1. Develop a working knowledge of laboratory methods required by professionals to (i) request chemical analyses, (ii) supervise or perform laboratory operations, and (iii) interpret analytical results and be familiar with the limitations of testing methods.
  2. Understand procedures and principles of analytical instrumentation used in chemical testing methods from hand-on laboratory experience.

Selected publications (a 5 year span)

Sloan, J.J., P.A.Y. Ampim, N.T. Basta, and R. Scott.  2012. Addressing the need for soil blends and amendments for the highly modified urban landscape. SSSAJ.  76:1133-1141.

Wragg, J., Mark Cave, Helen Taylor, Nick Basta, Esther Brandon, Stan Casteel, Sebastien Denys, Christian Gron, Agnes Oomen, Kenneth Reimer, Karine Tack and Tom Van de Wiele.  2011.  An Inter-laboratory Trial of the Unified BARGE Bioaccessibility Method for Arsenic, Cadmium and Lead in Soil.  Sci. Total Environ.  409:4016-4030.

Van de Wiele, T., Christina M. Gallawa, Kevin M. Kubachka, John T. Creed, Nicholas Basta, Elizabeth A. Dayton, Shane Whitacre, Gijs Du Laing, and Karen Bradham.  2010.  Arsenic metabolism by human gut microbiota upon in vitro digestion of contaminated soils.  2010.  Environ. Health Perspect. 118(7): 1004-1009.

Dayton, E.A., S.D. Whitacre, R.S. Dungan, and N.T. Basta.  2009. Characterization of physical and chemical properties of spent foundry sands pertinent to beneficial use in manufactured soils. Plant Soil. DOI 10.1007/s11104-009-0120-0.

Scheckel, K.G., R.L. Chaney, N.T. Basta and J.A. Ryan.  2009.  Advances in Assessing Bioavailability of metal(loid)s in Contaminated Soils.  Adv. Agron. 107:10-52.
Anderson, R.H., N.T. Basta.  2009. Application of Ridge Regression to Determine the Effect of Soil Properties on Phytotoxicity of As, Cd, Pb, and Zn in Soil. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 28:1018-1027.

Anderson, R.H., and N.T. Basta.  2009. Application of Ridge Regression to Quantify Marginal Effects of Collinear Soil Properties on Phytoaccumulation of As, Cd, Pb, and Zn. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 28:619-628.

Anderson, R.H., N.T. Basta, and R.P. Lanno.  2008.  Using a Plant Contaminant Sensitivity Index to Quantify the Effects of Soil Properties on Arsenate Phytotoxicity.  J. Environ. Qual. 37 :1701-1709.

Beak, Douglas G., Basta, Nicholas T., Scheckel, Kirk G., and Traina, Samuel J.  2008.  Linking solid phase speciation of Pb sequestered to birnessite to Pb bioaccessibility and oral bioavailability.   Environ. Sci. Technol. 42:779-785.

Basta, N.T., J. N. Foster, E.A. Dayton, R. R. Rodriguez, and S.W. Casteel.  2007. The effect of dosing vehicle on arsenic bioaccessibility in smelter-contaminated soils. Invited manuscript for the special JEHS publication “Bioaccessibility and human bioavailability of soil contaminants”   J. Environ. Health Sci. Part A. 42:1275-1281.

Brown, S.L., H. Compton, and N.T. Basta.  2007. Field Test of In Situ Soil Amendments at the Tar Creek National Priorities List Superfund Site.  J. Environ. Qual. 36:1627-1634.

Select Highly Significant and/or Highly Cited Manuscripts

Rodriguez, R.R.,  N.T. Basta, S.W. Casteel, and L.W. Pace.  1999.  An in vitro gastrointestinal method to estimate bioavailable arsenic in contaminated soils and solid media.  Environ. Sci. Technol.  33:642-649. The first publication reporting that an inexpensive in vitro gastrointestinal method can be used to predict bioavailable As and risk to children from ingestion of As-contaminated soil.

Basta, N.T., J.A. Ryan, and R. L. Chaney.  2005.  Trace element chemistry in residual-treated soil: Key concepts and metal bioavailability.  J. Environ. Qual. 34: 49-63.  An important review of key concepts derived from many studies from the last four decades on trace element chemistry and phytoavailability in biosolids-treated soil.

Basta, N.T., R. Gradwohl, K.L. Snethen, and J.L. Schroder.  2001.  Chemical immobilization of lead, zinc, and cadmium in smelter-contaminated soils using biosolids and rock phosphate.  J. Environ. Qual. 30:1222-1230. 

Basta, N.T., and S.L. McGowen.  2004.  Evaluation of chemical immobilization treatments for reducing heavy metal transport in a smelter-contaminated soil.  Environ. Pollut.  127(1):73-82.

Gallimore, L.E., N.T. Basta, D.E. Storm, M.E. Payton, R.H. Huhnke, and M.D. Smolen. 1999. Water treatment residual to reduce nutrients in surface runoff from agricultural land.  J. Environ. Qual. 28:1474-1478.  The first publication reporting dramatic (>75%) decreases of P runoff from poultry-litter-treated pasture by the land application of water treatment residual—a byproduct produced from drinking water plants.

Dayton, E.A, N.T. Basta, M.E. Payton, K.D. Bradham, J.L. Schroder, and R.P. Lanno. 2006. Evaluating the contribution of soil properties to modifying lead phytoavailability and phytotoxicity.  Environ. Toxicol. Chem.  25(3):719-725.

Schroder, J.L., N.T. Basta, S.W. Casteel, and J. Si.  2003.  An in vitro method to estimate bioavailable cadmium in contaminated soil.  Environ. Sci. Technol.  37:1365-1370.  The first publication reporting that an inexpensive in vitro gastrointestinal method can be used to predict bioavailable Cd and risk to children from ingestion of Cd-contaminated soil.

McGowen, S.L., N.T. Basta, and G.O. Brown.  2001.  Use of diammonium phosphate to reduce heavy metal solubility and transport in smelter-contaminated soil.  J. Environ. Qual. 30:493-500. The first publication to describe the use of diammonium phosphate, a commonly used fertilizer commercially available worldwide, to reduce heavy metal leaching (ie, Pb, Cd, Zn) from contaminated soil.

Dayton, E.A, N.T. Basta.  2005.  Using Drinking Water Treatment Residuals as a Best Management Practice to Reduce Phosphorus Risk Index Scores. J. Environ. Qual.  2005 34: 2112-1117.

Schroder, J.L., N.T. Basta, M. Payton, J.A. Wilson, R. I. Carlson, D. M. Janz, and R.L. Lochmiller.   2003.  Ecotoxicological risks associated with land treatment of petrochemical waste: I. Residual soil contamination and bioaccumulation by cotton rats (Sigmodon Hispidus). J. Tox. Environ. Health Part A  66:305-325.

Books / Book Chapters

Richard P. Dick, Qin Wu, Nicholas T. Basta. Biomethylation of Arsenic in Contaminated Soils. In, M.H. Wong (ed.), Environmental Contamination – Health Risks and Ecological Restoration. Taylor & Francis Group, Oxon UK. (in press).
Hale B., N. Basta, C. Boreiko, T. Bowers, B. Locey, M. Moore, M. Moutiere, L. Ritter, E. Smolders, I. Schoeters, and S. Tao.  2010.  Variation in soil quality criteria for trace elements to protect human health exposure and effects estimation. p. 81-122. In, Merrington G, Schoeters I, (ed.), Soil quality standards for trace elements: Derivation, Implementation, and Interpretation.CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. ISBN 978-1-4398-3023-9. 184 p.

Basta, N.T., R.R. Rodriguez, and S.W. Casteel. 2001. Bioavailability and risk of arsenic exposure by the soil ingestion pathway. In, W.T. Frankenberger (ed.), Environmental Chemistry of Arsenic.  Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.   

McGowen, S.L., and N.T. Basta.  2001. Heavy metal solubility and transport in soil contaminated by mining and smelting. p. 89-107. In, H.M. Selim and D.L. Sparks (eds.), Heavy Metal Release in Soils. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL.   

Lochmiler, R.L., D.P. Rafferty, K. McBee, N.T. Basta, and J.A. Wilson.  2001.  Disruption of rodent assemblages in disturbed tallgrass prairie ecosystems contaminated with petroleum wastes.  p. 277-302.  In P. Albers, G. Heinz, and H. Ohlendorf (eds.) Environmental Contaminants and terrestrial vertebrates: Effects on populations, communities and ecosystems. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Boca Raton, FL.

Baird, J.H., N.T. Basta, R.L. Huhnke, G.V. Johnson, M.E. Payton, D.E. Storm, C.A. Wilson, M.D. Smolen, D.L. Martin, and J.T. Cole.  2000.  p. 268-293.  Best management practices to reduce pesticide and nutrient runoff from turf.  In J.M. Clark and M.P. Kenna (eds.) Fate and Management of Turfgrass Chemicals.  ACS Symp. Ser. No. 743, American Chemical Society, Wash., DC.

Basta, N.T.  2000.  Examples and case studies of beneficial reuse of municipal by-products.  p. 481-504.  In J.F. Power (ed.) Land Application of Agricultural, Industrial, and Municipal By-products. Book Series No. 6, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.