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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Ippolito appointed as the Dr. Rattan Lal Endowed Professor at Ohio State

Oct. 3, 2023
Dr. Jim Ippolito

This article was originally published on the website of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and was written by Laura Alloway

COLUMBUS, Ohio–James A. Ippolito has been appointed to a five-year term as the Dr. Rattan Lal Endowed Professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Throughout his career, Ippolito has held various academic and research positions, including his most recent role as a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University (CSU). He has also served as a research soil scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).

Ippolito’s research interests encompass soil health, soil fertility, agroecosystems, heavy metals in soils, and their impacts on plant, animal, and human health. His work focuses on identifying and mitigating the risks posed by inorganic and organic pollutants in soils, ultimately benefiting not only the environment but also food systems and overall well-being. In addition to his research contributions, Ippolito is a dedicated educator, offering courses to provide students with a deep understanding of soil nutrient management and its significance in sustainable agriculture. 

This is the first appointment for the Dr. Rattan Lal Endowed Professorship—established through the generosity of internationally renowned Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science Dr. Rattan Lal—which supports research and education in the sustainable management of soil resources for food, climate, and environmental security.

Ippolito’s appointment to this prestigious position reflects his commitment to advancing the field of soil science and making meaningful contributions to global challenges, said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Ippolito to the college as the Dr. Rattan Lal Endowed Professor,” Kress said. “His expertise in soil health and fertility aligns with our mission to address critical issues related to food production, environmental conservation, and sustainable agriculture.”

Ippolito’s extensive career spanning over 30 years has been committed to enhancing environmental soil fertility and health in various ecosystems, including agricultural lands, shortgrass steppe regions, grazed areas, burned landscapes, and metal-contaminated mining sites. His research has delved into the intricate connections between soil macro- and micro-nutrients, trace and heavy metals, microbiological activity, and soil physical attributes.

He earned his PhD in environmental soil quality/chemistry from CSU in December 2001, where his dissertation focused on the co-application effects of phosphorus adsorption/desorption of water treatment residuals and biosolids. Ippolito’s educational background also includes an MS in soil chemistry/fertility from CSU and a BS in plant science with an agronomy concentration and a microbiology minor from the University of Delaware.

Ippolito said he is, “truly humbled to receive the Dr. Rattan Lal Endowed Professorship.”

“Dr. Lal has been a pioneer in the understanding of critical issues associated with sustainable agroecosystems; food production; and supporting a healthy planet for soils, plants, animals, humans, and the environment: a true ‘One Health’ concept,” Ippolito said. “My goal is to build upon my training as a whole-systems soil scientist from the University of Delaware, Colorado State University, and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, to continue his legacy of idealizing and creating the adaptive, sustainable agroecosystems of the future, and partnering with others at Ohio State and beyond who hold the same vision."


CFAES News Team



Jim Ippolito