Markus Kleber

Associate Professor, Soil and Environmental Geochemistry
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Office: 541-737-5718

The processes at the interface between organic matter and mineral surfaces, including mineral surface properties, organic matter properties, bonding mechanisms, adsorption processes, mineral-microbial interactions, and organic matter turnover dynamics.


  • The role of protein-mineral interactions for protein oxidation and hydrolysis. EMSL Science Theme Proposal/ Departmental support. Graduate Student: Stephany Chacon (PhD)
  • Spatial variation in microbial processes controlling carbon mineralization within soils and sediments. DOE-TES. Lead PI: Scott Fendorf, Stanford University, Co-PI: Peter S. Nico, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Graduate Student: Tom Wanzek (MSc)
  • Organic carbon accumulation in Oxisols. Laspau. Graduate Student: Pedro Henrique Rodrigues de Moraes Martinez,  (PhD)
  • Solidifying the Oregon Soil Health Assessment. NRCS. Lab Manager: Shannon Andrews. Faculty Research Assistant: Gloria Ambrowiak.

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Crop and Soil Science
Courses Taught: 

SOIL 388 Soil Systems and Plant Growth (Ecampus, Fall Term, with Adam Lindsley)

Introduces soils as providers of critical resources for plant growth. Explains how soils supply water, air, thermal energy and nutrients to plants. Shows that sustainable management of soil resources requires substantial understanding of their role in the functioning of natural, forest, and agricultural systems. Explains controls on stocks and availabilities of individual soil resources and mechanisms making these resources plant-available.

SOIL 525  Mineral-organic interactions (Winter Term)

Treats soil as the interface between organic and mineral components. Introduces molecular scale properties of major system components (mineral types and forms of soil organic matter). Shows how interactions between minerals and organics determine the special nature of the soil "bioreactor". Course is focused on biogeochemical processes that determine soil organic matter turnover.

SOIL 599/512   Soil analysis (Field Excursion, Summer Term, with Shannon Andrews)

Demonstration of soil management challenges in agroecosystems, soil resource assessments for the major soil orders used for the production of field and horticultural crops in Oregon; demonstration of soil sampling techniques.  Individual and group activities; discussion of the decision-making process for soil resource assessments.  5 day duration with three - four overnight stays on campgrounds. A field trip fee will be charged.

SOIL 599/513 Soil analysis (Laboratory, Summer Term, with Shannon Andrews)

Provide the theoretical background as well as practical experience needed to plan, select, execute and interpret the soil chemical and physical analyses used for nutrient management recommendations. Individual and group activities; involves classroom presentations as well as hands – on work in a teaching laboratory. Samples processed are those collected in the course of preceding Field Course SOIL 599/512. Duration  five (5) full work days. A lab fee will be charged.

My Publications



Book Chapter

J. Lehmann, Abiven, S., Kleber, M., Pan, G., Singh, B. P., Sohi, S., and Zimmerman, A., Persistence of Biochar in Soil, in Biochar for Environmental Management: Science, Technology and Implementation, Second., 2015.
M. Kleber, Hockaday, W. C., and Nico, P., Characteristics of Biochar: Macro-Molecular Properties, in Biochar for Environmental Management: Science, Technology and Implementation, Second., 2015.

Journal Article

M. Keiluweit, Nico, P., Harmon, M. E., Mao, J., Pett-Ridge, J., and Kleber, M., Long-term litter decomposition controlled by manganese redox cycling, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112, no. 38, pp. E5253 - E5260, 2015.