What does it mean for an agricultural system to be sustainable?
How efficient can we be with our nitrogen fertilizer?
How should we manage our soils to be resilient to extremes in weather?
Can measures of soil health be used to guide agricultural management recommendations?

Welcome to Matt Ruark’s Nutrient Cycling and Agroecosystems Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where we seek answers to these questions. The lab focuses primarily on nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer management in many different agroecosystems in Wisconsin (grain, dairy, vegetable, and biofuel production systems), as well as the connections between management and soil carbon and the connection between management and water quality. The research is primarily field-based – meaning research is conducted in the field, either on farmer’s fields or on agricultural experiment stations.

Dr. Ruark is currently seeking graduate students interested in soil science, agroecology, and sustainable agriculture and is affiliated with:

Department of Soil Science


Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies