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Zachary Senwo, Ph.D.

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Professor and Director of Biological & Environmental Sciences Research   


Program Area Affiliation Environment, Soil, and Water Sciences  


300 Dawson Building

Phone: 256-372-4216

Fax: 256-372-5906

E-mail address: 



Ph.D:    Iowa State University

M.S.:     Alabama A&M University  

B.S:      University of Georgia


Environmental Science

Environmental Toxicology

Soil Microbial Biochemistry

Plant Nutrition & Water Relations

Research Interest 

Soil microbial, soil biochemical and chemical processes regulating environmental changes and services


Current research

Emphasize soil biochemistry, microbiology and environmental toxicology & chemistry: [1] biotic and abiotic controls on enzyme production, turnover, and in-situ activities; [2] soil microbial/enzymes response to varying land disturbances and climatic changes; [3] new methods for soil enzyme catalysis and their effects on soil functions; [4] soil microbial communities, functions and relation to mineralization of organic constituents; [5] chemical partitioning and bioreduction of soil metals; [6] use of white rot fungi for biomass conversion and bioenergy applications.


Professional Development

  • Fellow- Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), Washington, DC

Professional Affiliations

  • Soil Science Society of America

  • American Society of Microbiology

  • Society for Industrial Microbiology

  • Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development

Selected Publications

Book Chapter

  • Tazisong, I.A., Z.N. Senwo, R.W. Taylor, Z. He. 2011. Mercury in Animal Manure and Impacts on Environmental Health. In Zhongqi He [ed.]. Environmental Chemistry of Animal Manure. NOVA Science Publishers, INC., Hauppauge, NY.


Peer-reviewed Publications 

  •  ​Gardner, T., V. Acosta-Martinez, Z. Senwo, S.E. Dowd. 2011. Soil rhizosphere microbial communities and enzyme activities under organic farming in Alabama. Diversity. 3:308-328.

  • Duressa, D., K. Soliman, R. Taylor, Z. Senwo. 2011. Proteomic analysis of soybean roots under aluminum stress. International J. Plant Genomics. 2011:1-8.

  • Sainju, UM, Z.N. Senwo, E.Z. Nyakatawa, I.A. Tazisong, K.C. Reddy. 2010. Poultry litter application increases nitrogen cycling compared with inorganic nitrogen fertilization. Agronomy Journal. 102:917-925.

  • Tabatabai, M.A., M. Ekenler, Z.N. Senwo. 2010. Significance of enzyme activities in soil nitrogen mineralization. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 41:595-605.

  • Ohno, T., Z. He, I.A. Tazisong, Z.N. Senwo.  2009.  Influence of tillage, cropping, and nitrogen source on the chemical characteristics of humic acid, fulvic acid, and water-soluble organic matter fractions of a long-term cropping system study.  Soil Sci. 174:652-660

  • Ranatunga, T.D., R.W. Taylor, K.N. Bhat, S.S. Reddy, Z.N. Senwo, B. Jackson. 2009. Inorganic phosphorus forms in Soufriere Hills volcanic ash and volcanic ash derived soil. Soil Sci. 174:430-438.

  • Tazisong, I.A., Z.N. Senwo. 2009. Mercury concentration and distribution in soils impacted by long-term applied broiler litter. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxic. 83:291-294.

  • He, Z., I.A. Tazisong, Z.N. Senwo, C.W. Honeycutt, D. Zhang. 2009. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Accumulation in Pasture Soil from Repeated Poultry Litter Application. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 40:587-598.

  • He, Z., H.W. Dail, C.W. Honeycutt, M.S. Erich, Z.N. Senwo. 2009. Enzymatic quantification of phytate in animal manure. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 40:566-575.
  • Taylor, R.W., W.F. Bleam, T.D. Ranatunga, C.P. Schulthess, Z.N. Senwo, D.R.A. Ranatunga. 2009. X-ray absorption near-edge structure study of lead sorption on phosphate pre-treated kaolinite. Environ. Sci. Technol.  43(3):711-717.
  • He, Z., C.W. Honeycutt, B.J. Cade-Menun, Z.N. Senwo, IA. Tazisong. 2008. Phosphorus in poultry litter and soils: Enzymatic and nuclear magnetic resonance characterization. Soil Sci Soc. Am J. 72:1425-1433.
  • Tazisong, I.A., Z.N. Senwo, R.W. Taylor, Z. He. 2008. Hydrolysis of organic phosphates by commercially available phytases: Biocatalytic potentials and effects of ions on their enzymatic activities. J. Food Agriculture Environment.  6(3&4):500-505.
  • Mankolo, R.N., K.R. Sistani, Z.N. Senwo, T.D. Ranatunga. 2008. Seasonal changes in phosphorus and phosphatase composition in soils enriched with poultry litter. J. Food Agriculture Environment.  6(3&4):415-420.
  • Sainju, U.M., Z.N. Senwo, E.Z. Nyakatawa, I.A. Tazisong, K.C. Reddy. 2008. Soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration as affected by long-term tillage, cropping systems, and nitrogen fertilizer sources. Agriculture Ecosystem Environment. 17:234-240.
  • Ranatunga, T.D., R.W. Taylor, C.P. Schulthess, D.R. Ranatunga, W.F. Bleam, Z.N. Senwo. 2008. Lead sorption on phosphate pre-treated kaolinite: Modelling, aqueous speciation and thermodynamics. Soil Science. 173 (5):321-331.
  • Sainju, U.M., Z.N. Senwo, E.Z. Nyakatawa, I.A. Tazisong, K.C. Reddy. 2008. Tillage, cropping systems, and nitrogen fertilizer source effects on soil carbon sequestration and fractions. Journal Environ. Qual. 37(3):880-888.
  • He, Z., I.A. Tazisong, Z.N. Senwo, D. Zhang. 2008. Soil properties and macro cations status impacted by long-term applied poultry litter. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 39:858-
  • Senwo, Z.N., T.D. Ranatunga, I.A. Tazisong, R.W. Taylor, Z. He. 2007. Phosphatase activity of Ultisols and relationship to soil fertility indices. J. Food Agric. Envi. 5:262-266.
  • He, Z., A-M Fortuna, Z.N. Senwo, I.A. Tazisong, C.W. Honeycutt, T.S. Griffin. 2006. Hydrochloric acid fractions in Hedley sequential fractionation of soil and animal manure may contain both inorganic and organic phosphates. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 70: 893-899.
  • He, Z., Z.N. Senwo, R.N. Mankolo, C.W. Honeycutt. 2006. Phosphorus fractions in poultry litter characterized by sequential fractionation coupled with phosphatase hydrolysis. J. Food Agric. Environ. 4:304-312.
  • Senwo, Z.N., M.A. Tabatabai. 2005. Aspartase activity of soils under different management systems. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 36:2575-2585.
  • Senwo, Z.N., M.A. Tabatabai. 2005. Effect of management systems on nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in soils. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 36:1313-1326.
  • Senwo, Z.N., and I.A. Tazisong. 2004. Metal contents in soils of Alabama. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 35:2837-2848.
  • Tazisong, I.A., Z.N. Senwo, R.W. Taylor, M.O. Mbila, Y. Wang. 2004. Concentration and distribution of iron and manganese fractions in Alabama Ultisols. Soil Sci. 165:489-496.
  • Senwo, Z.N., R.W. Taylor, K.R. Sistani. 2003. Phosphorus distribution in five highly weathered Alabama soils. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 34:97-109.

  • Senwo, Z.N., M.A. Tabatabai. 1999. Aspartase activity of soils: Effects of trace elements and relationships to other amidohydrolases. Soil Biol. Biochem. 31:213-219.

  • Senwo, Z.N., M.A. Tabatabai. 1998. Amino acid composition of soil organic matter. Biol. Fertil. Soils. 26:235-242.

  • ​Senwo, Z.N., M.A. Tabatabai. 1996. Aspartase activity of soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 60:1416-1422.

Book Review [doi: 1.2136/sssaj2011.003br]

  • Senwo, Z. 2012. A Handbook of Tropical Soil Biology: Sampling & Characterization of Below-ground Biodiversity by Fatima M.S. Moreira, E. Jeroen Huising and David E. Bignell (Ed.). SSSAJ. 76(1):309.​