Enzymology: A Research Toolfor Soil Microbial Ecology and as an Ecosensor
Prof. Dr. Richard Dick
Ohio State University
About the Speaker
Dr. Richard Dick is an Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor of SoilMicrobial Ecology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at TheOhio State University. The research interests of Dr. Dick focus on the role ofmicrobial communities in controlling biogeochemical processes that drive soilfunctions. His research has been supported by >$10.2 million in grants andcontracts including, competitive grants from US Environmental ProtectionAgency, US National Science Foundation, and USDA. Dr. Dick has authored orco-authored 124+ refereed journal articles, 15 invited book chapters, and 2books as the editor in chief. He has served as Associate Editor (6 years) forthe Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Journal and is currently Editor-in-Chiefof Applied Soil Ecology. Dr. Dick has had extensive international research anddevelopment experience. He has been an invited speaker at conferences andworkshops worldwide; with presentations to agricultural and environmentalconstituencies on practical applications in managing soil microbiology forbeneficial outcomes. He was elected to be the President of Soil Science Societyof America for 2018 which includes a 3 year term on the Executive Committee.
Enzyme activity is an important tool for microbial ecology researchin soils, sediments and aquatic systems to inform on biogeochemical process andmicrobial community responses. The background and rationale for the methodologyalong with the potential and limitation as a research tool will be presented.Additionally, enzyme assays are all too often not interpreted properly or putin the right context. Recent research on use of micro-plate method overconventional bench method relative to advantages and disadvantages will bediscussed. These and other aspects of enzyme activities for environmentalresearch will be presented. Practical use of enzyme assays for ecologicalassessment of ecosystems will also be addressed in the seminar.Such indicatorsare of national priority to assist land managers and policy makers in promotinglong-term sustainability because the condition of soils is fundamental fordelivering ecosystem services, particularly for agriculture.