Professor Louis Schipper

Soil Biogeochemistry

Qualifications: BSc MSc PhD Waikato, FNZSSS, FSSSA

Personal Website:

Research Interests

Louis is an environmental biogeochemist with research interests in long-term changes in soil organic matter, nitrogen cycling with a focus on denitrification and nitrogen immobilisation, impacts of land use change, carbon fluxes and nutrient cycling in agricultural and indigenous ecosystems, including wetlands and soil microbial ecology. He teaches soil science at undergraduate and graduate levels. My resume is here.

Key Links

Opportunities for postgraduate study

Louis is interested in a range of PhD and MSc projects examining cycling of carbon and nitrogen in soil and waterways. Major foci are to determine approaches that (i) decrease nitrogen entering waterways by manipulating denitrification, and (ii) sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into soil carbon below grazed pastures. A final area of interest is to understand how temperature controls soil biogeochemical processes using macro-molecular rate theory.

Further details can be found at my website.

Managing Denitrification

We completed a special issue of the journal "Ecological Engineering" focusing on managing denitrification in human dominated ecosystems. The National Science Foundation in the United States put out a press release describing the issue.

Soil Carbon and Nitrogen

If you are interested in learning about soil carbon or soil nitrogen, two non-technical articles published in the New Zealand Science Teacher can be found here - Soil carbon, Soil nitrogen.

Recent Publications

  • Ratcliffe, J. L., Campbell, D. I., Clarkson, B. R., Wall, A. M., & Schipper, L. A. (2019). Water table fluctuations control CO<inf>2</inf> exchange in wet and dry bogs through different mechanisms. Science of the Total Environment, 655, 1037-1046. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.151

  • Liang, L. L., Campbell, D. I., Wall, A. M., & Schipper, L. A. (2018). Nitrous oxide fluxes determined by continuous eddy covariance measurements from intensively grazed pastures: Temporal patterns and environmental controls. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 268, 171-180. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2018.09.010

  • Tomer, M. D., James, D. E., Schipper, L. A., & Wills, S. A. (2018). Use of the USDA National Cooperative Soil Survey soil characterization data to detect soil change: A cautionary tale. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 81(6), 1463-1474. doi:10.2136/sssaj2017.06.0198

  • Whitehead, D., Schipper, L. A., Pronger, J., Moinet, G. Y. K., Mudge, P. L., Calvelo Pereira, R., . . . Camps-Arbestain, M. (2018). Management practices to reduce losses or increase soil carbon stocks in temperate grazed grasslands: New Zealand as a case study. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 265, 432-443. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2018.06.022

Find more research publications by Louis Schipper

Contact Details

Room: FG.3.03
Phone: +64 7 838 4468