Dr. Xia Zhu-Barker

I am a soil biogeochemist whose main interests are biogeochemical cycles and land management practices.

My research is directed towards understanding how natural processes control the sustainability of agroecosystems in terms of carbon and nitrogen cycling, water movement, resource use efficiency, food production and quality, and the fate of pollutants. Within these areas, I have pursued the development of novel methodological approaches using stable isotopes, molecular biology techniques, quantitative exploration of soil, plant, and microbial interactions, and mechanistic assessments of land management practices that affect how ecosystems function.

My vision is to contribute to the sustainability of agroecosystems by integrating biogeochemical, ecological, environmental, agronomic, economic, and social knowledge into the food, energy, and water aspects of management decisions.  Dairy production in Wisconsin is a particularly vital area in which to investigate how agroecosystems respond to a changing environment.

I am originally from Chongqing, and my work has taken me through diverse environments from Northeast China to Southwest China to agricultural systems in the western US. Along the way I have had the privilege of meeting people from many different backgrounds, and look forward to beginning a rewarding career at UW Madison. Yoga, especially Bikram yoga, hiking, and gardening are my treats.

Photo of Dr. Xia Zhu-Barker in front of the White House
Assistant Professor
Dpt of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Dr Madison, WI
King Hall 241