Rob Root
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
(520) 626-1307
PhD, Environmental Systems, University of California, 2009

Rob Root is a geochemist with a research focus on molecular-scale mechanisms of biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and metal(loid)s in the environment and mineral weathering reactions at the rock-water interface. He specializes in the use of synchrotron X-ray spectroscopic and microscopic techniques to determine metal(loid) speciation from field and laboratory studies of environmental metal(loid) mobilization, sequestration/remediation, and bioaccessibility.

Selected Citations: 

Honeker L, Neilson JW, Root RA, Gil-Loaiza J, Chorover J, Maier RM (2017) Bacterial Rhizoplane Colonization Patterns of Buchloe dactyloides Growing in Metalliferous Mine Tailings Reflect Plant Status and Biogeochemical Conditions Microbial Ecology,

Bose M, Root RA, Pizzarello S (2017) A XANES and Raman Investigation of Sulfur Speciaiton and Structural Order in Murchison and Allende Meteorites. Meteorites and Planetary Science, 52(3), 546-599,

Honeker L, Root RA, Chorover J, Maier RM (2016) Resolving colocalization of bacteria and metal(loid)s on plant root surfaces by combining fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with multiple-energy micro-focused X-ray fluorescence (ME μXRF) J. Microbio Methods 131, 23-33.

Pohlmann M, Dontsova K., Root RA, Ruiz J, Troch P, Chorover J (2016) Pore water chemistry reveals gradients in mineral transformation across a model basaltic hillslope. Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Geosystems 17(6) 2054-2069.

Sengupta A, Wang Y, Miera Neto AA, Matos K, Dontsova K, Root RA, Neilson JW, Maier RM, Chorover J, Troch PA, (2016) Soil lysimeter excavation for coupled hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological investigations. JoVE 115: 1-15, doi:10.3791/54536

Gil-Loaiza, J, White SA, Root RA, Chorover J, and Maier RM (2016) Phytostabilization of the Mine Tailings Using Compost-Assisted Direct Planting at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site: Translating Greenhouse Results to the Field. Science of the Total Environment 565:451-461. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.04.168

Rodriguez-Freire L, Moore SE, Sierra-Alvarez R, Root RA, Chorover J, and Field JA (2016) Arsenic remediation by formation of arsenic sulfides in a continuous anaerobic bioreactor. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 113: 522-530, 10.1002/bit.25825.

Ramirez-Andreotta MD, Lothrop N, Wilkinson ST, Root RA, Artiola JF, Klimecki W, and Loh M (2015) Analyzing Patterns of Community Interest at a Legacy Mining Waste Site to Assess and Inform Environmental Health Literacy Efforts. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. 10.1007/s13412-015-0297-x.

Root RA, Hayes SM, Hammond CM, Maier RM, Chorover J. (2015) Toxic metal(loid) speciation during weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate. Applied Geochem 62:131-149

Nelson KN, Neilson JW, Root RA, Chorover J, and Maier RM. (2015). Abundance and activity of 16S rRNA, AmoA and NifH bacterial genes during assisted phytostabilization of mine tailings International Journal of Phytoremediation 17(5), 493-502.

Valentin-Vargas A, RA Root, J Chorover, and RM Maier. (2014). Environmental factors influencing the structural dynamics of root-associated microbial communities during the phytostabilization of metalliferous, acidic mine tailings: a mesocosm experiment. Sci. Total Environ. 500-501C:314-324

Rodríguez-Freire LR, Sierra-Alvarez R, Root RA, Chorover J, and Field JA (2014). Biomineralization of arsenate to arsenic sulfides is greatly enhanced at mildly acidic conditions. Water Res. 66: 242-253.

Hayes S M, Root RA, Perdrial N, Chorover J. (2014) Mineralogical transformations in high-iron mine tailings from a semi-arid region Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 141, 240-257.

Root RA, Fathordoobadi S, Alday F, Ela W, Chorover J. (2013). Microscale speciation of arsenic and iron in ferric-based sorbents subjected to simulated landfill conditions. Environ Sci Technol. 47, 12992-13000.

Gao X, Root RA, Field J, and Chorover J. (2013) Effect of silicic acid on arsenate and arsenite retention mechanisms on 6-L ferrihydrite: A spectroscopic and batch adsorption approach. Applied Geochemistry, (38), 110-120.

Solís-Dominguez, FA, White, S. A., Hutter, T. B., Amistadi, M. K., Root, R. A., Chorover, J. and Maier R. M. (2012) Response of Key Soil Parameters During Phytostabilization in Extremely Acidic Tailings: Effect of Plant Species. Environ. Sci. Technol., 46(2), 1019-1027.

Root RA, O'Day PA, Rivera NA, Rafferty MT, and Vlassopoulos D. (2009) Speciation and Natural Attenuation of Arsenic and Iron in Tidally Influenced Shallow Aquifer. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 73(19), 5528-5553. Campbell KM, Root RA, O'Day, PA,

Hering, J. G. (2008) A Gel Probe Equilibrium Sampler for Measuring Arsenic Pore water Profiles and Sorption Gradients in Sediments: I. Laboratory Development. Environ. Sci. Technol., 42(2), 497-503

Campbell, K. M., Root RA, O'Day, P. A., Hering, J. G. (2008) A Gel Probe Equilibrium Sampler for Measuring Arsenic Pore water Profiles and Sorption Gradients in Sediments: II. Field Application to Haiwee Reservoir Sediment. Environ. Sci. Technol., 42(2), 504-510.

Root RA, Dixit S, Campbell, K. M., Jew A. D., Hering, J. G., and O'Day, P. A. (2007) Arsenic Sequestration by Sorption Processes in High-Iron Sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. Physical Chemistry of Soils and Aquifers: A Special Issue in Honor of Garrison Sposito. 71(23) p.5782-5803.

O'Day, P. A., Vlassopoulos, D., Root RA, and Rivera, N. A. (2004) Geochemical controls on dissolved arsenic concentrations in shallow aquifers. Proceed. of the National Academy of Sciences, 101 no. 38. 13703-13708. 

O'Day, P. A., Rivera, N., Root RM, and Carroll, S. A. (2004) X-ray absorption spectroscopic study of iron reference compounds for the analysis of natural sediments, American Mineralogist. v. 89 p.572-585.

Research Themes: 
Climate and Adaptation
Air quality
Natural Environment and Biodiversity
Biogeochemical processes
Geochemical cycles
Nutrient cycling
Soil science
Public Health
Soil contaminants
Sustainable mining
Water contaminants
Biogeochemical processes
Geological processes
Groundwater remediation

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