Dr. Ronald Turco is the Director of the Indiana Water Resources Research Center (IWRRC.org). His research is concentrated on understanding how the behavior of microorganism and the processes they control in natural systems, is influenced by human activity. In particular his group has used enzyme activity, phospholipid analysis, and molecular techniques to understand community structure and function as impacted by management and introduction of materials. His early work has concentrated on the fate of pesticides and organics in soil systems. His group has also addressed rhizosphere ecology and managed systems such as turfgrass. His current projects are divided across three theme areas: understanding the fate of introduced E. coli in soil and water and the role these processes play in food contamination, developing a better predictive capacity to understand the environmental fate of manufactured nano materials (fullerenes, single wall carbon nanotubes and nanometals) in soil and water and defining the unintended consequences of using our soil resources for biofuel production. His work on environmental pathogens led to the development of EPI-Net.org a USDA national facilitation project. Dr. Turco teaches two graduate level courses: Soil Microbiology and a new course tentatively titled Biotransformation of Anthropogenic Molecules. He also teaches an undergraduate course on Soil Ecology.
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Morton Center, West Lafayette, IN