Photo of Allen Torbert

H. Allen Torbert

Affiliate Professor
Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Waste Management
Selected Publications   National Soil Dynamics Lab


1989 Ph.D., University of Illinois (Agronomy and Soils)
1985 M.S., Auburn University (Agronomy and Soils)
1983 B.S., Auburn University (Agronomy and Soils)

Professional Activities:

As ARS Research Leader, 2005 – present:
My assignment is that of a Supervisory Soil Scientist and Research Leader of the USDA, ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, Auburn, AL. As the Research Leader, responsibilities include managing coordinating research programs for the laboratory which has the mission to develop technologies and strategies for managing soils that increase adoption of sustainable production/cropping systems, particularly conservation systems that reduce economic risk and farm production costs; improving soil quality and productivity; and relating agriculture to global change. Specific research focuses on improving methods for waste application to maximize plant nutrient use efficiencies, while minimizing pollution potential. Other important objectives of the research program are to develop conservation systems that reduce drought risk of cash crops, develop environmentally sound waste management systems, and determine the effects of atmospheric CO2 levels on above- and belowground processes that affect crop production, soil carbon storage and trace gas emissions.

Professional Experience:

2005-present Research Leader, USDA-ARS Auburn, AL
2004-2005 GS-15 Lead Scientist, USDA-ARS Auburn, AL
2003-present Affiliate Full Professor (Auburn University)
2001-2003 GS-14 Lead Scientist, USDA-ARS Auburn, AL
2000-present Adjunct Full Professor (Texas A&M University)
1999-2000 GS-14 Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS Temple, TX
1995-1999 Affiliate Associate Professor (Auburn University)
1992-1995 GS-12/13 Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS Temple, TX
1989-1992 Affiliate Assistant Professor (Auburn University)
1989 GS-11 Post Doctorate, USDA-ARS NSDL, Auburn, AL

Honors & Awards:

  • 2009 – Elected Fellow Soil Science Society of America
  • 2008 – Elected Fellow American Society of Agronomy
  • 2003 – Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy Career Award in Research
  • 2001 – Research Product Development Team Award , US Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
  • 2001 – Journal of Soil and Water Conservation – Paper of the Year, Honorable Mention
  • 2000 – USDA-ARS Special Recognition, for contribution made in mentoring science teachers in FIRST STEP Project
  • 1997 Outstanding reviewer, Journal of Environmental Quality  
  • 1998 Special Recognition from USDA-ARS and Texas A&M University – for mentoring science teachers in FIRST STEP Project

Professional Societies Membership:

  • Associate Editor, Soil Science Society of America Journal (2000-2006).
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Quality (2012-2014).
  • Member, Soil Science Society of Agronomy committee working with the Smithsonian Institute to develop plans for a soil exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., (2002).
  • Member of the Soil Science Society of America Book Series committee, Emil Truog Soil Science Award Committee, Soil Science Applied Research Award” committee, New Fellows committee, and Chair for the Soil fertility division (2006)
  • Member of the American Society of Agronomy Environmental Quality Research Award committee, New Fellows committee, and Leader of the Military Land Use and Management community (2011).
  • Elected as Treasurer of International Soil Tillage Research Organization (ISTRO).


201 Funchess Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849