Texas Tech University

Matthew G. Siebecker, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Applied Environmental Soil Chemistry

Email: matthew.siebecker@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-0266

Department of Plant and Soil Science 
Texas Tech University
Bayer Plant Science Building, Room 206
2911 15th Street
Mail Stop 2122 
Lubbock, TX 79409-2122
Matthew Siebecker

Personal Information

Prior to joining Texas Tech University (TTU), Dr. Siebecker was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Delaware. From 2016 to 2018 he worked in the Delaware Environmental Institute and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in Newark, DE, carrying out research in environmental soil chemistry. From 2014-2016 he worked in Lewes, DE as a postdoctoral research associate in chemical oceanography, focusing on trace element marine geochemistry in the School of Marine Science and Policy. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Soil Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 2014. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 2006 with a double major in Environmental Science and Plant and Soil Sciences. He is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, the Geochemical Society, and the America Chemical Society. He is fluent in Spanish and spent significant time in Chile and Costa Rica.

Research

Soil chemical reactions such as adsorption, dissolution, surface precipitation, and redox play critical roles in the cycling of environmental contaminants. The Environmental Soil Chemistry group at TTU headed by Dr. Siebecker focuses on these reactions and how they relate to contaminant mobility and sequestration in soils and sediments. The objective is to understand these fundamental soil chemical reactions at both the macroscopic and molecular scales, and then apply this understanding to assess and remediate field scale problems, such as contaminant or excess nutrient release into the environment. Dr. Siebecker has extensive experience working with synchrotron radiation to identify and measure heavy metal contaminant and agricultural nutrient speciation in soils, minerals, and geochemical systems. His work emphasizes the importance of redox and surface precipitation reaction kinetics. His lab utilizes traditional batch and stirred-flow techniques along with ICP-OES to determine elemental concentrations in solution effluent. Additionally, they employ advanced microcosm and anaerobic systems to control environmental conditions in the laboratory as they would be in the field, such as pH and redox potential. Soil mineralogy heavily influences cation and anion sorption reactions; thus, his group utilizes both bulk and microfocused X-ray diffraction to characterize soil minerals present in their systems. His research interests include how both coastal and inland contaminated soils are impacted by flooding due to climate change. Several elements and minerals of interest to his group include nickel, zinc, arsenic, chromium, phosphorus, and potassium along with iron and manganese oxides and clay phyllosilicate minerals.

Teaching

  • PSS 2330 - Urban Soils
  • PSS 4330 - Environmental Soil Chemistry
  • PSS 5330 - Advanced Environmental Soil Chemistry
  • PSS 5336 - Soil Mineralogy

Additional Links

  • Clay sedimentation calculation via centrifugation: Link
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