Mahdi Al-Kaisi

Mahdi Al-Kaisi

My academic training is from North Dakota State University (PhD and MS, Soil Physics), University of Baghdad (BS, Soil Science). Prior to joining the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, I held an academic position at Colorado State University. Currently, I am a Professor in the Agronomy Department and participate in Environmental Science and Sustainable Agriculture interdepartmental graduate degree programs.


The focus of my current research is on the effect of soil management practices and various cropping systems on soil quality, soil carbon dynamics, and greenhouse gas emissions. The emphasis of this research program is to address the effect of a suite of management practices such as cropping rotations, tillage systems, crop residue and biomass removal/management, and nitrogen fertilization on soil sustainability and agroecosystem resiliency using soil quality indicators, soil carbon dynamics, and greenhouse gas emission as precursors for evaluating system sustainability. Also, research interests extend to include the interaction effects of agricultural practices and environmental factors (i.e., climate change) on agriculture system sustainability and productivity.

Broader Impact: 

Our research goal is to address the impact of agriculture production systems on soil sustainability and productivity and provide research-based information to different stakeholders that can be utilized in the development of best management practices and the adoption of conservation practices. The impact of our research can encompass both the environmental and economic consequences of agricultural practices in terms of system input costs, and soil, water, and air quality degradation.

Key Environmental Science Publications: 

Guzman, J.G., M. Al-Kaisi, and T. Parkin. 2015. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dynamics as Influenced by Corn Residue Removal in Continuous Corn System. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 79:612–625. doi:10.2136/sssaj2014.07.0298

Guzman, J.G. and M.M. Al-Kaisi. 2014. Residue Removal and Management Practices Effects on Soil Environment and Carbon Budget. SoilSci. Soc. Am. J. 78:609-623.

Al-Kaisi, M., A. Duuelle, and D. Kwaw-Mensah. 2014. Soil microaggregate and macroaggregate decay over time and soil carbon change as influenced by different tillage systems. Soil and Water Cons. J. 69 (6): 574-580; doi:10.2489/jswc.69.6.574.

Olson, K.R., M.M. Al-Kaisi, R. Lal, B. Lowery. 2014. Experimental Consideration, Treatments, and Methods in Determining Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration Rates. Soil Sci. Am. J. 78:348-360.