sealPurdue Gulf Hypoxic Zone Experts

March 1999

The Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone is an area in the northern gulf that has too little oxygen to support most marine animals (hypoxic means oxygen deprived). The zone exists because of the flood of excess nitrogen that comes down the Mississippi River each summer. Most of the excess nitrogen is thought to come from fertilizer applied by farmers.


Otto C. Doering III

Professor, agricultural economics
Coordinator, environmental policy issues, School of Agriculture

(765) 494-4226

Is one of six team leaders of the White House Office of Technology's committee that is assessing the causes and consequences of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Team assignment is to determine the economic consequences of proposed changes in American agriculture designed to combat the hypoxia problem. Is also an expert in energy policy; resources and the environment; and agricultural policy. Directed programs on energy policy and forecasting for Indiana and national advisory boards. Has frequent experience with national media. Has testified on agricultural policy and environmental policy for Congress.

Nitrogen use in agriculture

Sylvie M. Brouder

Assistant professor, agronomy
(765) 496-1489

Is an expert on nitrogen use in agriculture. Provides technical information on plant nutrition, nutrient management and cropping systems to farmers, county educators and industry. Research includes the relationships between roots and soils; nitrogen and potassium use and efficiency in Indiana corn and soybeans; and environmentally friendly fertilizer use and recommendations in Indiana, including precision farming recommendations.

Ronald F. Turco Jr.

Professor, environmental soil science
Director, Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute
(765) 494-8077

Has conducted research on water quality, environmental quality, pesticide degradation rates, bacteria in soil and waste water. Of note are recent efforts to isolate microorganisms that are capable of degrading pesticides. (Pesticide contamination is a major concern regarding ground water quality.) Studies how the application of chemicals may affect the microbial ecology of soils.


Jane Frankenberger

Assistant professor, agricultural and biological
Extension agricultural engineer
(765) 494-1194

Research interests are in hydrologic modeling, geographic information systems, nonpoint source pollution and whole-farm planning. Extension responsibilities include soil and water engineering and helping Cooperative Extension Service county educators and other local decision-makers use geographic information systems and water quality assessment tools in land use planning.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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