Dr Lachlan Ingram

Summary

I have a passion for all kinds of grasslands, but specifically rangelands. My interest is on the basis that it is these ecosystems, which are found across half the worlds land area, that sustain agricultural production. Thus having a better understanding of these systems and the impact, both positive and negative, that management has on these is critical if we are to manage them appropriately.

Research Interests

I am interested in not only understanding grassland ecosystems but also how we can better manage them in a sustainable manner. As a result it is necessary to understand the many factors, and the interactions between these factors, that make up a grassland system: soil-roots/plants-animals-atmosphere. Consequently much of my research career has involved studies that have often been very much broadly based (and often landscape focused) rather than finely detailed and highly focused research. My current position involves a very strong focus in the Monaro region of southern NSW as well as the alpine grasslands present on the Snowy Mountains
Currently I am involved with research that includes:

  1. Determining the impact that lucerne has on soil nitrogen, carbon, soil structure and soil water that is working with a property holder from Cooma, NSW
  2. Potential means to restore the health of eucalypts suffering from die-back on the Monaro
  3. The impact of new and more sustainable pastoral practices on production and soil and landscape health
  4. Measuring trace gas production in response to pastoral management
  5. The impact of grazing on alpine grasslands

Background

I obtained my B. Agr. Sc from the University of Melbourne before completing a Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia in native grass ecology and the potential impacts of grazing on these grasses in the Pilbara region.

After completing my Ph.D I took a post-doctoral position at the University of Wyoming (Wyoming, USA) / USDA Agricultural Research service where I worked from 2001 – 2008 in a number of different areas including:

  1. Determining the impacts of coal strip-mining on soil quality, microbiology and physical structure; the influence of rehabilitation management techniques to mitigate these impacts; and to what extent carbon can be sequestered during the rehabilitation process
  2. The positive impact that inter-seeding lucerne can play at not only improving soil nitrogen and subsequently soil carbon but also how that positively impact on the quantity and quality of native species present in the prairie ecosystems. In addition, what role does this additional nitrogen play in contributing to trace gas (nitrous oxide and methane) production
  3. The impact that a highly invasive annual weed species, cheatgrass, can impact on the biogeochemistry of sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the rocky mountain west landscapes
  4. The impact of long-term grazing on plant and soil parameters in mixed-grass prairie ecosystems in Wyoming

At the end of 2008 I moved to Idaho State University where I worked on two projects;
1) the impact of fire on soil erosion in sagebrush steppe ecosystems
2) Investigating hydraulic infiltration in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem

I took up my current position in sustainable grassland management in July 2009.

I currently supervise one 4th year honours student and a Masters student.

Recent Publications

  • Wick, A.F., L.J. Ingram, and P.D. Stahl. 2009. Aggregate and organic matter dynamics as indicated by stable carbon isotopes. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41: 201-209.
  • Wick, A.F., P.D. Stahl, and L.J. Ingram. 2009. Aggregate-associated carbon and nitrogen in reclaimed sandy loam soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 73: 1852-1860.
  • Anderson, J.D., L.J. Ingram, P.D. Stahl. 2008. Influence of reclamation management practice on microbial biomass carbon and soil organic carbon in semiarid mined lands of Wyoming. Applied Soil Ecology 40:387-397.
  • Ingram, L.J., P.D. Stahl, G.E. Schuman, J. Buyer, G.F. Vance, G.K. Ganjegunte, J.W. Welker, and J. Derner. 2008. Grazing Impacts on Soil Carbon and Microbial Communities in a Mixed-Grass Ecosystem. Soil Science Society of America Journal 72:939-948.
  • Norton, U., A.R. Mosier, J.A. Morgan, J.D. Derner, L.J. Ingram, and P.D. Stahl. 2008.Trace gas emissions and soil C and N dynamics following moisture pulses in native grasslands and cheatgrass-dominated sagebrush grasslands. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 40:1421-1431
  • Ingram, L.J., G.E. Schuman, P.D. Stahl, and L.K. Spackman. 2005. Microbial respiration and organic carbon indicate nutrient cycling and recovery in reclaimed soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 69:1737-1745.
  • Mortenson, M.C., G.E. Schuman, L.J. Ingram, V. Nayighugu, and B.K. Hess. 2005. Forage production and quality of a mixed-grass rangeland interseeded with Medicago sativa ssp. falcata. Rangeland Ecology and Management 58:505-513.
  • Bowen, C.K., G.E. Schuman, R.A. Olson, and L.J. Ingram. 2005. Influence of topsoil depth on plant and soil attributes of twenty-four year old reclaimed mined lands. Arid Lands Research and Management. 19:267-284.
  • Mortenson, M.C., G.E. Schuman, and L.J. Ingram. 2004. Carbon sequestration in rangelands interseeded with yellow-flowering alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. falcata). Environmental Management 33 (supplement 1): S474-S481.
  • Ingram, L.J., P.D. Stahl, A.F. Wick, and J.A. Anderson. 2009. Organic Carbon Accumulation in Reclaimed Mine Soils of the Western U.S.A. In R. Lal. (ed.) Soil Carbon Sequestration and the Greenhouse Effect. 2nd Edition. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication No. 57. Madison, WI.

Contact

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