Academics

Dr. Angela Ebeling
Assistant Professor of Biology

Education

  • B.S., Chemistry, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 1999
  • M.S., Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001
  • Ph.D., Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007
  • Post-doctoral Researcher, Ecosystem Sciences, University of California-Berkeley, 2008

Research Interests

  • Phosphorus in the environment
  • Managing organic wastes
  • Cleaning waste-water in constructed wetlands

Courses

  • BIO 124 - Plant Science
  • BIO 310 - Biostatistics
  • BIO 324 - Botany
  • BIO 401/402 - Research Strategies
  • ESS 182 - Environmental Science

Memberships

  • Soil Science Society of America

Additional Responsibilities

Extracurricular Activities

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Library volunteer
  • Evangelism caller
  • Summer Bible School teacher

Angela Ebeling with student

Research

Currently, my research is focused in several areas of soil and environmental science. One ongoing project uses a student-designed and built lab-scale constructed wetland to investigate the differences between native plants and invasive plants (e.g. reed canary grass) in remediating wastewater. Students can look at nutrient removal, pathogen reduction, and nano-particle fate in the two systems. Another aspect of this research is to consider the use of a drinking water processing waste product (water treatment residuals) to decrease phosphorus concentrations in effluent from the constructed wetlands. In another project students analyze soil samples to look for the presence of a specific mineral, calcite. Their work will help establish a database important for making sure the required soil phosphorus test in Wisconsin is appropriate on all Wisconsin soils. Additionally, students set up soil and plant studies to see how effective biosolids (a (by)product of wastewater treatment plants) and septage (solids from septic tanks) are at providing phosphorus to different crops – this research is key for protecting fresh water, reducing farmer costs, and helping with the reuse and recycling of "waste" materials.

These projects involve lab work that familiarizes students with analytical and instrumental chemistry techniques. Learning concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, and soils is important to understanding the processes involved and will prepare students for a variety of careers in science. The two studies highlighted below provide examples of the type of research a student can work on with me.

Study 1: Soil test phosphorus

Angela Ebeling in lab image

There is one main soil test that is used in Wisconsin to see how much phosphorus is ready to be taken up by plants. In order to verify that it works on Wisconsin soils, students will be analyzing soil samples from around Wisconsin to look for the presence of calcite. If too much calcite is present in soil, this soil test (Bray P1) will not correctly predict how much phosphorus is available, and could cause farmers to spend money on fertilizers unnecessarily.

In this research, students will be able to work directly with soil samples and learn a variety of lab skills. They will experience real life environmental research activities such as drying, grinding, and weighing soils; using instruments to measure the levels of various nutrients and other important soil qualities; and putting the results together in a way that is meaningful for farmers and University of Wisconsin extension specialists. They will use soil samples from various sites; some they will gather from farmer's fields, some will be obtained from public and private soil testing labs.

The tests performed on the soil samples include pH, total inorganic carbonate, soil test phosphorus (=available P: Bray P1, Mehlich 3), total phosphorus, and calcite/dolomite determination. Students will become familiar with these laboratory methods and the chemistry and biology behind why they work. They will also have the opportunity learn scientific writing skills by summarizing their results and potentially be able to present their data at local, regional, and national meetings or conferences.

Study 2: Biosolids

biology lab testing samples image

Soil and water are two key resources that 1) are important for food and health and 2) are increasingly becoming misused and polluted. Treatment plants for wastewater clean your drain and sewer water before it is released back into lakes and streams. A "waste" product of treatment plants is a solid called biosolids. It contains the nutrients, organic matter, heavy metals, and other compounds that are cleaned out of the wastewater. There are both helpful and harmful materials in biosolids, but many of the harmful ones are removed during biosolids treatment, leaving it full of nutrients and organic matter, both of which are beneficial to growing crops. Instead of land filling or incinerating (burning) biosolids, another disposal option is to land apply it to cropland like you would manure or fertilizer – allowing the nutrients to be used by the growing crops.

In this research students will put biosolids from different wastewater treatment facilities on soil and grow a variety of plants in the greenhouse. They will be looking to see how well the biosolids provide nutrients to the plants, compared to fertilizer or manure.

Students will learn to organize and prepare greenhouse and incubation studies and to analyze the subsequent soil and plant samples gathered. They will also have the opportunity learn scientific writing skills by summarizing their results and potentially be able to present their data at local, regional, and national meetings or conferences.

Other Research:

rain garden image

For students interested in volunteering their time to campus environmental projects, there are also two on-going activities in which they can participate. One is the maintenance and upkeep of the WLC rain garden located on the northeast side of campus close to Wisconsin Avenue. Since it has only been established for a couple years, weeding quack grass and other unwanted plants, planting desirable species, and adding plant identification markers are still needed activities. Secondly, I have started an educational composting site outside the science building. Volunteers can promote this program to the rest of the faculty and students and help care for the individual piles.

Published Papers

Refereed Publications

Ebeling, A.M., L.G. Bundy, A.W. Kittell, D.D. Ebeling. 2008. Evaluating the Bray P1 test on high pH, calcareous soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 72:985-991.

Ebeling, A.M., L.R. Cooperband, and L.G. Bundy. 2003. Phosphorus availability to wheat from manures, biosolids, and an inorganic fertilizer. Comm. Soil Sci. and Plant Anal. 34:1347-1365.

Ebeling, A.M., L.R. Cooperband, and L.G. Bundy. 2003. Phosphorus source effects on soil test phosphorus and forms of phosphorus in soil. Comm. Soil Sci. and Plant Anal. 34:1897-1917.

Ebeling, A.M., L.G. Bundy, T.W. Andraski, and J.M. Powell. 2002. Dairy diet phosphorus effects on phosphorus losses in runoff from land-applied manure. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 66:284-291.

Extension Publications

Ebeling, A.M., L.G. Bundy, S.J. Sturgul. 2004. Phosphorus Movement from Land to Water. Nutrient and Pest Management Program. Univ. Wisconsin Madison Extension.

Kelling, K.A., L.G. Bundy, and A.M. Ebeling. 2003. When and Where to Apply Manure. Nutrient and Pest Management Program. Univ. Wisconsin Madison Extension.

Kelling, K.A., L.G. Bundy, and A.M. Ebeling. 2003. Management Options for Farms with High Soil Test Phosphorus Levels. Nutrient and Pest Management Program. Univ. Wisconsin Madison Extension.

Ebeling, A.M., L.G. Bundy, J.M. Powell, and L.D. Satter. 2002. Dietary phosphorus considerations in dairy management. Nutrient and Pest Management Program. Univ. Wisconsin Madison Extension.

Conference Posters (presenting author in italics)

"Phosphorus Concentration and Availability in Septage Samples in Wisconsin."  A.M. Ebeling and F.A. Rwatambuga.  ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA International Meeting, San Antonio, TX; October 2011.

"Lab Scale Constructed Wetland."  V. Hartmann, M. Reep, N. Kersten, J. Erbe, A. Ebeling, and D. Ebeling.ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA International Meeting, San Antonio, TX; October 2011.

"Establishing a database of calcareous soils in Wisconsin." A.M. Ebeling, F.A. Rwatambuga, and M. Flister. ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA International Meeting, Pittsburg, PA; November 2009. 

"Paleoclimate reconstructions from a Miocene-aged soil in the Atacama Desert." A.M. Ebeling, R. Amundson, and W. Sharp. ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA International Meeting, Houston, TX; November 2008.

"Evaluating the Bray P1 test on alkaline, calcareous soils." D.D. Ebeling, A.M. Ebeling, A. Kittell, L.G. Bundy, and F. Blum. Poster Presentation. American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America-Geological Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA) International Meeting Houston,TX; November 2008.

"Phosphorus source effects on soil phosphorus buffering capacity." A.M. Ebeling and L.G. Bundy. ASA-SSA-SSSA International Meeting, Seattle, WA; October 2004.

"Phosphorus forms and plant availability in soils amended with organic phosphorus sources." A.M. Ebeling, L.G. Bundy, and J.M. Powell. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting, Charlotte, NC; October 2001.

"Dairy diet phosphorus effects on phosphorus losses in runoff from land-applied manure." A.M. Ebeling, L.G. Bundy, T.W. Andraski, and J.M. Powell. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting, Minneapolis, MN; October, 2000.

Conference Papers

Ebeling, A.M., L.G. Bundy, A.W. Kittell, and D.D. Ebeling. 2006. Evaluation of the Bray P1 soil test on eastern red soils in Wisconsin. Proc. Wis. Fert. Aglime and Pest Mgmt. Conf. 45:296-302.

Ebeling, A.M., K.A. Kelling, and L.G. Bundy. 2002. Phosphorus management on high phosphorus soils. New Horizons in Soil Science: Soil and Water Management Meetings. Issue #12.

Ebeling, A.M., L.G. Bundy, T.W. Andraski, and J.M. Powell. 2001. Dairy diet phosphorus effects on phosphorus losses in runoff from land-applied manure. Proc. Wis. Fert. Aglime and Pest Mgmt. Conf. 40:58-69.

Bundy, L.G., T.W. Andraski, J.M. Powell, J.S. Studnicka, and A.M. Ebeling. 2000. Management practice effects on phosphorus losses in runoff. Proc. Wis. Fert. Aglime and Pest Mgmt. Conf. 39:23-34.

Technical Bulletins

Ebeling, A.M., D. D. Ebeling, and F.A. Rwatambuga. 2011. Analysis of Total Phosphorus in Harvested Aquatic Plants from Pewaukee Lake, WI. Wisconsin Lutheran College Biology Dept. Technical Bulletin 014. Prepared for Pewaukee Lake Sanitary District.  May. 

Ebeling, A.M. and F.A. Rwatambuga. 2011. P Availability from Wisconsin Septage. Wisconsin Lutheran College Biology Dept. Technical Bulletin 015. Prepared for Wisconsin Liquid Waste Carriers Association. June. 

Miscellaneous

Ebeling, A.M. 2001. Phosphorus source effects on phosphorus losses in runoff, plant availability, and soil phosphorus. M.S. Thesis. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison.

Ebeling, A.M. 2007. Assessing available phosphorus in Wisconsin soils from additions of phosphorus fertilizer, manure, and biosolids. Ph.D. Thesis. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison.

Presentations

"Should YOU be concerned about Phosphorus: General P Info & Study Final Report."  WOWRA/WLWCA Winter Convention, Steven's Point, WI.  January 28, 2012.

"Scripture and Reason: a look at Deep Time, Evolution, and Creation." (2-part series, co-presented) St. Lucas Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI.  September 26 and October 3, 2011. 

"Phosphorus in Septage: Study Update" (part of a panel discussion). WOWRA/WLWCA Winter Convention, Steven's Point, WI.  January 28, 2011. 

"Phosphorus Availability to Wheat from Various Biosolids." ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA International Meeting, Long Beach, CA.  November 1, 2010. 

"Food, Soil, and Water Quality...Does Organic Make a Difference?"  Christ Lutheran Church, Pewaukee, WI.  May 8, 2010. 

"Available Phosphorus and Total Phosphorus: Implications for Septage Land Application." WOWRA/WLWCA Winter  Convention, Steven’s Point, WI.  January 30, 2010. 

"Soil and P Source Effects on Phosphorus Buffering Capacity."  ASA-CSSA-SSSA-GSA International Meeting, Houston, TX.  October 6, 2008. 

"Biosolids Treatment Effects on Phosphorus Availability."  Spring Biosolids Symposium, Stevens Point, WI.  March 21, 2007. 

"Biosolids Treatment Effects on Phosphorus Availability."  ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.  November 15, 2006. 

"Phosphorus availability from Biosolids."  Agronomy/Soils Field Day, Arlington Agricultural Research Station, WI. August 30, 2006. 

"Evaluating Bray P1 on High pH, Calcareous Soils."  Soil Testing Lab Conference, West Madison, WI. March 16, 2006. 

"Evaluating Bray P1 on High pH, Calcareous Soils." Wisconsin Fertilizer, Aglime, and Pest Management Conference, Madison, WI.  January 19, 2006. 

"Evaluating Bray P1 on High pH, Calcareous Soils."  ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT. November 9, 2005.

"Phosphorus and Phosphorus Management." Managing Nutrients on Wisconsin Soils Workshop Madison, WI.  March 22, 2005.

"Dietary P Effects on Manure and Runoff:" Training for Nutrient Management Planners Workshop Madison, WI.  August 24 and September 8, 2005. 

"Dairy Diet Effects on Phosphorus in Manure and Runoff."  Agronomy/Soils Field Day, Agricultural Research Station, WI.  September 14, 2000.