MSU soil scientist honored with prestigious Jackson Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Award

Hui Li, an associate professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University, is the recipient of the 2017 Jackson Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Award.

June 13, 2017

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Hui Li

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Hui Li, an associate professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences (PSMS) at Michigan State University (MSU), is the recipient of the 2017 Jackson Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Award. The honor, presented by the Soil Science Society of America, is given to a midcareer scientist who has made outstanding contributions to soil chemistry and mineralogy.

Li will receive the award in October at the 2017 International Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America.

“This award further demonstrates Dr. Li's stature as a national and global leader in soil chemistry,” said James Kells, PSMS chairperson. “It brings well-deserved recognition to his research program as well as to MSU, PSMS, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and MSU AgBioResearch.”

Li was nominated for the Jackson award by Stephen Boyd, a university distinguished professor in PSM. Nominees are judged on four criteria: significance and originality of research, excellence in creative reasoning and skill in obtaining data, quality of teaching at the undergraduate or graduate level, and impact of the research on soil science and the larger society.

Throughout his nearly 20 years in the field, Li has established himself as an expert in the environmental fate and transformation of chemicals of emerging concern, as well as organic contaminants and pesticides in soils and their impacts on ecosystems and human health.

Li has also made significant contributions to advancing the understanding of the molecular-scale mechanisms involved in sorption and transformations of pharmaceuticals and organic contaminants on soil mineral surfaces.

Disseminating these research findings in peer-reviewed articles in the leading soil, clay and environmental science journals has been one of Li’s priorities.

In the classroom and research lab, Li plays a key role in teaching soil and environmental chemistry, and in training graduate students and postdoctoral associates.

Outside of MSU, Li is an internationally sought-after speaker and holds prominent positions in soil science. He is the current chair of the Soils and Environmental Quality Division of the Soil Science Society of America. He was also an invited speaker at last year’s China-U.S. Joint Annual Symposium: International Nexus of Food, Energy, Water and Soil.

Li received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental chemistry from Nanjing University in China and a doctorate from Purdue University in soil chemistry. He began his career at MSU in 2000 as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences (now PSMS). In addition to PSMS, Li has served MSU within AgBioResearch, the Center for Water Science, the Environmental Science and Policy Program, and the Institute for Integrative Toxicology.

Holly Whetstone, whetst11@msu.edu, 517-884-3864

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