Research

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering conducts research on problems of importance to Arkansas and the entire nation.

The two focus areas of research in the department are:

  • Biotechnology Engineering
  • Ecological Engineering

Biotechnology Engineering: designing systems to manipulate plant, animal and microbial materials into industrially and medically relevant consumer products, and to develop environmentally relevant biotechnology to manage natural resources. Examples are: genetically modifying bacteria to produce novel chemicals and pharmaceuticals; utilizing bacterial processes to convert dangerous waste products into beneficial soil; utilization of by-products into energy and high-value products, biomass extraction for phytonutrients, and biomass conversion to energy; providing safe and plentiful food by plant and animal production; food safety; and integrating biological materials into systems at the micro- and nanometer scale for the next generation of bio/abio hybrid engineered systems for medical diagnoses.

Ecological Engineering: applying the science of ecology with the practice of engineering to solve complex ecosystem problems. These solutions include designing advanced wastewater treatment, erosion control systems, stream restoration, hydrology, watershed management and ecological risk assessment; broiler litter management and effects on air quality, mitigation of air emissions; non-point source pollution engineering, animal waste management, and water quality and quantity analyses and management; remote sensing, and applications of site-specific and geospatial technologies in biological and agricultural systems.


Thomas Costello, Associate Professor

  • Algae Production Research
  • Poultry Housing Systems and Litter Management
  • Energy Conservation, Reducing Emissions, and Improving Air Quality


Brian Haggard, Professor

  • Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling
  • Pollutant Transport in Aquatic Systems
  • Ecological Engineering, Environmental, Soil, and Water Sciences


Christopher Henry, Assistant Professor

  • Irrigation Water Use and Management in Arkansas Row Crop Agriculture
  • Water Quality
  • Irrigations Systems


Jin-Woo Kim, Professor

  • Micro/Nanoscale Bio/Abio Interfacing Technology
  • Self-Assembly of Multifunctional Nanocomposites for Multiplex, Multimodal Nanotheranostics
  • Environmental Biotechnology and Biocatalysis Technology


Yanbin Li, Distinguished Professor, Tyson Endowed Chair in Biosensing Engineering

  • Aptasensors for Rapid Screening of Avian Influenza Virus
  • Biosensors for Detection of Foodborne Pathogens
  • Microbial Predictive Modeling, Risk Assessment, and Anti-microbial Technologies 


Otto Loewer, Professor

  • Computer Simulation of Biological Systems
  • Linkages Among Technology, Economics, and Societal Values


Marty Matlock, Executive Director, UA office for Sustainability

  • Sustainable Metrics for Agriculture
  • Ecological Engineering
  • Biological Assessment and Monitoring
  • Ecosystem Design and Management 


G. Scott Osborn, Associate Professor

  • Improving Drinking Water Quality and Availability
  • Dissolved Oxygen and Ozone Technologies
  • Biological Modeling, Drying, and Energy Processes 


Benjamin Runkle, Assistant Professor

  • Innovative irrigation strategies in rice agriculture
  • Surface water nutrient fluxes and source partitioning
  • Land-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor


Jun Zhu, Professor and Area Director, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability

  • Waste treatment technologies for protecting air and water quality related to animal production
  • Renewable energy production technologies
  • Bioconversion of wastes into value-added products