Paul Voroney

Head shot of Paul.
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 Ext.53057 Room: ALEX 217
Alexander Hall


B.Sc. University of Calgary
M.Sc., Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan




My general areas of interest include: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Biogeochemical cycling of soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous, Soil management, Organic waste management, Organic agriculture.

The long-term objective of my research program is to study the effects of soil management and cropping practices on the dynamics of soil organic matter constituents. I use tracer techniques (13C, 14C and 15N) to assess the effects of tillage, waste management and cropping on rates of decomposition of plant residues, formation of stable soil organic matter (soil humus) and on soil fertility. In addition to studies of the soil microbial biomass (C and N), which is an important labile pool of soil organic matter as well as an agent of organic matter transformations, I am developing methods to study other components to soil organic matter.

Specifically, my research expertise is in organic matter decomposition, with applications in agriculture, horticulture and industry (eg. industrial landfarms and composting operations). My basic research has examined the effects of management practices on rates of organic matter decomposition in field soils using tracer techniques, 14C, 13C and 15N; I was the leader of a research group funded by ICST from 1987-89 (now ESTAC) to enhance biodegradation of oily wastes produced by the petrochemical industry. I also have a patent describing management of readily decomposable carbon-rich organic wastes in soil in conjunction with plant production. This method is used widely by the waste management industry as an inexpensive technology for disposal of non-hazardous organic wastes.




  • Murage, Evah W., Voroney, R. Paul, and Beyaert, R.P. (2007). Turnover of carbon in the free light fraction with and without charcoal as determined using the 13C natural abundance method. Geoderma 138: 133-143.
  • Oelbermann, M., Voroney, R.P. (2007). Carbon and nitrogen in a temperate agroforestry system: Using stable isotopes as a tool to understand soil dynamics. Ecological Engineering 29(4): 342-349.
  • Hazlett, P.W., Gordon, A.M., Voroney, R.P., Sibley, P.K. (2007). Impact of harvesting and logging slash on nitrogen and carbon dynamics in soils from upland spruce forests in northeastern Ontario. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 39(1): 43-57.


Research Area

soil organic matter stocks, soil carbon modeling, soil phosphorus availability


Area of Research

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences