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Angelia L. Seyfferth - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Angelia L. Seyfferth

Professor, Soil Biogeochemistry and Plant-Soil Interactions | University of Delaware


Prof. Seyfferth focuses on soil biogeochemical processes that dictate contaminant and nutrient cycling and uptake by plants.





Women of Research: Angelia Seyfferth Angelia Seyfferth 10/30




Dr. Angelia Seyfferth is a Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, one of the founding Directors of the Center for Food Systems and Sustainability (CENFOODS), and the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware. Seyfferth earned her B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry at Towson University, her Ph.D. in Soil and Water Sciences at the University of California-Riverside, and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Earth System Sciences at Stanford University prior to starting her faculty position. Seyfferth’s research focuses mainly on using tools and concepts rooted in soil biogeochemistry to develop sustainable ways to lower human exposure to harmful contaminants from food. She uses both laboratory and field experiments as well as conventional and advanced spectroscopic techniques to illuminate the dynamic chemistry of the rhizosphere and to understand localization of contaminants and nutrients in soils and plants. Her research also includes understanding mineral control on below-ground carbon cycling in coastal environments that are prone to sea level rise and storm surges. She has won several awards, including the 2022 Jackson Award in Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy given by the Soil Science Society of America and the 2022 Charles S. Falkenberg Union Award co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union and the Earth Science Information Partners.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)

Chemical Sciences

Soil Science

Soil Biogeochemical Processes

Plant Science


Media Appearances (6)

Nominations for Green Hen Awards accepted through April 30

University of Delaware UDaily  online


The deadline for Green Hen Award nominations is April 30, and winners will be announced by May 15. Recipients will receive formal recognition as well as a financial award. Nominations can be submitted via the Green Hen Award online form. Previous awardees include students Thomas Benson and Kristie Arlotta, and staff and faculty members Larry Armstrong, Angelia Seyfferth and Steve Hegedus.

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Earth Stewardship Award Winner

University of Delaware  online


University of Delaware faculty member Angelia Seyfferth was selected as the American Geophysical Union’s 2022 Charles S. Falkenberg Award recipient. This award recognizes an early to mid-career scientist who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunities and stewardship of the planet through the use of earth science information and to the public awareness of the importance of understanding our planet.

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Food contamination sometimes starts in the soil

National Science Foundation  online


Angelia Seyfferth, a member of the Soil Science Society of America, investigates food contamination coming from the soil where the plants grow. "It all comes down to the chemistry of the soil," says Seyfferth.

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Rice fights back

University of Delaware UDaily  online


While undergraduate researchers, now University of Delaware alumni Amelia Griffith, Michelle Paukett and Patrick Wise studied rice and plant stressors alongside Department of Plant and Soil Sciences faculty members Nicole Donofrio and Angelia Seyfferth. The researchers published a journal article in the high impact journal Science of the Total Environment. This study shows that, if rice plants have enough silicon — a critical nutrient for rice, they can defend themselves against rice blast and arsenic.

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This Delaware teen is working to solve Asia’s arsenic rice crisis

Technically  online


Preeti Krishnamani found her passion for rice paddies in the 10th grade, when she had the opportunity to work in them with Universitiy of Delaware’s Dr. Angelia Seyfferth at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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An eco-friendly approach to reducing toxic arsenic in rice

EurekAlert!  online


The team is led by Angelia Seyfferth, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who worked with a group of research technicians and undergraduate researchers from diverse areas of study on the project, the results of which were recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which is an American Chemical Society journal.

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Articles (5)

Rice husk and husk biochar soil amendments store soil carbon while water management controls dissolved organic matter chemistry in well-weathered soil

Journal of Environmental Management

2023 Rice agriculture feeds over half the world's population, and paddy soils impact the carbon cycle through soil organic carbon (SOC) preservation and production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which are greenhouse gases (GHG). Rice husk is a nutrient-rich, underutilized byproduct of rice milling that is sometimes pyrolyzed or combusted. It is unresolved how the incorporation of these residues affects C dynamics in paddy soil.

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Unraveling the Mechanisms of Fe Oxidation and Mn Reduction on Mn Indicators of Reduction in Soil (IRIS) Films

Environmental Science & Technology

2023 Indicators of reduction in soil (IRIS) devices are low-cost soil redox sensors coated with Fe or Mn oxides, which can be reductively dissolved from the device under suitable redox conditions. Removal of the metal oxide coating from the surface, leaving behind the white film, can be quantified and used as an indicator of reducing conditions in soils.

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Evaluation of quantitative synchrotron radiation micro-X-ray fluorescence in rice grain

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation

2023 Concentrations of nutrients and contaminants in rice grain affect human health, specifically through the localization and chemical form of elements. Methods to spatially quantify the concentration and speciation of elements are needed to protect human health and characterize elemental homeostasis in plants.

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Experimentally simulated sea level rise destabilizes carbon-mineral associations in temperate tidal marsh soil


2023 How sea level rise (SLR) alters carbon (C) dynamics in tidal salt marsh soils is unresolved. Changes in hydrodynamics could influence organo-mineral associations, influencing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes. As SLR increases the duration of inundation, we hypothesize that lateral DOC export will increase due to reductive dissolution of C-bearing iron (Fe) oxides, destabilizing soil C stocks and influencing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Low levels of arsenic and cadmium in rice grown in southern Florida Histosols - Impacts of water management and soil thickness

Science of The Total Environment

2023 Rice is planted as a rotation crop in the sugarcane-dominant Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) in southern Florida. The Histosols in this area are unlike other mineral soils used to grow rice due to the high organic content and land subsidence caused by rapid oxidation of organic matter upon drainage. It remains unknown if such soils pose a risk of arsenic (As) or cadmium (Cd) mobilization and uptake into rice grain.

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Research Grants (3)

Processes that transform landscapes and fluxes between land and sea

National Science Foundation 


Fate of cadmium and arsenic under engineered physico-chemical gradients in the soil-water-rice nexus

National Science Foundation 


The rice of the future: How growing practices can decrease human exposure to toxins

University of Delaware and Brookhaven National Laboratory 


Accomplishments (5)

Charles S. Falkenberg Award, American Geophysical Union and Earth Science Information Partners (professional)


Jackson Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Award, Soil Science Society of America (professional)


Faculty Award of Excellence, University of Delaware Sustainability Council Green Hen Awards (professional)


Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, National Science Foundation (professional)


Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Biology, National Science Foundation (professional)


Education (2)

University of California-Riverside: PhD, Soil and Water Sciences 2008

Towson University: BS, Environmental Science-Chemistry 2002

Affiliations (6)

  • American Chemical Society : Member
  • American Geophysical Union : Member
  • Association for Women in Science : Member
  • Geochemical Society of America : Member
  • Soil Science Society of America : Member
  • Women in Soil Science

Event Appearances (3)

Linking soil science to food security: Combating As uptake by rice through soil Si management

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH)  Zürich, Switzerland

Probing the plant-soil interface to understand As uptake in rice (Oryza sativa L.) and accumulation in grain

International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements  Nanjing, China

How management practices influence Fe plaque mineral composition and As cycling in rice paddies

National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences  Tsukuba, Japan