Owen Duckworth is a Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry in Crop and Soil Sciences at North Carolina State University. He has a B.S. in Chemistry and Geology from the College of William and Mary, an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Applied Sciences and Engineering from Harvard University. He was named a North Carolina State University Faculty Scholar and Research Triangle Institute (RTI) University Scholar in 2016, and awarded the Jackson Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Award from the Soil Science Society of America in 2020.
His research focuses on the biogeochemical processes that control the fate, transport, speciation, and bioavailability of nutrients and contaminants in soil and water. Understanding these processes at the fundamental level is essential to solving critical modern societal problems, including managing and remediating polluted sites and improving nutrient uptake by crops or other plants. This includes nutrient and contaminant metals, organic contaminants, and essential macronutrients. His lab utilizes a wide variety of chemical, microbiological, analytical, spectroscopic, and field-based approaches to study biogeochemistry at molecular to field-scale. He has received an NSF CAREER award and leads a Theme for a Superfund Research program. He widely collaborates national and internationally with chemists, biochemists, microbiologists, plant scientists, soil scientists, engineers, nutritionists, and public health professionals, to name a few; his spirit of collaboration and broad background in soil and water equips him well for his roles a co-lead of Theme 2.