Professor Louis Schipper


Qualifications: BSc, MSc, PhD Waikato

Personal Website:

Research Interests

Louis is an environmental biogeochemist with research interests in long-term changes in soil organic matter, nitrogen cycling with a focus on denitrification and nitrogen immobilisation, impacts of land use change, carbon fluxes and nutrient cycling in agricultural and indigenous ecosystems, including wetlands and soil microbial ecology. He teaches soil science at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Key Links

Managing Denitrification

We have recently completed a special issue of the journal "Ecological Engineering" focusing on managing denitrification in human dominated ecosystems. The National Science Foundation in the United States put out a press release describing the issue.

Soil Carbon and Nitrogen

If you are interested in learning about soil carbon or soil nitrogen, two non-technical articles published in the New Zealand Science Teacher can be found here - Soil carbon, Soil nitrogen.

Research Supervised

23 PhDs and 21 MScs supervised as either chief supervisor or committee member.

PhD (Chief supervisor only)

  • Jasmine Robinson (in progress) Stability of newly incorporated carbon soil
  • Balvert, Sheree (in progress). Naturally occurring glucosinolate related compounds in animal urine that act as nitrogen process inhibitors.
  • Pronger, Jack (in progress). Water use in mixed sward and ryegrass clover pasture systems under dairy grazing.
  • Rambags, Femke (in progress). Exploring the use of engineering soil filters/bioreactors for improving the performance of on-site decentralised wastewater management.
  • McNally, Samuel (2016). The contribution of roots of different pasture swards to stable soil organic matter.
  • Welten, Brendon (2014). Effects of oral administration of dicyandiamide to cattle on nitrogen leaching losses from grazed pastures. 
  • Mudge, Paul (2012) Changes in d15N in pastoral soils under varying management intensity. 
  • Lambie, Suzanne (2012). Soil carbon loss under pasture and pine: Responses to urine addition.
  • Cameron, Stewart (2011). Manipulation of carbon media, temperature and hydraulic efficiency to increase nitrate removal rate in denitrification beds.
  • Warneke, Sören (2011). Microbial processes and nitrate removal in denitrification beds.

MSc (Research)

  • Millar, Jaime (in progress).
  • Robinson, Jasmine (2016). Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration.
  • Jordan, Olivia (2015). Root biomass under range of pasture swards - implications for soil carbon stocks.
  • Carter, Anna (2014). The temperature response of nitrate removal in denitrification beds.
  • Norris, Timothy (2014). Detection of differences in soil carbon and nitrogen stocks between dairy and drystock pastures
  • Chibnall, Emma (2013). Contribution of dissolved organic carbon leaching to the annual carbon budget of a dairy farm.
  • Sturgeon, Catherine (2013). Assessing dissolved organic carbon export from Kopuatai bog, New Zealand.
  • Barnett, Alice (2012). Comparison of soil carbon and nitrogen stocks of adjacent dairy and drystock pastures.
  • Paripovic, Djuro (2011). Impacts of conversion from forestry to pasture on soil physical properties of Vitrands (Pumice soils) in the Central North Island, New Zealand.
  • Treweek, Glen (2011). nitrogen leaching from effluent irrigated pasture
  • Wallace, Dirk (2010). Carbon dynamics of a dairy pasture: annual balance and impact of cultivation.


  • Long, Lauren (2011). Long term nitrate removal in a denitrification wall.

Teaching Commitments

Recent Publications

  • Kirschbaum, M. U. F., Schipper, L. A., Mudge, P. L., Rutledge, S., Puche, N. J. B., & Campbell, D. I. (2017). The trade-offs between milk production and soil organic carbon storage in dairy systems under different management and environmental factors. Science of the Total Environment, 577, 61-72. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.055

  • Huang, Y. -T., Lowe, D. J., Churchman, G. J., Schipper, L. A., Cursons, R., Zhang, H., . . . Cooper, A. (2016). DNA adsorption by nanocrystalline allophane spherules and nanoaggregates, and implications for carbon sequestration in Andisols.. Applied Clay Science, 120, 40-50. doi:10.1016/j.clay.2015.11.009 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10000

  • Liebig, M. A., Franzluebbers, A. J., Alvarez, C., Chiesa, T. D., Lewczuk, N., Piñeiro, G., . . . Cabral, O. M. R. (2016). MAGGnet: An international network to foster mitigation of agricultural greenhouse gases. Carbon Management, 7(3-4), 243-248. doi:10.1080/17583004.2016.1180586

  • McNally, S. R., Laughlin, D. C., Rutledge, S., Dodd, M. B., Six, J., & Schipper, L. A. (2016). Herbicide application during pasture renewal initially increases root turnover and carbon input to soil in perennial ryegrass and white clover pasture. Plant and Soil, 1-10. doi:10.1007/s11104-016-3050-7

View All research publications by Louis Schipper

Contact Details

Room: FG.3.03
Phone: +64 7 838 4468