1991 Upper Buford Circle
St Paul, MN 55108
- BS, University of California, Riverside - 1979
- MS, Purdue University - 1981
- PhD, Purdue University - 1983
Areas of Interest
Precision Agriculture, Precision Conservation, Water Quality, Watershed Management and Modeling
Dr. Mulla received a Ph.D. degree in Agronomy from Purdue University with emphasis in soil physics (1983). From 1983 to 1995 he was Assistant to Full Professor in the Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State Univ. Since 1995 he has been Professor and Larson Chair for Soil & Water Resources in the Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate at the Univ. of Minnesota. Since January, 2004 he has been the Director of the Precision Agriculture Center at the Univ. of Minnesota and organized the 7th and 8th International Conferences on Precision Agriculture. In 2007 he was appointed a Founding Fellow in the Univ. of Minnesota’s Institute on Environment. In 2011 and 2013 he was appointed to National Academy of Sciences committees on Florida water quality standards and on Mississippi River water quality assessment and monitoring.
Dr. Mulla’s research emphasizes (1) non-point source surface water pollution and TMDLs and watershed management, (2) the transport and modeling of water, solutes, trace metals, and organic chemicals in soil, surface and ground water, (3) impacts of biofuel and alternative crop production systems, (4) the measurement, modeling and management of soil erosion, (5) phosphorus and nitrogen transport in soils, (6) agricultural best management practices , (7) soil, landscape and terrain modeling for precision conservation, and (9) field-scale variability for precision farming.
Dr. Mulla and his coauthors (including 40 MS and PhD students) have produced over 210 publications, and have received funding of over $30 million. Dr. Mulla and his colleagues have extensive experience in applying geostatistics, remote sensing and GIS terrain analysis in agricultural, biological and ecological systems, including applications for development of targeted BMP placement and “management zones” in precision agriculture and precision conservation. Broadly speaking, Dr. Mulla’s pioneering research on precision agriculture contributed significantly to its adoption in the US and around the world, fostering business opportunities, job growth and greater economic and environmental efficiency in agriculture.
Dr. Mulla has experience in modeling erosion, and losses of phosphorus, nitrogen, and pesticides to surface and ground waters. He studied pollution of Minnesota rivers, lakes, and groundwater, and effectiveness of BMPs for each resource. In 1998 he was appointed to the White House Task Force on Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1999 he led a study for the Minnesota State Environmental Quality Board on the impacts of animal agriculture on water quality. In 2004 he collaborated on a statewide study to quantify phosphorus loads exported to surface waters from point and nonpoint sources. He led a paired watershed study on the effectiveness of BMPs. In 2007 he led a study for the LCCMR to develop a long-range conservation plan for biofuel production and environmental protection in Minnesota. In 2010 he led a study for the MN state legislature on nitrogen sources to surface waters. In 2011 he was appointed to a National Academy of Sciences committee on numerical nutrient criteria (water quality standards) for Florida.
Dr. Mulla is an internationally recognized researcher and scholar. His research has taken him to over 20 countries. He was a consultant to the Millennium Challenge Corporation for a project to install erosion control practices and plant 8 million olive trees on 80,000 ha in Morocco. His peers elected him as a Fellow in the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and as a Fellow in the Agronomy Society of America. In 2012 he received the Pierre C. Robert Precision Agriculture Research Award from the International Society for Precision Agriculture. In 2013 he received the SSSA Soil Science Applied Research Award. He has served as Associate and Technical Editor for the Soil Science Society of America Journal, and as Associate Editor for the Journal of Precision Agriculture.
Curriculum vitae (PDF)
- Soil 5232 Vadose Zone Hydrology
My research emphasizes (1) the measurement, modeling, and management of uncertainty and risk for non-point source pollution of surface and groundwater; (2) the characterization and estimation of field-scale variability for precision farming; (3) the evaluation of alternative farm management strategies for improved soil quality and sustainability; and (4) evaluation of policies for soil and water resources.
- Zermas, D., V. Morellas, D. Mulla and N. Papanikolopoulos. 2019. 3D Model Processing for High Throughput Phenotype Extraction - The Case of Corn. Computers Electronics Agriculture. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2019.105047.
- Wilson, G., D. Mulla, J. Galzki, A. Laacouri, J. Vetsch and G. Sands. 2019. Effects of fertilizer timing and variable rate N on Nitrate-N losses from a tile drained corn-soybean rotation simulated using Drainmod-NII. Prec. Ag. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11119-019-09668-4 Published Online 18 May 2019.
- Jungers, J. M., L.H. DeHaan, D. J. Mulla, C.C. Sheaffer, and D. L. Wyse. 2019. Reduced nitrate leaching in a perennial grain crop compared to maize in the Upper Midwest, USA. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 272:63-73.
- Dalzell, B. and D. Mulla. 2018. Perennial vegetation impacts on stream discharge and channel sources of sediment in the Minnesota River Basin. J. Soil Water Conserv. 73(2):120-132.
- Pennington, D., B. Dalzell, E. Nelson, S. Polasky, P. Hawthorne, D. Mulla, S. Taff and P. Hawthorne. 2017. Estimating the full costs of meeting pollution reduction targets. Ecol. Econ. 139:75-90.
- Mulla, D. and R. Khosla. 2015. Historical evolution and recent advances in precision farming. Ch. 1. In: (R. Lal, and B.A. Stewart, eds.), Soil Specific Farming: Precision Agriculture. Adv. Soil Sci. Taylor and Francis Publ., Boca Raton, FL.
- Vashisht, B.B., T. Nigon, D. J. Mulla, C. Rosen, H. Xu, T. Twine and S. K. Jalota. 2015. Adaptation of water and nitrogen management to future climates for sustaining potato yield in Minnesota. Agric. Water Management 152: 198-206.
- Lazarus, W., D. J. Mulla and D. Wall. 2014. A spreadsheet planning tool for assisting a state agency with cost-effective watershed scale surface water nitrogen planning. J. Soil Water Conservation 69:45A-50A.
- Mulla, D. J. 2013. Twenty five years of remote sensing in precision agriculture: Key advances and remaining knowledge gaps. Biosystems Engineering. 114:358-371.
- Dalzell, B. J., J. Y. King, D. J. Mulla, J. C. Finlay, and G. R. Sands. 2011. Influence of subsurface drainage on quantity and quality of dissolved organic matter export from agricultural landscapes. J. Geophys. Res. 116 G02023, doi:10.1029/2010JG001540.
- Nangia, V., D. J. Mulla and P. H. Gowda. 2010. Precipitation changes impact stream discharge, nitrate-nitrogen load more than agricultural management changes. J. Environ. Qual. 39:2063-2071.
- Miao, Y., D. J. Mulla, G. Randall, J. Vetsch and R. Vintila. 2009. Combining chlorophyll meter readings and high spatial resolution remote sensing images for in-season site-specific nitrogen management of corn. Precision Agriculture 10:45-62.
- Fang, F., P. L. Brezonik, D. J. Mulla, and L. K. Hatch. 2002. Estimating runoff phosphorus losses from calcareous soils in the Minnesota River Basin. J. Environ. Quality 31(6):1918-1929.
- Birr, A. S. and D. J. Mulla. 2001. Evaluation of phosphorus site index in watersheds at the regional scale. J. Environ. Quality. 30:2018-2025.
- Randall, G. W. and D. J. Mulla. 2001. Nitrate-N in surface waters as influenced by climatic conditions and agricultural practices. J. Environ. Qual. 30:337-344.
- Davis, D. M., P. H. Gowda, D. J. Mulla, and G. W. Randall. 2000. Modeling nitrate nitrogen leaching in response to nitrogen fertilizer rate and tile drain depth or spacing for southern Minnesota, USA. J. Environ. Qual. 29:1568-1581.
- Wollenhaupt, N. C., D. J. Mulla, and C. A. Gotway. 1997. Soil sampling and interpolation techniques for mapping spatial variability of soil properties. p. 19-54. In: (F. J. Pierce and E. J. Sadler, eds.), The State of Site Specific Management for Agriculture. ASA/CSSA/SSSA, Madison, WI.
- Mulla, D. J. Mapping and managing spatial patterns in soil fertility and crop yield. In: P. Robert, W. Larson, and R. Rust (eds.), Soil Specific Crop Management. Am. Soc. Agronomy, Madison, WI. pp. 15-26, 1993.
- Mulla, D. J., Bhatti, A. U., Hammond, M. W., and Benson, J. A. A comparison of winter wheat yield and quality under uniform versus spatially variable fertilizer management. Agric. Ecosys. Env. 38:301-311, 1992.
- Rossi, R. E., Mulla, D. J., Journel, A. G., and Franz, E. H. Geostatistical interpretation of ecological phenomena: Tools for modeling spatial dependence. Ecological Monographs 62:277-314, 1992.
- Bhatti, A. U., Mulla, D. J., and Frazier, B. E. Estimation of soil properties and wheat yields on complex eroded hills using geostatistics and Thematic Mapper images. Remote Sensing Environ. 37:181-191, 1991.
- Mulla, D. J., Page, A. L., and Ganje, T. J. Cadmium accumulations and bioavailability in soils from long-term phosphorus fertilization. J. Environ. Qual. 9(3), 408-412, 1980.
Post Doctorate and Graduate Students
- Jacob Galzki, M.S. in Water Resources Science. Terrain attributes for critical source area protection.
- Joel Nelson, GIS Specialist. Terrain attributes for ravine, gully and streambank erosion.
- Tyler Nigon, Ph.D. in Land and Atmospheric Science. Hyperspectral remote sensing in corn.
- Muhammad Tahir, Research Fellow. Modeling N losses to groundwater.
- Grace Wilson, Ph.D. in Land and Atmospheric Science. Modeling impacts of precision nitrogen management on water quality.
- Brian Bohman, Ph.D. in Water Resources Science. Reducing nitrate leaching to groundwater from irrigated crops.
- Aicam Laacouri, Ph.D. in Land and Atmospheric Science. Remote sensing of nitrogen deficiency in corn.
- Abdelkrim Lachgar, Ph.D. in Land and Atmospheric Science. Remote sensing of soil phosphorus.
- Mohamed Ouarani, Ph.D. in Water Resource Science. Coupled models for surface and ground water.