Peter Van Straaten

Position / Title

Professor Emeritus


(519) 824-4120 Ext.52454


Staff Type

Emeritus Faculty
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M.Sc., Ph.D. in geology University of Goettingen, Germany


My research is concentrated in two areas, agrogeology and environmental geology. The agrogeological research and development for tropical countries focuses on the use of locally available minerals and rocks to enhance soil productivity. Collaborative applied research projects in modification and utilization of phosphate rocks and rock fertilizers are currently underway with partners in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia as well as in Brazil and Indonesia. The main thrust of this research is to develop appropriate and economic techniques to enhance nutrient release from minerals and rocks. Research in environmental geology centres on health-related geochemistry and industrial mineral (phosphates, zeolites, vermiculites, etc) and organic 'wastes' as potential 'resources'.

Recent Publications

1. van Straaten, P. 2007. Agrogeology: The use of rocks for crops. Enviroquest Limited., Cambridge, Ontario,
Canada, 440 pp.
2. van Straaten, P.  2002. Rocks for crops: Agrominerals of sub-Saharan Africa. ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya, 338 pp.
3. Schneider K and P van Straaten 2007. Solubilization of phosphate rock using Aspergillus niger: Potential for an alternative P-fertilizer. Poster presented at Second International Rocks for Crops conference, Nairobi, Kenya, July 16, 2007.