John M. Bremner

Iowa State University

January 18, 1922 - July 25, 2007

Election Year: 1984
Scientific Discipline: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Membership Type: Member

John (“Jack”) McColl Bremner studied the health and sustainability of soil in agriculture. His research focused on organic matter in soil, particularly nitrogen in its various forms and compounds, and many of the methods and tools that are used in soil science today were developed in his laboratory.

Bremner received his undergraduate science degree from the University of Glasgow and his PhD in chemistry the University of London in 1948 . He was recruited to the Rothamsted Experimental Station in Harpenden, England, the oldest agricultural experiment station in the world. Bremner remained at Rothamsted for nearly 10 years, studying organic matter in soils and finishing his DSci in soil science from the University of London in 1959. He joined the faculty of Iowa State University’s Agronomy Department in 1959 and remained there until his retirement in 1992.

Bremner’s expertise in soil science and related matters, including the environmental impact of agriculture, was internationally renowned. He authored more than 300 research publications during his career and received many awards and honorary distinctions, including a Rockefeller Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and membership in more than twenty honorary and scientific societies .

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