Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Dr. Eldor A. Paul

Eldor PaulNatural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499
Phone: (970) 491-1990


Education and Training:

University of Alberta                        Soil Science                         B.Sc., 1954
University of Alberta                        Soil Science                         M.Sc., 1956
University of Minnesota                    Soil Microbiology                   Ph.D., 1958




Eldor A. Paul is a Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and a Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Eldor has had a lifelong interest in teaching and research in both grassland ecology and agroecosystems, ranging from wheat fields in Canada, through corn-belt rotations in the Great Lakes region of the US, into the afforested systems in California and Colorado. Prior to coming to Colorado State University, Dr. Paul was Professor of Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry and Departmental Chair in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Michigan State University. He has also served as Departmental Chair and Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Biology at UC Berkeley, and was a faculty member of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan. He earned his M.Sc. at the University of Alberta and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

Eldor’s research focuses on the dynamics of soil organic matter and the microbial ecology of soil organisms. His research has involved the use of tracers, such as 14C, 13C, and 15N, as well as molecular techniques for soil organic matter characterization and microbial growth-diversity studies. He has had three editions of Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry published with the fourth edition now in preparation as Managing Editor. The book has been widely read and translated into both Chinese and Korean.

Eldor continues his lifelong interest in nature, people, and knowledge fed by an intense curiosity that started during his first eight years in a one room, log schoolhouse, with all years being taught by the same teacher. This teacher recognized his ever-inquisitive mind and made available to him a large, private library including books written by authors ranging from Dickens and Zane Gray to Mark Twain, in addition to a rich assortment of historical and geographical volumes. Growing up under the clear skies of Alberta with a profusion of stars, northern lights, and a diverse range of bird and animal species, where a cold climate was ever-present, led him to ask, “How does nature work?” This life-long interest and ever quizzical mind about the field of soil science and natural resource ecology drove him to increasing his knowledge and devoting his career to acquiring answers to questions about basic and applied applications in agronomic, ecological, microbiological, biochemical, and biogeochemical, which are still of great importance to the human race today. Eldor also continues to foster his mental and physical capabilities by working at a grassland–forested ranch in the foothills above Ft. Collins.

Among Eldor’s awards and honors received, he is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Canadian Society of Soil Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received the Soil Ecological Society Professional Award, the SSSA Soil Research Award, and SSSA F.E. Clark Lectureship Award in Soil Biology.