Troy Baisden


Full Name: Troy Baisden

Position: Environmental Scientist - Isotope Biochemistry

Contact details

Email: T.Baisden
Phone: +64-4-570 4653


1993: BA (High Honors), Earth Sciences; 2000: PhD (UC Berkeley), Soil Science

Areas of expertise

Geochemist: Isotope Biogeochemistry

Professional activities

American Geophysical Union: Biogeosciences: Member
NZ Society of Soil Science: Member
The Royal Society of New Zealand: Member
New Zealand Association of Scientists: Member

Major publications

Keller, E.D.; Baisden, W.T.; Timar, L.; Mullan, B.; Clark, A. 2014 Grassland production under global change scenarios for New Zealand pastoral agriculture. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, 7: 3307-3365; doi: 10.5194/gmdd-7-3307-2014

Schipper, L.A.; Parfitt, R.L.; Fraser, S.; Littler, R.A.; Baisden, W.T.; Ross, C. 2014 Soil order and grazing management effects on changes in soil C and N in New Zealand pastures. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 184: 67-75; doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2013.11.012

Baisden, W.T.; Parfitt, R.L.; Ross, C.; Schipper, L.A.; Canessa, S. 2013 Evaluating 50 years of time-series soil radiocarbon data : towards routine calculation of robust C residence times. Biogeochemistry, 112(1-3): 129-137; doi:10.1007/s10533-011-9675-y

Ehtesham, E.; Baisden, W.T.; Keller, E.D.; Hayman, A.R.; Van Hale, R.; Frew, R.D. 2013 Correlation between precipitation and geographical location of the [delta] 2H values of the fatty acids in milk and bulk milk powder. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 111: 105-116; doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.10.026

Mudge, P.L.; Schipper, L.A.; Ghani, A.; Upsdell, M.; Baisden, W.T. 2013 Changes in natural 15N abundance in pastoral soils receiving differing amounts of superphosphate fertilizer and irrigation for 50 years. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 77(3): 830-841; doi: 10.2136/sssaj2012.0333

Baisden, W.T.; Douence, C. 2012 Further progress using isotopes to track the sources of nitrate in surface waters. 3 p. IN: Currie, L.D.; Christensen, C.L. (eds) Advanced nutrient management : gains from the past - goals for the future. Palmerston North, NZ: Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, Massey University. Occasional report / Fertilizer & Lime Research Centre, Massey University.

McGroddy, M.E.; Baisden, W.T.; Hedin, L.O. 2008 Stoichiometry of hydrological C, N and P losses across climate and geology : an environmental matrix approach across New Zealand primary forests. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22: GB1026, doi:10.1029/2007GB003005

Baisden, W.T.; Parfitt, R.L. 2007 Bomb 14C enrichment indicates decadel C pool in deep soil? Biogeochemistry, 85(1): 59-68; doi:10.1007/s10533-007-9101-7

Schipper, L.A.; Baisden, W.T.; Parfitt, R.L.; Ross, C.; Claydon, J.J.; Arnold, G. 2007 Large losses of soil C and N from soil profiles under pasture in New Zealand during the past 20 years. Global change biology, 13: 1138-1144; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01366.x

Parfitt, R.L.; Schipper, L.A.; Baisden, W.T.; Elliott, A.H. 2006 Nitrogen inputs and outputs for New Zealand in 2001 at national and regional scales. Biogeochemistry, 80(1): 71-88

Scott, D.T.; Baisden, W.T.; Davies-Colley, R.; Gomez, B.; Hicks, D.M.; Page, M.J.; Preston, N.J.; Trustrum, N.A.; Tate, K.R.; Woods, R.A. 2006 Localized erosion affects national carbon budget. Geophysical Research Letters, 33: L01402, doi:10.1029/2005GL024644

Baisden, W.T.; Amundson, R. 2003 An analytical approach to ecosystem biogeochemistry modeling. Ecological applications, 13(3): 649-663

Baisden, W.T.; Amundson, R.; Brenner, D.L.; Cook, A.C.; Kendall, C.; Harden, J.W. 2002 A multiisotope C and N modeling analysis of soil organic matter turnover and transport as a function of soil depth in a California annual grassland soil chronosequence. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(4): 1135, doi:10.1029/2001GB001823

Baisden, W.T.; Amundson, R.; Cook, A.C.; Brenner, D.L. 2002 Turnover and storage of C and N in five density fractions from California annual grassland surface soils. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(4): 1117, doi:10.1029/2001GB001822

I lead work on the biogeochemistry of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) and global change issues, such as water quality, climate change, etc.

I am based at the National Isotope Centre. Much of my work involves the measurement and modelling of isotopes that are naturally present in the environment.

The majority of my work is within our Global Change Through Time Programme. I contribute to a number of projects on past and present environmental change, and lead work recently consolodated into a Land and Water project.

I have also recently led the following programmes:
1) "Was collapse inevitable on Easter Island (Rapa Nui)? Reconstructing a civilisation's failure" supported by the Marsden Fund. Listen to audio from Radio NZ or check out a blog.

2) The Isotopic Indicators of Land-to-Water Nitrogen Transfers (FRST Programme) focused on the development of indicators to define the contribution of pastoral agriculture to declining water quality, and involves Lincoln University, Waikato University, AgResearch, and Environment Canada. The programme was aligned to focus on the science of developing isotopic indicators, with long-term delivery occurring through large ongoing programmes focused on land use and water quality within AgResearch, Landcare Research and the Sustainable Land Use Research Initiative (SLURI). Our proposed indicators are intended to:
1) Classify the vulnerability of farm units to ongoing losses of N
2) Identify the proportion of river nitrate loads from differing farm types
3) Quantify the proportion of nitrate lost during transport
These indicators recognise that multiple isotopes of N and oxygen (O) exist naturally, and the relative abundance of these isotopes records the sources of N and O, as well as the effects of biochemical processes occurring in soil and water.  Based on a decade of accumulated knowledge from the use of these isotopes overseas, we designed a distinctive and globally significant project that defined N and O isotope systematics for pasture systems in the absence of the pollution that obscures relationships in the Northern Hemisphere. Work continues within the Land and Water project in the Global Change Through Time Programme.

External Publication Profiles

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... or view my Google Scholar Profile here.

... or view my ResearchGate Profile here.


Associate Editor, Biogeochemistry.

Contact me

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