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Dr. Thomas Borch

Professor of Environmental Chemistry

Dept. Soil & Crop Sciences, Dept. Civ. & Environmental Engineering, Dept. of Chemistry



After completing my graduate (M.Sc.) work with Drs. Bo Svensmark and Christian Grøn in the Chemistry Department at the University of Copenhagen, I began my doctoral studies (Ph.D.) under the direction of Dr. William P. Inskeep at Montana State University in affiliation with the Center for Biofilm Engineering. Following my graduate studies, I began a Postdoctoral Scientist position in the Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry group at Stanford University with Dr. Scott Fendorf. I spent four great years in Montana and two remarkable years at Stanford University (2000-2005) and could not have asked for more enjoyable work environments. The opportunity to join the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University was compelling. So, in August of 2005 I joined the faculty here to initiate a program in Environmental Soil Chemistry.


Research Focus

My research is directed at determining reactions influencing the fate of trace elements and organic contaminants in soils. In addressing the fate of environmental contaminants, one must consider the complete system rather than solely a simplified fraction of the soil. However, due to the extreme heterogeneity of soils, identifying key-reactions influencing the (bio)degradation, (bio)reduction, and (bio) availability research focuses on both simplified systems, often composed of a single mineral and solution reactant, and natural soil systems. I use a multitude of traditional soil chemistry methods in combination with various chromatographic (e.g. GC, HPLC and IC), spectroscopic (e.g. FTIR, XPS), and microscopic (e.g. SEM, TEM and AFM) methods, including state-of-the-art techniques such as synchrotron radiation-based X-ray techniques, to elucidate (bio)degradation products, chemical states of trace elements and structural states of minerals within soils and pure mineral systems. The ability to identify organic metabolites, the chemical state of trace elements and potential “host” mineral-phases is essential for ascertaining contaminant fate and mobility within soils and waters.


For more details about the research conducted in the Borch group please click here.


Previous Institutions

B.S., 1997, University of Copenhagen
Environmental Chemistry

M.S., 1999, University of Copenhagen
Environmental Chemistry

Ph.D., 2003, Montana State University
Environmental Soil Chemistry

Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2004-2006
Stanford University
Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry

Professional Links

Borch CV
Google Scholar

The Borch Lab – Twitter Page


Contact Info

Office phone: 970-491-6235
Lab phone: 970-491-2718
Fax: 970-491-5676
Email: thomas.borch at

Room number/Building: C017, Plant Sciences

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