Sherman Lab 236
3190 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone: (808) 956-6906

Fax: (808) 956-3894


Jonathan L. Deenik

Specialist and Chair 


Soil Fertility, Soil Health, Sustainable management of fertilizers and soil amendments in conventional and organic farming systems, soil organic matter and carbon and nitrogen cycling


BA Art History/History, College of Wooster, 1985, MS Soil Science, University of Hawaii, 1997, PhD Soil Science, University of Hawaii, 2003

Courses Taught:

Research Interests:

Nutrient management in tropical soils with a focus on soil organic matter, waste management, integrating animal and crop production systems. Carbon and nitrogen cycling in in managed and natural systems. Food security, environmental stewardship and human health in tropical Pacific Island environments.

Selected Publications:

  • Butnan, S., J.L. Deenik, B. Toomsan, and P. Vityakn. 2018. Biochar properties affecting carbon stability in soils contrasting in texture and mineralogy. Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Yu, J., L.M. Deem, S.E. Crow, J.L. Deenik, and C.R Penton. 2017. Biochar application influences on microbial assemblage complexity and composition due to soil and bioenergy crop type interactions. Soil boil. Biochem Accepted
  • Long, MS, CM Litton, CP Giardina, JL Deenik, RJ Cole, and JP Sparks. 2017. Impact of nonnative feral pig removal on soil structure and nutrient availability in Hawaiian tropical montane wet forests. Biological Invasions 19(3):749-763.
  • Sumiyoshi, Y., S.E. Crow, C.M. Litton, J.L. Deenik, A.D. Taylor, B. Turano, and R. Ogoshi. 2016. Belowground impacts of perennial grass cultivation for sustainable biofuel feedstock production in the tropics. GCB Bioenergy 9(4):694-709.
  • Butnan, S., J.L. Deenik, B. Toomsan, P. Vityakon, and M.J. Antal, Jr. 2016. Biochar properties influencing greenhouse gas emissions in tropical soils differing in texture and mineralogy. J. Environ. Qual.45(5):1509-1519.
  • Deenik, J.L. and M.J. Cooney. 2016. The potential benefits and limitations of corn cob and sewage sludge biochars in an infertile Oxisol. Sustainability 8(2), 131; doi:10.3390/su8020131
  • Silva, J.H., J.L. Deenik, R.S. Yost, G.L. Bruland, and S.E. Crow. 2015. Improving clay content measurement in oxidic and volcanic ash soils of Hawai‘i by increasing dispersant concentration and ultrasonic energy levels. Geoderma 237:211-223
  • Butnan, S., J.L. Deenik, B. Toomsan, M.J. Antal Jr., and P. Vityakon. 2015. Biochar characteristics and application rates affecting corn growth and properties of soils contrasting in texture and Mineralogy. Geoderma 237:105-116
  • Penton, C.R., J.L. Deenik, B.N. Popp, G.L. Bruland, P. Engstrom, J. Mueller, A. Worden, and J. Tiedje. 2014. Assessing nitrogen transformations in a flooded agroecosystem using the isotope pairing technique and nitrogen functional gene abundances. Soil Science 179:2-10.
  • Penton, C.R., J.L. Deenik, B.N. Popp, G.L. Bruland, P. Engstrom, D. St Louis, G.A. Brown, and J. Tiedje. 2013. Importance of sub-surface rhizosphere-mediated coupled nitrification-denitrification in a flooded agroecosystem in Hawaii. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 57:362-373.


Putting the farmer in the driver’s seat: integrated web tool for improved soil health and carbon assessment monitoring and planning

Granting agency: USDA-NIFA

From: Jan 2018 to Jan 2022

Amount: $449,969


  • Soil Fertility and Soil Health Laboratory - Members