William Bleam


William Bleam – Professor

Physical chemistry of soil colloids and sorption processes, chemistry of humic substances, factors controlling biological availability of contaminants to micro-organisms, magnetic resonance and synchrotron studies of adsorption and precipitation.

UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA
Office: 107 Hiram Smith Annex

Phone: 608.262.9956
Fax: 608.265.2595

Email: wfbleam@wisc.edu

Program Affiliations

  • Department of Soil Science


  • B.S. Personnel Administration, 1975, University of Kansas
  • M.S. Agronomy, 1979, Kansas State University
  • Ph.D. 1984, Cornell University

Teaching and Research Overview

The focus of our research group has evolved in recent years, placing a greater emphasis on the chemistry of humic substances and the relationship between sorption to soil colloids and the biological availability of contaminants to organisms-principally microorganisms. A goal we are working toward would have all students in the group include some studies that reuqire the culturing of microorganisms along with more traditional environmental chemistry.

Graduate students joining our research group have three degree options: soil science with an emphasis on soil chemistry granted through the Department of Soil Science, environmental toxicology granted through the Environmental Toxicology Center ( http://metc.med.wisc.edu/metc/), and environmental chemistry granted through the Environmental Chemistry & Technology Program (formerly the Water Chemistry Program, www.engr.wisc.edu/interd/wcp/ ). Each program has distinct admission and graduation requirements.

Selected Publications

Yoon, S.-J., L.M. Diener, P.R. Bloom, E.A. Nater, and W.F. Bleam. 2005 . X-ray absorption studies of methylmercury-binding sites in humic substances. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 69:1111-1121.

Schäfer, T. G. Buckau, R. Artinger, J.K. Kim, S. Geyer, M. Wolf, W.F. Bleam, S. Wirick, and C. Jacobsen. 2005. Origin and mobility of fulvic acids in the Gorleben aquifer system: Implications from isotopic data and carbon/sulfur XANES. Organic Geochem. 36:567-582.

Hickey, W.J., D. Vacca, M. Pellitteri, E. Padilla-Crespo, and W.F. Bleam. 2005. Isolation of soil bacteria adapted to degrade humic acid-sorbed phenanthrene. Applied Environ. Microbiol. 71(7):3797-3805.

Yoon, S.-J., P.A. Helmke, J.E. Amonette, and W.F. Bleam. 2002. X-ray absorption and magnetic studies of Ln3+ sorbed on pristine and phosphate-modified boehmite surfaces. Langmuir 18:10128-10136.

Martinez, C.E., M.B. McBride, M.T. Kandianis, J.M. Duxbury, S.-J. Yoon, and W.F. Bleam. 2002. Zinc-sulfur and cadmium-sulfur association in metalliferous pleats evidence from spectroscopy, distribution coefficients, and phytoavailability. Environ. Sci. Technol. 36:3683-3689.

Quian, J., U. Skyllberg, P.R. Bloom, W.F. Bleam, S.-J. Yoon, W. Frech, and P.E. Petit. 2002. Evidence for the binding of methyl mercury to reduced sulphur groups in soil organic matter. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66:3873-3885.

Szulczewski, M.D., P.A. Helmke, and W.F. Bleam. 2001. XANES spectroscopy studies of Cr(VI) reduction by thiols in organosulfur compounds and humic substances. Environ. Sci. Technol. 35:1134-1141.

Skyllberg, U.L., K. Xia, P.R. Bloom, E.A. Nater, and W.F. Bleam. 2000. Binding of mercury(II) to reduced sulfur in soil organic matter along upland-peat soil transects. J. Environ. Qual. 29:855-865.

Taylor, R.W., S. Shen, W.F. Bleam, and S.-I. Tu. 2000. Chromate removal by dithionite-reduced clays: direct XANES evidence of chromate reduction at clay surfaces. Clays Clay Min. 48:648-654.

Hundal, L.S., A.M. Carmo, W.F. Bleam, and M.L. Thompson. 2000. Sulfur in biosolids-derived fulvic acid: characterization by XANES spectroscopy and selective dissolution approaches. Environ. Sci. Technol. 34:5184-5188.

Xia, K., U.L. Skyllberg, W.F. Bleam, P.R. Bloom, E.A. Nater, and P.A. Helmke. 1999. X-ray absorption spectroscopic evidence for the complexation of Hg(II) by thiol and thio ligands in soil humic substances. Environ. Sci. Technol. 33:257-261.

Chien, Y.-Y., and W.F. Bleam. 1998. Two-dimensional NOESY nuclear magnetic resonance study of pH-dependent changes in humic acid conformation in aqueous solution. Environ. Sci. Technol. 32:3653-3658.

Bleam, W.F., K. Xia, and P.A. Helmke. 1998. The distribution of Cu(II) on boehmite and silica surfaces: correlating EPR signal loss with the effective Bohr magneton number of sorbed ions. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 199:77-82.

Xia, K., F. Weesner, W.F. Bleam, P.R. Bloom, and U.L. Skyllberg. 1998. XANES studies of oxidation states of S in humic substances from different environmental settings. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 62:1240-1246.

Weesner, F., and W.F. Bleam. 1998. X-ray absorption and EPR spectroscopic characterization of adsorbed Cu(II) complexes at the boehmite (gamma-AlOOH) surface. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 205:380-389.

Weesner, F., and W.F. Bleam. 1997. Design of low-Z element XAS sample holder for ambient pressures. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 68:3597-3598.