Matilde “Mattie” Urrutia


Matilde M. Urrutia – Faculty Associate

Instructional Laboratory

UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA
Office: 371D Soil Science

Phone: 608.263.4778
Fax: 608.265.2595


Program Affiliations

  • Department of Soil Science


  • BSc Biological Sciences, 1985, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • PhD Biological Sciences and Soil Science, 1989, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Teaching and Research Overview

In the Spring semesters, I teach the laboratory sections of SS/Hort/Agron 326 – Plant Nutrition Management, which includes greenhouse experiments and laboratory determinations on relationships between soil fertility and plant growth. Since 2007, I also co-teach SS/AOS 132 – Earth’s Water: Natural Science and Human Use with Dr. Bill Bland, a class that explores the science of Earth’s hydrosphere by integrating lectures with a variety of learning activities for each learning style and interest; these include laboratory activities, letters, news articles, and current scientific literature.

In the Fall semesters, I teach all six laboratory sections of SS 301- General Soil Science, manage online quizzes for the class, and lecture the section on Soil Biology. The goal of this course is to provide accurate understanding of all the basic (physical, chemical, biological) principles that rule in soils, which will arm the student with appreciation and respect for the soil resource, whatever discipline may be their background. Lectures and Laboratories are carefully coordinated, so that they complement each other and contribute to student’s understanding of the complexity of soils. The laboratory component works on scientific writing skills, as well.

I also participate in activities and provide support for other courses, as required, such as SS 324 – Soils and Environmental Quality, or supervise Ph.D. students taking their Teaching Practicum in the department (SS 799).

Past Teaching Experience

Ecology Laboratory (BSC 386) (2 Cr), Dept. Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Spring 2004, Spring 2005.

Limnology Laboratory (BSC 413/513) (2 Cr), Dept. Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Fall 2003, Fall 2004.

General Ecology (BSC 385) (3 Cr), Dept. of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Spring 2001, Summer II 2001.

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory (CE 421) (2 Cr). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.The University of Alabama, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001.

Soil Degradation by Acid Rain. In the postgraduate course “Natural resources and environmental impact evaluation” held at the Biology College of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Academic year 1989/90.

General Geology Laboratory. Dept. Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry. University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Academic year 1989/90.

Soil Science Laboratory. Dept. Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry. University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Academic years 1986/87, 1987/88 and 1988/89.

Selected Publications

Weber, K.A., M.M. Urrutia, P.F. Churchill, R.K. Ukkadapu, and E.E. Roden. 2006. Anaerobic redox cycling of iron by freshwater sediment microorganisms. Environ. Microbiol. 8: 100-113.

Roden, E.E., and M.M. Urrutia. 2002. Influence of biogenic iron on bacterial crystalline Fe(III) oxide reduction. Geomicrobiology J. 19: 209-251.

Roden, E.E., M.M. Urrutia, and C.J. Mann. 2000. Bacterial reductive dissolution of crystalline Fe(III) oxide reduction in continuous-flow column reactors. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66: 1062-1065.

Konhauser, K.O., and M.M. Urrutia. 1999. Bacterial clay authigenesis: a common biogeochemical process. Chemical Geology 161: 399-413.

Urrutia, M.M. 1997. General bacterial sorption processes. In Wase, D.A. J. and Forster C.F. (Eds) Biosorbents for metal ions, pp. 39-66. Taylor & Francis Ltd. London, UK.

Schultze-Lam, S., M.M. Urrutia, and T.J. Beveridge. 1995. Metal and silicate sorption and subsequent mineral formation on bacterial surfaces: subsurface implications. In Allen, H.E. (Ed.) Metal contaminated aquatic sediments pp: 111-147. Ann Arbor Press Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Urrutia, M.M. and T.J. Beveridge. 1993. Mechanism of silicate binding to the bacterial cell wall in Bacillus subtilis. J. Bact. 175: 1936-1945.

Urrutia, M.M., E. Garcia-Rodeja, and F. Macias. 1991. Effect of liming and phosphorous fertilization on the acidity of two acid soils from Galicia. Suelo y Planta, 1: 49-60. (In spanish).

Urrutia, M.M., E. Garcia-Rodeja, and F. Macias. 1988. Use of unbuffered salt solutions to extract “active” aluminum complexed to organic matter in acid soils from Galicia (NW Spain). Anal. Edaf. Agrobiol., 47: 1289-1301. (In spanish).

Urrutia, M.M. and A. Martinez. 1986. Effect of aluminum concentration in the first stages of development of commercial and local varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) from Galicia. Preliminary results. Anal. Edaf. Agrobiol. 45: 1315-1330. (In spanish).