News & Resources


Au Sable Professor John Korstad Contributes to New International Book on Phytoremediation

Mar 02, 2018

It is always an occasion for celebration when members of the Au Sable community achieve great things. Dr. John Korstad, long-time professor of Lake Ecology & Management at Au Sable, is the focus of our celebration today, as editor and contributing author of Phytoremediation Potential of Bioenergy Plants, a new book published by Springer in 2017.

The chapter to which Dr. Korstad contributed, Efficiency of Bioenergy Plant in Phytoremediation of Saline and Sodic Soils, examines the newest technology for restoring degraded saline (salt-contaminated) soils, now a serious problem worldwide, especially in agricultural production. Although chemical treatments to remove salt from saline soils can be employed, such treatments are expensive and cannot be used in agricultural settings. An alternative method, known as phytoremediation, uses living plants – and their fungal and microbial associations – to remove contaminants from the soil with greater effectiveness, less expense and the ability to be applied to agricultural soils, making it now the best option for restoring degraded soils to their former levels of function and productivity. Crops grown for bioenergy and biofuel production also can be used to clean up soils contaminated by salt or other substances. The subsequently restored soils can then be used for traditional agricultural production in the future, with both kinds of crops providing income to the community and the landowner over the long term.

Congratulations on your success, Dr. Korstad; keep up the good work of serving, protecting and restoring God’s earth through your research and your teaching. Your work researching new technologies for a more sustainable future is a fine example of good stewardship of God’s creation.

If you would like to learn more about phytoremediation and its benefits (and perhaps try it yourself), you can read the abstract of Dr. Korstad’s chapter for free online, or purchase the chapter (or whole book) at:


You can also read and use Dr. Korstad’s other writings on phytoremediation, biofuels, and sustainability; his recent publications on these subjects include:

Kumar, D., B. Singh, and J. Korstad. 2017. Utilization of lignocellulosic biomass by oleaginous yeast and bacteria for production of biodiesel and green diesel. Renewable &Sustainable Energy Reviews 73:654671.

Hart, T., K. Ede, and J. Korstad. 2017. Sustainable MBAs: A Phase Model Development of Sustainability in MBA Education. In J. Arevalo S. Mitchell (Eds.), Sustainability in Management Education: In Search of a Multidisciplinary, Innovative and Integrated Approach through University Leadership, Scholarship and Partnerships. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA (available from John Korstad).

Kumar, V., R. .P. Karela, John Korstad, S. Kumar, R. Srivastava, and K. Bauddh. 2017. Ecological, Economical and Life Cycle Assessment of Algae and Its Biofuel, pp. 451-466. In Algal Biofuels: Recent Advances and Future Prospects, Gupta, Malik & Bux (eds.). Springer. 319-51010- 1.  (available from John Korstad).

Korstad, J. and J.T. Moore. 2017. Life Cycle Analysis for Algae Biofuels- Using Local Situations to Factor in the Cost/Benefit of High-End Products Along with Nutrient Remediation and CO2 Sequestration. Examines Mar Biol Oceanogr. 1(1). EIMBO.000503. 2017. (available from John Korstad).