Dr. Barbara Cade-Menun

Image Barbara Cade-Menun
Research Scientist

My research focuses on nutrient cycling and minimizing nutrient loss from agriculture. Specifically, I am a phosphorus (P) biogeochemist. I study how P cycles in soil and water, using techniques that range from simple extractions to advanced spectroscopic methods such as 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (P-NMR)  and P k-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure  spectroscopy (P-XANES). I do my P-NMR work at the Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, and my P-XANES work at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon. Using these advanced techniques, I have examined P forms and concentrations in soils, manure, plants, and snowmelt runoff. This will help to ensure that crops get the P they need, while minimizing P loss to water where it can cause harmful algal blooms.

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Cade-Menun’s current research investigates agro-environmental health, focusing on soil phosphorus cycling and soil health in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and British Columbia.

Research and/or project statements

  • The effect of management practices such as tillage and fertilization on soil phosphorus forms and cycling.

  • Soil acidification from long-tern nitrogen fertilization.

  • Practices that minimize nutrient loss from land to water.

  • Phosphorus forms and cycling in aquatic ecosystems.

Education and awards

B. Sc. (Hons.), Biology, Queen’s University, 1986

M. Sc., Soil Science (Soil Biology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC,1989

Ph. D., Soil Science (Forest Soils, Soil Chemistry), University of British Columbia, 1995


Fellow, Canadian Society of Soil Science, 2017

Fellow, Soil Science Society of America, 2016

Editor’s Citation for Excellence as Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Quality, 2014

Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Manuscript Review, Journal of Environmental Quality, 2012

Editor’s Citation, top referee in 2008, Analytica Chimica Acta, 2008

International experience and/or work

Dr. Cade-Menun has collaborated internationally with scientists in China, England, France, Ireland, Israel, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain and the USA (with various universities and the USDA).  

Key publications

  1. Heron, T., Strawn, D.G., Dobre, M., Cade-Menun, B.J., Deval, C., Brooks, E.S., Piaskowski, J., Gasch, C., Crump, A. (2021). Soil Phosphorus Speciation and Availability in Meadows and Forests in Alpine Lake Watersheds With Different Parent Materials. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, [online] 3 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2020.604200

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Liu, J., Han, C., Zhao, Y., Yang, J., Cade-Menun, B.J., Hu, Y., Li, J., Liu, H., Sui, P., Chen, Y., Ma, Y. (2020). The chemical nature of soil phosphorus in response to long-term fertilization practices: Implications for sustainable phosphorus management. Journal of Cleaner Production, [online] 272 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.123093

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Nelson, L.A., Cade-Menun, B.J., Walker, I.J., Sanborn, P. (2020). Soil Phosphorus Dynamics Across a Holocene Chronosequence of Aeolian Sand Dunes in a Hypermaritime Environment on Calvert Island, BC, Canada. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, [online] 3 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2020.00083

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Li, Y., Tremblay, J., Bainard, L.D., Cade-Menun, B., Hamel, C. (2020). Long-term effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization on soil microbial community structure and function under continuous wheat production. Environmental Microbiology, [online] 22(3), 1066-1088. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14824

    2020 - View publication details

  5. Mackey, K.R.M., Van Mooy, B., Cade-Menun, B.J., Paytan, A. 2019. Phosphorus dynamics in the environment. p. 506-519. In: Schmidt, T.M., ed. Encyclopedia of Microbiology, 4th Edition. Elsevier, Inc. 3199 pp.

    2019 - View publication details

  6. Abdi, D., Cade-Menun, B.J., Ziadi, N., Shi, Y., Bélanger, G., Lajeunesse, J., Lafond, J. (2019). A31 P-NMR spectroscopic study of phosphorus forms in two phosphorus-fertilized grassland soils in Eastern Canada. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 99(2), 161-172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2018-0125

    2019 - View publication details

  7. Cade-Menun, B.J., Elkin, K.R., Liu, C.W., Bryant, R.B., Kleinman, P.J.A., Moore, P.A. (2018). Characterizing the phosphorus forms extracted from soil by the Mehlich III soil test. Geochemical Transactions, [online] 19(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12932-018-0052-9

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Watson, S.J., Cade-Menun, B.J., Needoba, J.A., Peterson, T.D. (2018). Phosphorus forms in sediments of a river-dominated estuary. Frontiers in Marine Science, [online] 5(SEP), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00302

    2018 - View publication details

  9. Liu, J., Cade-Menun, B.J., Yang, J., Hu, Y., Liu, C.W., Tremblay, J., LaForge, K., Schellenberg, M., Hamel, C., Bainard, L.D. (2018). Long-term land use affects phosphorus speciation and the composition of phosphorus cycling genes in agricultural soils. Frontiers in Microbiology, [online] 9(JUL), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01643

    2018 - View publication details

  10. Giles, C.D., Richardson, A.E., Cade-Menun, B.J., Mezeli, M.M., Brown, L.K., Menezes-Blackburn, D., Darch, T., Blackwell, M.S.A., Shand, C.A., Stutter, M.I., Wendler, R., Cooper, P., Lumsdon, D.G., Wearing, C., Zhang, H., Haygarth, P.M., George, T.S. (2018). Phosphorus acquisition by citrate- and phytase-exuding Nicotiana tabacum plant mixtures depends on soil phosphorus availability and root intermingling. Physiologia Plantarum, [online] 163(3), 356-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.12718

    2018 - View publication details

  11. Recena, R., cade-Menun, B.J., Delgado, A. (2018). Organic Phosphorus Forms in Agricultural Soils under Mediterranean Climate, 82(4), 783-795. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2017.10.0360

    2018 - View publication details

  12. Anderson, K.R., Moore, P.A., Miller, D.M., DeLaune, P.B., Edwards, D.R., Kleinman, P.J.A., Cade-Menun, B.J. (2018). Phosphorus leaching from soil cores from a twenty-year study evaluating alum treatment of poultry litter. Journal of Environmental Quality, [online] 47(3), 530-537. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.11.0447

    2018 - View publication details

  13. Schneider, K.D., Thiagarajan, A., Cade-Menun, B.J., McConkey, B.G. and Wilson, H.F. 2018. Nitrogen loss in snowmelt runoff from non-point agricultural sources on the Canadian prairies. pp. 73-94. In: Lal, R., and Stewart, B.A., eds. Soil Nitrogen Uses and Environmental Impacts. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL. 392 pp. ebook ISBN: 9781351857413

    2018 - View publication details

  14. Huang, L., Yang, J., Xu, Y., Lei, J., Luo, X., Cade-Menun, B.J. (2018). The contrasting effects of alum-treated chicken manures and KH2PO4 on phosphorus behavior in soils. Journal of Environmental Quality, [online] 47(2), 345-352. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.08.0314

    2018 - View publication details

  15. Cade-Menun, B.J., K.R. Elkin, C.W. Liu, R.B. Bryant, P.J.A. Kleinman and P.A. Moore, Jr. 2018. Characterizing the phosphorus forms extracted from soil by the Mehlich III soil test. Geochem. Trans. 19:7.

    2018 - View publication details

  16. Liu, J., Yang, J., Cade-Menun, B.J., Hu, Y., Li, J., Peng, C., Ma, Y. (2017). Molecular speciation and transformation of soil legacy phosphorus with and without long-Term phosphorus fertilization: Insights from bulk and microprobe spectroscopy. Scientific Reports, [online] 7(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-13498-7

    2017 - View publication details

  17. Jiang, X., Amelung, W., Cade-Menun, B.J., Bol, R., Willbold, S., Cao, Z., Klumpp, E. (2017). Soil organic phosphorus transformations during 2000 years of paddy-rice and non-paddy management in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Scientific Reports, [online] 7(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10071-0

    2017 - View publication details

  18. Perez-Valdivia, C., Cade-Menun, B., McMartin, D.W. (2017). Hydrological modeling of the pipestone creek watershed using the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT): Assessing impacts of wetland drainage on hydrology. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, [online] 14 109-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.10.004

    2017 - View publication details

  19. Bainard, L.D., Chagnon, P.L., Cade-Menun, B.J., Lamb, E.G., LaForge, K., Schellenberg, M., Hamel, C. (2017). Plant communities and soil properties mediate agricultural land use impacts on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the Mixed Prairie ecoregion of the North American Great Plains. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, [online] 249 187-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.08.010

    2017 - View publication details

  20. Cade-Menun, B.J. (2017). Characterizing phosphorus forms in cropland soils with solution 31P-NMR: past studies and future research needs, 4(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40538-017-0098-4

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

1 Airport Road
Swift Current, SK S9H 3X2


Dr. Cade-Menun is an adjunct professor at the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. She is a member (and was President in 2015) of the Canadian Society of Soil Science. She is also a member of the Soil Science Society of America and the Association of Scientists of Limnology and Oceanography.