Dr. Henry W. Chau

Image Henry Wai Chau
Research Scientist (Soil Conservation and Land Resilience)

Professional activities / interests

  • Scientific research
  • Project planning and management
  • Mentoring of students, postdocs, and visiting scientists
  • International panels

Education and awards


PhD. Soil Science (Soil physics), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 2014

B.Sc. Biological Sciences (Specialization in Microbiology), University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2007


  • Emerging Researcher Fellowship, The New Zealand – China Water Research Centre, 2020
  • Bayer Diversity Initiative Scholar, American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), 2020
  • Excellence in Early Career Research Award, Lincoln University, 2017

International experience and/or work

  • Western Councillor, Canadian Soil Science Society (CSSS), 2022-Current
  • Leader of Soil and Water Management Professionals Community for American Society of Agronomy (ASA), 2022
  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Soil and Physical Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand, July 2018 – February 2022
  • Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 2020-Current
  • Member of the NZ/China Water Research Centre (NZCWRC) leadership team, September 2016 - Current
  • Lecturer Department of Soil and Physical Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand, January 2014 – June 2018
  • Sessional lecturer, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 2013
  • Professional Research Associate, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 2013

Key publications

  1. ​ Bayad, M., Chau, H.W., Trolove, S., Moir, J., Condron, L., & Gharous, M.E. (2022). Surface runoff and losses of phosphorus from hydrophobic pastoral soils. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.202107690
  1. Zhang, B., Su, S., Duan, C., Feng, H., Chau, H.W., He, J., Li, Y., Hill, R.L., Wu, S., & Zou, Y. (2022). Effects of partial organic fertilizer replacement combined with rainwater collection system on soil water, nitrate-nitrogen and apple yield of rainfed apple orchard in the Loess Plateau of China: A 3-year field experiment. Agricultural Water Management, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2021.107295
  1. Robertson, B., Gillespie, J., Carrick, S., Almond, P., Payne, J., Chau, H.W., & Smith, C. (2021). Measuring the water retention curve of rock fragments: A novel repacked core methodology, European Journal of Soil Science, 10.1111/ejss.13181
  1. Drewry, J.J., Carrick, S., Mesman, N.L., Müller, K., Almond, P., Shanhun, F.L. & Chau H.W. (2021). Land-use intensification and dairy effluent effects on soil water repellency and soil carbon of a silt loam topsoil, New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, DOI: 10.1080/00288233.2021.1981953
  1. KC, B., Chau, H.W., Mohssen, M. Cameron, K., Safa, M., McIndoe, I., Rutter, H., Dark, A., Lee, M., Pandey, V.P., Schultz, B., & Prasad, K. (2021). Assessment of spatial and temporal variability in soil moisture using multi-length TDR probes to calibrate Aquaflex sensors, Irrigation Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-021-00747-x
  1. Robertson, B.B., Carrick, S.T., Almond, P.C., McNeill, S., Penny, V., Chau, H.W., & Smith, C.M.S. (2021). Predicting field capacity in undisturbed stony soils, Geoderma, 401:11534 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115346.
  1. Fu, Z., Hu, W., Beare, M.H., Müller, K., Wallace, D., & Chau, H.W. (2021). Contributions of soil organic carbon to soil water repellency persistence: Characterization and modelling, Geoderma, 401:115312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115312
  1. Drewry, J.J., Carrick, S., Mesman, N.L., Almond. P., Müller, K., Shanhun, F.L., & Chau, H.W. (2021). The effect of irrigated land use intensification on the topsoil physical properties of a pastoral silt loam. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, https://doi.org/10.1080/00288233.2021.1905670
  1. Zhang, T., Ji, X., Zhan, X., Ding, Y., Kisekka, I., Chau, H.W., & Feng, H. (2021). Maize is stressed by salt rather than water under drip irrigation with soil matric potential higher than -50 kPa in an arid saline area. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, https://doi.org/10.1111/jac.12497
  1. Robertson, B.B., Almond, P.C., Carrick, S.T., Penny, V., Chau H.W., & Smith, C.M.S. (2021). Variation in matric potential at field capacity in stony soils of fluvial and alluvial fans Geoderma, 392:114978. https://doi.org/1016/j.geoderma.2021.114978
  1. Wang, X., Li, Y., Chau, H.W., Tang, D., Chen, J., & Bayad, M. (2021). Reduced root water uptake of summer maize grown in water-repellent soils simulated by HYDRUS-1D. Soil & Tillage Research, 209:104925. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2020.104925
  1. Robertson, B.B., Almond, P.C., Carrick, S.T., Penny, V., Eger, A., Chau, H.W., & Smith, C.M.S. (2021). The influence of rock fragments on field capacity water content in stony soils from hard sandstone alluvium. Geoderma, 389:114912-1149 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114912
  1. Mohajeri, P., Smith, C.M.S., Chau, H.W., & Lehto, N. (2021). ALLODUST augmented activated sludge single batch anaerobic reactor (AS-SBAnR) for high concentration nitrate removal from agricultural wastewater. Science of the Total Environment, 752:141905. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141905
  1. Bayad, M., Chau, H.W., Trolove, S., Müller, K., Condron, L., Moir, J., & Yi, L. (2020). Time series of remote sensing and water deficit to predict the occurrence of soil water repellency in New Zealand pastures. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 169:292-300. doi:10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2020.09.024
  1. Bayad, M., Chau, H.W., Trolove, S., Moir, J., Condron, L., & Bouray, M. (2020). The Relationship between Soil Moisture and Soil Water Repellency Persistence in Hydrophobic Soils. Water, 12:2322. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092322
  1. Mao, Y., Hu, W., Chau, H.W., Lei, B., Di, H., Chen, A, Hou, M., & Whitley, S. (2020). Combined Cultivation Pattern Reduces Soil Erosion and Nutrient Loss from Sloping Farmland on Red Soil in Southwestern China. Agronomy, 10:1071. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081071
  1. Mohajeri, P., Smith, C.M.S., Chau, H.W., & Lehto, N. (2020). Powdered ALLODUST/ALLOCHAR augmented Single Batch Aerobic Reactor (SiBAR) for high concentration phosphorous removal from agricultural wastewater. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 36:101301. doi:10.1016/j.jwpe.2020.101301
  1. Li, Y., Chen, H., Feng, H., Dong, Q., Wu, W., Zou, Y., Chau H.W., & Siddique, K.H.M. (2020). Influence of straw incorporation on soil water utilization and summer maize productivity: A five-year field study on the Loess Plateau of China. Agricultural Water Management, 233:106106. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2020.106106
  1. Zheng, J., Fan, J., Zou, Y., Chau, H.W., & Zhang, F. (2020). Ridge-furrow plastic mulching with a suitable planting density enhances rainwater productivity, grain yield and economic benefit of rainfed maize. Journal of Arid Land, 12(2):181-198. doi:10.1007/s40333-020-0001-1
  1. Yao, N., Li, Yi., Xu, F., Liu, Jian., Chen, S., Ma, H., Chau, H.W., Liu, D.L., Li, M., Feng, H., & He, J. (2020). Permanent wilting point plays an important role in simulating winter wheat growth under water deficit conditions. Agricultural Water Management, 229, 15 pages. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2019.105954
  1. Gutiérrez-Ginés, M. J., Mishra, M., McIntyre, C., Chau, H.W., Esperschuetz, J., McLenaghen, R., Robinson, B.H. (2020). Risks and benefits of pasture irrigation using treated municipal effluent: A lysimeter case study, Canterbury, New Zealand. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 229:105954. doi:10.1007/s11356-020-07759-8
  1. Chen, X., Li, Yi., Chau, H.W., Zhao, Huichao., Li, Min., Lei, T., & Zou, Y. (2020). The spatiotemporal variations of soil water content and soil temperature and the influences of precipitation and air temperature at the daily, monthly, and annual timescales in China. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 140:429-451. doi:10.1007/s00704-020-03092-9
  1. Song, X., Gao, X., Zou, Y., Chau, H.W., Wu, P., Zhao, X., & Siddique, K. H. M. (2020). Vertical variation in shallow and deep soil moisture in an apple orchard in the loess hilly–gully area of north China. Soil Use and Management, 00:1-12. doi:10.1111/sum.12598
  1. Mohajeri, P., Smith, M.S., Chau, H.W., Lehto, N., Azimi, A., & Farraji, H (2019). Adsorption behavior of Na-bentonite and nano cloisite Na+ in interaction with Pb(NO3)2 and Cu(NO3)2·3H2O contamination in landfill liners: Optimization by response surface methodology. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 7(6):103449. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jece.2019.103449
  1. Li, Y., Yao, N., Tang, D., Chau, H.W., & Feng, H. (2019). Soil water repellency decreases summer maize growth. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 266-267:1-11. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.12.001
  1. Tang, M., Zhao, X., Gao, Z., Zhang, C., Wu, P., Li, H., Ling, Q., & Chau H.W. (2019). Characteristics of soil moisture variation in different land uses in a small catchment on the Loess Plateau, China. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 74(1):24-32. doi:10.2489/jswc.74.1.24
  1. Saddique, Q., Cai, H., Ishaque, W., Chen, H., Chau, H.W., Chattha, M.U., Hassan, M.U., Khan, M.I., & Jianqiang H. (2019). Optimizing the sowing date and irrigation strategy to improve maize yield by using CERES (Crop Estimation through Resource and Environment Synthesis)-maize model. Agronomy, 9(2):109. doi:10.3390/agronomy9020109
  1. Zhao, L., Li, L., Cai, H., Fan, J., Chau, H.W., Malone, R., & Zhang, C. (2018). Organic Amendments Improve Wheat Root Growth and Yield through Regulating Soil Properties. Agronomy Journal, 111:482–495. doi:%2010.2134/agronj2018.04.0247
  1. K.C., B., Mohssen, M., Chau, H.W., Curtis, A., Cuenca, R., and Bright, J., Srinivasan, M., & Safa, M. (2018). Irrigation strategies for rotational grazing pasture in Canterbury, New Zealand and impacts on irrigation efficiency. Irrigation and Drainage, 67(5): 779-789. https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.2290
  1. K.C., B., Mohssen, M., Chau, H.W., Curtis, A., Cuenca, R., & Cameron, K. (2018). Impact of rotational grazing systems upon the pasture crop coefficient for irrigation scheduling. Irrigation and Drainage, 67(3): 441-453. https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.2210
  1. Wang, Y., Li, Y., Wang, X., & Chau, H.W. (2018). Finger flow development in layered water repellent soils. Vadose Zone Journal, 17:170171. doi:10.2136/vzj2017.09.0171
  1. Wang, Y., Wang, X., Chau, H.W., Si, B., Yao, N., & Li, Yi. (2018). Water movement and finger flow characterization in homogeneous water-repellent soils. Vadose Zone Journal, 17:180021 doi:10.2136/vzj2018.01.0021
  1. Dong, Q., Yang, Y., Zhang, T., Zhou, L., He, J., Chau, H.W., Zou, Y., & Feng, H. (2018) Impacts of ridge with plastic mulch-furrow irrigation on soil salinity, spring maize yield and water use efficiency in an arid saline area. Agricultural Water Management, 201:268-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2017.12.011
  1. Wang, H., Wu, L., Cheng, M., Fan, J., Zhang, F., Zou, Y., Chau, H.W., Gao. Z., & Wang, X. (2018). Coupling effects of water and fertilizer on yield, water and fertilizer use efficiency of drip-fertigated cotton in northern Xinjiang, China. Field Crops Research, 219(15):169-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2018.02.002
  1. Hu, W., Si, B.C., Biswas, A., & Chau, H.W. (2017). Temporally stable patterns but seasonal dependent controls of soil water content: evidence from wavelet analyses. Hydrological Processes, 31:3697-3707. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11289
  1. Lin, L., Qiu, W., Wang, D., Huang, Q., Song. Z., & Chau, H.W. (2017) Arsenic removal in aqueous solution by a novel Fe-Mn modified biochar composite: Characterization and mechanism. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 144:514-521. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv .2017.06.063
  1. Hu, W., Chau, H.W., Qui, W., & Si, B.C. (2017). Environmental controls on the spatial variability of soil water dynamics in a small watershed. Journal of Hydrology, 551:47-55. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.05.054
  1. Li, Y., Yao, N., & Chau, H.W. (2017). Influences of removing linear and nonlinear trends from climatic variables on temporal variations of annual reference crop evapotranspiration in Xinjiang, China. Science of The Total Environment, 592:680-692. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.196
  1. Ji, W., Lin, M., Biswas, A., Si, B.C., Chau, H.W., & Cresswell, H.P. (2016). Fractal behavior of soil water storage at multiple depths. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics Discussions, 1-28. doi:10.5194/npg-2015-81
  1. Hu, W., Chau, H.W., & Si, B.C. (2015). Vis-Near IR Reflectance Spectroscopy for Soil Organic Carbon Content Measurement in the Canadian Prairies. Clean – Soil, Air, Water, 43(8):1215-1223. doi:10.1002/clen.201400400
  1. Hu, W., Xie, J., Chau, H.W., & Si, B.C. (2015). Evaluation of parameter uncertainties in nonlinear regression using Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. Environmental Systems Research, 4(1). doi:10.1186/s40068-015-0031-4
  1. Chau, H.W., Biswas, A., Vujanovic, V., & Si, B.C. (2014). Relationship between the severity, persistence of soil water repellency and the critical soil water content in water repellent soils. Geoderma, 221-222:113-120. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.12.025
  1. Dobrovolskaya, Y.V., Chau, H.W., & Si, B.C. (2014). Improving water storage of reclamation soil covers by fractionation of coarse-textured soil. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 94(4):489-501. doi:10.4141/CJSS2013-086
  1. Biswas, A., Cresswell, H.P., Chau, H.W., Viscarra Rossel, R.A., & Si, B.C. (2013). Separating scale-specific soil spatial variability: A comparison of multi-resolution analysis and empirical mode decomposition. Geoderma, 209-210:57-64. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.06.003
  1. Chau, H.W., Goh, Y.K., Vujanovic, V., & Si, B.C. (2012). Wetting properties of fungi mycelium alter soil infiltration and soil water repellency in a γ-sterilized wettable and repellent soil. Fungal Biology, 116(12):1212-1218. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2012.10.004
  1. Biswas, A., Chau, H.W., Bedard-Haughn, A.K., & Si, B.C. (2012). Factors controlling soil water storage in the hummocky landscape of the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 92(4):649-663. doi:10.4141/CJSS2011-045
  1. Vujanovic, V., & Chau, H.W. (2012). Monitoring Fusarium complex mycelia replacement by mycopathogenic Sphaerodes using alcohol percentage test, qRT-PCR and HPLC. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 80:28-34. doi:10.1016/j.pmpp.2012.07.004
  1. Chau, H.W., Goh, Y.K., Si, B.C., & Vujanovic, V. (2011). An innovative brilliant blue FCF method for fluorescent staining of fungi and bacteria. Biotechnic and Histochemistry, 86(4):280-287. doi:10.3109/10520295.2010.492733
  1. Hunter, A. E., Chau, H.W., & Si, B.C. (2011). Impact of tension infiltrometer disc size on measured soil water repellency index. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 91(1):77-81. doi:10.4141/CJSS10033
  1. Chau, H.W., Goh, Y.K., Si, B.C., & Vujanovic, V. (2010). Assessment of alcohol percentage test for fungal surface hydrophobicity measurement. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 50:295-300. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02791.x
  1. Chau, H.W., Si, B.C., Goh, Y.K., & Vujanovic, V. (2009). A novel method for identifying hydrophobicity on fungal surfaces. Mycological Research, 113:1046-1052