Jean-Marc Bollag, Ph.D.

Jean-Marc Bollag, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emeritus of Soil Biochemistry
129 Land and Water Research
University Park, PA 16802


  • Ph.D., University of Basel, 1959
  • Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel); Post-Doctoral, 1965
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Post-Doctoral, 1967

Responsibilities and Interests

Most of my research is focused on interactions of microorganisms and pollutants. We are interested in determining the fate of pesticides and other xenobiotics in terrestrial and aquatic environments. We are studying the possible removal of pollutants by influencing their biodegradation or by provoking their complexation to humic material. Other topics of our research are concerned with the use of plant materials for bioremediating contaminated aquatic and terrestrial environments and with the study of the metabolism of imidazolinone herbicides.

Bioremediation research

  • Microbial transformation of pesticides and other xenobiotics (particularly heterocyclic aromatic compounds, phenols, anilines)
  • Incorporation of pollutants into soil organic matter as a detoxification method
  • Application of enzymes for pollution control
  • Transformation of heterocyclic compounds under anaerobic conditions
  • Use of plant material for decontamination of polluted environments

Professional Background

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Botanical Institute, University of Basel (Switzerland),1956–1959
  • Teaching Assistant, Swiss Tropical Institute (Basel), 1959–1960
  • Research Associate (Julius Baer Fellowship), The Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovoth, Israel), 1963–1965
  • Research Associate, Cornell University, Department of Agronomy, Sept. 1965–Aug. 1967
  • Visiting Scientist in Biochemistry Section of Agrochemicals, CIBA- GEIGY (Basel, Switzerland), 1975–1976
  • Asst., Assoc., and Full Professor of Soil Biochemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, Sept. 1967–present
  • Joint appointment: Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program in Ecology, Environmental Pollution Control Program, and Environmental Resources Research Institute
  • Director of the Center for Bioremediation and Detoxification, July 1992–present

Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Board, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (1981–1986)
  • Advisory Editorial Board, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (1982–1985)
  • Editorial Board, Biology and Fertility of Soils (1980–1996)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B: Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes (since 1985)
  • Co-Editor, Soil Biochemistry series, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York since 1987)
  • Advisory Board, Experientia (1989-1996)
  • Advisory Board, Biodegradation (since 1989)
  • Editorial Board, Soil Science (since 1996)
  • Associate Editor, European Journal of Soil Science (1998–1999)
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Forensics (1998–2000)
  • Advisory Board Member on Books in Soils, Plants, and the Environment, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York (since 1999)

Honors and Awards

  • Julius-Baer Fellowship for research at the Weizmann Institute for Science (1963–1965)
  • Visiting Scientist Award from CIBA-GEIGY, Basel, Switzerland (1975–1976)
  • Badge of Merit from the Polish Ministry of Agriculture (1977)
  • American Society for Microbiology International Travel Grant (1978)
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award (1982)
  • Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (1990)
  • Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy (1992)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (1993)
  • Environmental Quality Research Award, American Society of Agronomy (1995)

Selected Publications

240 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

  1. Bollag, J.-M., M. Strynar, Mi-youn Ahn and J. Dec. 2002. Characterization of enzymatic or abiotic immobilization of xenobiotics in soil. In 'Soil Mineral-Organic Matter-Microorganism Interactions and Ecosystem Health. Ecological Significance of the Interactions Among Clay Minerals, Organic Matter and Soil Biota'. Develop. Soil Sci. Vol. 28B: 289–299.
  2. Huang, P.M., J.-M. Bollag and N. Senesi. (Editors). 2002. Interactions between soil particles and microorganisms: Impact on the terrestrial ecosystem. IUPAC. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. Chichester, U.K. 582 pages.
  3. Dec, J., J.-M. Bollag, P.M. Huang, and N. Senesi. 2002. Impact of interactions between microorganisms and soil colloids on the transformation of organic pollutants. In: P.M. Huang, J.-M. Bollag, and N. Senesi (eds.). Interactions between Soil Particles and Microorganisms: Impact on the Terrestrial Ecosystem. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. Chichester, U.K. pp. 323–378.
  4. Violante, A., P.M. Huang, J.-M. Bollag. and L. Gianfreda. (Eds.). 2002. Soil Mineral-Organic Matter-Microorganism Interactions and Ecosystem Health. Dynamics, Mobility and Transformation of Pollutants and Nutrients. Develop. Soil Sci. Vol. 28A. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 459 pages.
  5. Violante, A., P.M. Huang, J.-M. Bollag. and L. Gianfreda. (Eds.). 2002. Soil Mineral-Organic Matter-Microorganism Interactions and Ecosystem Health. Ecological Significance of the Interactions Among Clay Minerals, Organic Matter and Soil Biota. Develop. Soil Sci. Vol. 28B. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 434 pages.
  6. Gianfreda, L. and J.-M. Bollag. 2002. Isolated enzymes for the transformation and detoxification of organic pollutants. In: R.G. Burns and R.P. Dick (eds.) 'Enzymes in the environment: Activity, ecology, and applications'. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York. pp. 495–538.
  7. Wang, C.-J., S.E. Thiele and J.-M. Bollag. 2002. Interaction of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene with humic monomers in the presence and absence of oxidative enzymes. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 42, 1–8.
  8. Bollag, J.-M., J. Berthelin, D. Adriano and P.M. Huang. 2002. Impact of soil minerals - organic component - microorganisms interactions on restoration of terrestrial ecosystems. 17th World Congress of Soil Science. Bangkok, Thailand. Paper no. 861,1–7, 2002.
  9. Thiele, S., E. Fernandes and J.-M. Bollag. 2002. Enzymatic transformation and binding of labeled 2,4,5-trinitrotoluene to humic substances during an anaerobic/aerobic incubation. J. Environ. Qual. 31, 437–444.
  10. Ahn, Mi-youn, J. Dec, J.-E. Kim and J.-M. Bollag. 2002. Treatment of 2,4-dichlorophenol polluted soil with free and immobilized. J. Environ. Qual. 31,1509–1515.
  11. Bollag, J.-M., and J. Dec. 2001. Characterization of the interaction between xenobiotic residues and humic substances. .p.155–164. In C.E. Clapp et al. (ed.) Humic Substances and Chemical Contaminants. SSSA, Madison, WI.
  12. Dec, J., K. Haider and J.-M. Bollag. 2001. Decarboxylation and demethoxylation of naturally occurring phenols during coupling reactions and polymerization. Soil Sci. 166, 660–671.
  13. Dec, J. and J.-M. Bollag. 2001. Use of enzymes in bioremediation. In: Pesticide Biotransformation in Plants and Microorganisms: Similarities and Divergences. ACS Symposium Series 777, J.C. Hall, R.E. Hoagland and R.M. Zablotowicz, eds., American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. pp. 182–193.
  14. Bollag, W. B., J. Dec and J.-M. Bollag. 2000. Biodegradation. pp. 461–471. In: Encyclopedia of Microbiology, Vol. 1. Second Edition. Academic Press, Inc., New York.
  15. Dec, J. and J.-M. Bollag. 2000. Phenoloxidase-mediated interactions of phenols and anilines with humic materials. J. Environ. Qual. 29, 665–676.
  16. Bollag, J.-M. and G. Stotzky (eds.) 2000. Soil Biochemistry, Vol. 10. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York. pp. 519.
  17. Braschi, I., A. Pusino, C. Gessa and J.-M. Bollag. 2000. Degradation of primisulfuron by a combination of chemical and microbiological processes. J. Agric. Food Chem. 48, 2565–2571.
  18. Park, Jong-Woo, J. Dec., J.-E. Kim and J.-M. Bollag. 2000. Dehalogenation of xenobiotics as a consequence of binding to humic materials. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 38, 405–410.
  19. Naidja, A., P.M. Huang and J.-M. Bollag. 2000. Enzyme-clay interactions and their impact on transformations of natural and anthropogenic organic compounds in soil. J. Environ. Qual. 29, 677–691.
  20. Vasilyeva, G.K., B.-T. Oh, P.J. Shea, R.A. Drijber, V.D. Kreslavski, R. Minard and J.-M. Bollag. 2000. Aerobic TNT reduction via 2-hydroxylamino-4,6-dinitrotoluene by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain MX isolated from munitions-contaminated soil. Bioremediation J. 4, 111–124.