Mary Lusk

Dr. Mary Lusk

Assistant Professor

Soil and Water Sciences Department
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
14625 CR 672
Wimauma, FL 33598
Phone: (813) 419-6586

Dr. Lusk is an assistant professor and Extension specialist in urban soil and water quality, and specializes in the flux and storage of nutrients in managed urban landscapes, and the linkages between landscape management practices and urban soil and water quality.

Dr. Lusk's research investigates how landscape management practices influence the storage, transport, and fate of constituents that may lead to water quality degradation, and the primary goal of her research is to develop science-based and stakeholder relevant programs that help Floridians enhance and protect the state's water quality, quantity, an supply.

Dr. Lusk's Extension program aims to ensure that Florida residents, homeowners, urban landscaper managers, city and county officials, and others have the knowledge they need to make scientifically sound decisions about water use and water supply management.

She received her PhD in urban biogeochemistry from the University of Florida.

Research and Extension

  • Urban water quality, stormwater, and low impact development for urban areas
  • Urban fertilizer ordinances
  • Pathogens in water bodies
  • Onsite wastewater treatment (septic systems)
  • Urban agriculture

Recent Publications

Yang, Y. and M. G. Lusk. 2018. Nutrients in urban stormwater runoff: current state of the science and potential mitigation options. Current Pollution Reports, 4 (2):112-127.

Lusk, M. G., G. S. Toor, and P. Inglett. 2017. Characterization of dissolved organic nitrogen in leachate from a newly established and fertilized turfgrass. Water Research, 131:52-61.

Lusk, M. G., G. S. Toor, M. De, S. Mechtensimer, and T. A. Obreza. 2017. A review of the fate and transport of nitrogen, phosphorus, pathogens, and trace organic chemicals in conventional septic systems. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 47(7):455-541.

Lusk, M. G. and G. S. Toor. 2016. Biodegradability and molecular composition of dissolved organic nitrogen in urban stormwater runoff and outflow water from a stormwater retention pond. Environmental Science and Technology, 50(7):3391-3398.

Lusk, M. G. and G. S. Toor. 2016. Dissolved organic nitrogen in urban streams: biodegradability and molecular composition studies. Water Research, 96:225-235.

Adewopo, J. B., R. K. Bhomia, M. Almaraz, A. R. Bacon, E. Eggleston, J. D. Judy, R. W. Lewis, M. Lusk, B. Miller, C. Moorberg, E. H. Snyder, M. Tiedeman, and C. VanZomeren. 2014. Top-ranked priority research questions for soil science in the 21stcentury. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78:337-347.

Lusk M. G., B. R. Bickmore, R. Sudweeks, T. Bothell, and E. Christensen. 2006. Use of a mentored creative writing project to improve the geology education of preservice elementary teachers. Journal of Geoscience Education, 54, 31-40.

Current Funding

Title: "Small farms for clean water"
Duration: 2018-2020
Funding Agency: Hillsborough County Environmental Protection
Award Amount: $15,750
Role: Principle Investigator

Title: "Out of sight but not out of mind"
Duration: 2018-2019
Funding Agency: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Award Amount: $28,509
Role: Principle Investigator

Title: "Matching management to location: Characterizing nitrogen cycling and mobilization to stormwater in two contrasting urban landscapes"
Duration: 2018-2019
Funding Agency: University of Florida, Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, Program Enhancement Grant
Award Amount: $15,975
Role: Principle Investigator