John E. Gilley

Research Agricultural Engineer - USDA - Agricultural Research Service, Adjunct Professor of Biological Systems Engineering

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. Agricultural Engineering, Colorado State University - Fort Collins
  • M.S. Agricultural Engineering, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • B.S. Physics and Mathematics, Southern Colorado State College-Pueblo, Registered Professional Engineer


  • Ph.D., P.E.

Curriculum Vitae (CV):

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Areas of Research and Professional Interest

Research Interests

  • Manure management
  • Surface hydrology
  • Water quality
  • Soil and water conservation engineering

About John E. Gilley

John E. Gilley works for the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) as a member of the Agroecosystems Management Research Unit. John also serves as an adjunct faculty member. 

At USDA-ARS John ensures food quality and enhances the environment. John’s past projects include developing new erosion prediction technology, developing the hydraulics component of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Model, and helping to establish the use of vegetative barriers as an accepted conservation practice for reducing soil loss and nutrient transport from cropland areas. 

John serves on graduate student committees and provides advice on research projects. He has also mentored over 100 undergraduate student interns who assist with natural resources and environmental systems research activities. John has routinely hired several students each summer to assist with his field hydrologic studies. 

John’s student engagement supports his USDA-ARS research projects and the teaching mission of the university.

Honors and Awards

  • Conservation Research Award, The Soil and Water Conservation Society, 2020

  • Outstanding Reviewer for ASABE refereed publications, 2019

  • Outstanding Associate Editor for ASABE Journals, 2017 

  • USDA-ARS Superior Performance Award, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015

  • Nebraska Section of ASABE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nebraska Agriculture, 2010

  • Transactions of the ASABE, Honorable Mention Paper Award, 2008 and 2009

  • Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Best Research Article Award, 1998 and 2000

  • OECD Research Fellowship, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Toowoomba, 1995

  • USDA Superior Service Award for Contributions to the Water Erosion Prediction Project, 1990

Selected Publications

  •  Woodbury, B.L., Gilley, J.E., Parker, D.B., Stromer, B.S. Greenhouse gas emissions from beef feedlot surface materials as affected by diet, moisture, temperature, and time. Transactions of the ASABE. 61(2):571-582. 2018.

  • Gilley, J.E. Surface detention on cropland, rangeland, and conservation reserve program areas. Transactions of the ASABE. 61(3):955-966. 2018.

  • Zang, Y., Jewett, C., Gilley, J.E., Bartelt-Hunt, S.L., Snow, D.D., Hodges, L. & Li, X. Microbial communities in the rhizosphere and the root of lettuce as affected by Salmonella – contaminated irrigation water. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(9): fiy135. 2018.

  • Durso, L.M., Gilley, J.E., Marx, D.B., & Woodbury, B.L. Narrow grass hedge effects on microbial transport following variable applications of beef cattle manure. Transactions of the ASABE. 62(1):149-156. 2019.

  • Durso, L.M., Gilley, J.E., Marx, D.B., Thayer, C.A., & Woodbury, B.L. Wheat strip effects on microbial transport following variable applications of beef cattle manure. Transactions of the ASABE. 62(2):263-270. 2019.

  • Schuster, N.R., Peterson, J.A., Gilley, J.E., Schott, L.R, & Schmidt, A.M. Soil arthropod abundance and diversity following land application of swine slurry. Agricultural Sciences. 10:150-163. 2019.

  • Durso, L.M., Gilley, J.E., Marx, D.B., Thayer, C.A., & Woodbury, B.L. Microbial transport as affected by residue cover and manure application rate. Transactions of the ASABE. 62(3):687-694. 2019.

  • Meyers, M.A., DursoL.M., Gilley, J.E., Waldrip, H., Castleberry, B.L., & Schmidt, A. Antibiotic Resistance Gene Profile Changes in Cropland Soil Following Manure Application and Rainfall.  Journal of Environmental Quality. Doi: 10.2134/jeq2019.04.0153; Date posted October 12, 2019.

  • Barrios, R.E., Khuntia, H.K., Bartelt-Hunt, S.L., Gilley, J.E., Schmidt, A.M., Snow, D.D. Fate and transport of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in runoff and soil as affected by the timing of swine manure slurry application. Science of the Total Environment. 712. 136505. 2020.

  • Duerschner, J., Eskridge, K.M., Gilley, J.E., Li, X., Schmidt, A.M., Snow, D.D., & Bartelt-Hunt, S. Swine slurry characteristics as affected by additives and disinfectants. Environmental Pollution. 260. 114058. 2020. 

  • Hall, M.C., Mware, N.A., Gilley, J.E., Bartelt-Hunt, S.L., Snow, D.D., Schmidt, A.M., Eskridge, K.M., & Li, X. Influence of setback distance on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in runoff and soil following the land application of swine slurry. Environmental Science and Technology. 54:4800-4809. 2020.

  • Gilley, J.E., Bartlet-Hunt, S.L., Eskridge, K.M., Li, X., Schmidt, A., & Snow, D.D. Retention of swine slurry constituents in soil and crop residue as affected by setback distance. Water, Air & Soil Pollution. 10.1007/s11270-020-04697-6. 2020.

  • Meyers, M.A., Durso, L.M., Gilley, J.E., Miller, D.N., Li, X. & Schmidt, A. Impact of setback distances on transport and antibiotic resistance phenotypes of fecal indicators from manure-amended fields. Agrosystems, Geoscience, and Environment.26396696. 2020.

  • Gilley, J.E., & Marx, D.B. Accumulation and release of nutrients by immersed stalks collected on selected dates following harvest. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 2020.