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Bruce Mathews

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Dr. Bruce Mathews

Professor of Soil Science
University of Hawaiʻi Graduate Faculty
B.S., University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
M.S., Louisiana State University
Ph.D., University of Florida


  • Agro-Environmental Chemistry (AG 215)
  • Agronomic Crop Production in the Tropics (AGRN 310)
  • Soil Fertility & Nutrient Cycling (SOIL 350)
  • Tropical Soils (SOIL 304)
    • Textbook: Basic Soil Science and Concepts in Tropical Soils by Benjamin Mahilum
      Low resolution to read & download 284 pages quickly. Available in alternate format or high resolution scan upon request. Contact Dr. Bruce Mathews, (808) 933-0853.

      The food status of the world today in relation to the existing population is skewed toward unfavorable balances and therefore food and environmental insecurity. These conditions are magnified in the tropics where natural calamities (drought, typhoons, flooding) appear to be more rampant than in temperate zones. Furthermore, the land suited for crop and animal production has nearly been fully utilized in much of the tropics so there is essentially nowhere to expand terrestrial agriculture. Therefore, the trend is to optimize productivity/unit area/unit time for existing farms. To achieve this goal, there is a need to fully understand the biogeochemical and physical environment of the crops to improve the current level of production. In its modest way, the book Basic Soil Science and Concepts in Tropical Soils written by Dr. Benjamin Mahilum for undergraduate students assists towards accomplishing this objective. It is our hope that it will also stimulate some to pursue careers in tropical soils research in order to better address enhanced food security and environmental quality in the tropics.

      Dr. Mahilum is a retired Professor of Soil Science and a former international agriculture consultant who presently resides on his diversified farm in Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi. He was a faculty member in the College of Agriculture at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo from 1979 to 1986 and a University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Affiliate Professor of Agronomy & Soils from 2004 to 2011. He also co-authored a book entitled Organic Compounds in Soils: Sorption, Degradation, and Persistence, Ann Arbor Science Press, 1982.

Research Interests

  • Nutrient cycling in pasture-based livestock systems
  • Agronomic crop production in the tropics
  • Tropical silviculture
  • Rural development and extension

Selected Publications

Contact Information

Tel: (808) 932-7038
Fax: (808) 932-7037
Office: College of Agriculture Building (CAB), Room 108

200 W. Kawili St.
Hilo, HI 96720-4091