Maria Bonita Villamil

Associate Professor

Dr. Villamil identifies management strategies to improve soil health and productivity in agroecosystems by addressing the societal challenge of sustainable food production. She focuses on how changes in soil health brought about by agronomic practices relate to carbon and nutrient cycling, crop production, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Primary Disciplines


  • B.S.: Agronomy, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina — 1995
  • M.S.: Agronomy, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina — 2000
  • M.S.: Agricultural Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — 2007
  • Ph.D.: Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — 2005

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor Agronomy & Soils. University of Illinois. Department of Crop Sciences. 09/09/09 to 08/15/2016.
  • Associate Professor Agronomy & Soils. 08/15/2016 - current

Research Interests

  • Sustainable Cropping Systems - Agroecology
  • Soil Quality and Genomics
  • Biometry - Statistics

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements

  • Fulbright Fellow

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Teaching

  • List of teachers ranked as Excellent by their students, Summer 2012. CPSC 569.
  • List of teachers ranked as Excellent by their students, Summer 2013. CPSC 569.
  • List of teachers ranked as Excellent by their students, Summer 2014. CPSC 569.
  • List of teachers ranked as Excellent by their students, Summer 2016. CPSC 569.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Villamil MB, NM Amiotti, and N. Peinemann. 2001. Soil Degradation Related to Overgrazing in the Semi-Arid Southern Caldenal Area of Argentina. Soil Sci. 166: 441-452.
  • Martínez RS, P Zalba, MB Villamil, and N. Peinemann. 2002. Organic Matter Mobilization as Affected by Soil-Solution Composition and Prevailing Clay Minerals. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 33: 2291-2299.
  • Villamil MB, GA Bollero, RG Darmody, FW Simmons, and DG Bullock. 2006. No-Till Corn/Soybean Systems Including Winter Cover Crops: Effects on Soil Properties. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 70: 1936-1944.
  • Villamil MB, A Heinze-Silvis, and GA Bollero. 2008. Potential Miscanthus’ Adoption in Illinois: Information Needs and Preferred Information Channels. Biomass Bioenerg. 32:1338-1348.
  • Miguez FE, MB Villamil, GA Bollero, and SP Long. 2008. Meta-Analysis of Management Factors Effects on Miscanthus × giganteus Growth and Productivity. Agr. Forest Meteorol. 148: 1280-1292.
  • Villamil MB, FE Miguez, and GA Bollero. 2008. Multivariate Analysis and Visualization of Soil Quality Data for No-Till Systems. J. Environ. Qual. 37:1-7.
  • Villamil MB, NM Amiotti, and N Peinemann. 2011. Segregation of patches by patterns of soil attributes in native grassland in central Argentina. Phyton 80. 193-201.
  • Lee CH, Kim SY, MB Villamil, P Pramanik, CO Hongand, and PJ Kim. 2011. Different response of silicate fertilizer having electron acceptors on methane emission in rice paddy soil under green manuring. Biol. Fert. Soils. (26 November 2011), pp. 1-8. DOI:10.1007/s00374-011-0637-2.
  • Amiotti NM, MB Villamil, and RG Darmody. 2012. Agronomic and taxonomic consequences of agricultural use of marginal soils in Argentina. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 76: 2, 558-568.
  • Villamil MB, V Davis, and ED Nafziger. 2012. Estimating factor contributions to soybean yield from farm field data. Agron. J. 104:881-887. DOI:10.2134/agronj2012.0018n.
  • Villamil MB, M Alexander, A Heinze-Silvis, and M Gray. 2012. Producer perceptions and information needs regarding their adoption of bioenergy crops. Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev.16: 3604-3612. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2012.03.033.
  • Marzano SL, D Eastburn, M Wander, C Ugarte, E Zaborski, and MB Villamil. 2014. Transitional cropping systems and organic amendment effects on crop diseases. Agron. J. 106:519-527. doi:10.2134/agronj2013.0189.
  • Acuña JCM, and MB Villamil. 2014. Short term effects of cover crops and compaction on soil properties and soybean production in Illinois. Agron. J. 106:860-870. doi:10.2134/agronj13.0370.
  • Suarez Tapia A, MB Villamil, and L Grabau. 2014. Evaluation of N sources, cover crops, and tillage systems for corn grown under organic management. Phyton 83:71-81.
  • Kladivko EJ, MJ Helmers, LJ Abendroth, D Herzmann, R Lal, MJ Castellano, DS Mueller, JE Sawyer, RP Anex, RW Arritt, B Basso, JV Bonta, LC Bowling, RM Cruse, NR Fausey, JR Frankenberger, PW Gassman, AJ Gassmann, CL Kling, A Kravchenko, JG Lauer, FE Miguez, ED Nafziger, N Nkongolo, M O'Neal, LB Owens, PR Owens, P Scharf, MJ Shipitalo, JS Strock, and MB Villamil. 2014. Standardized research protocols enable transdisciplinary research of climate variation impacts in corn production systems. J Soil Water Conserv 69:532-542. doi:10.2489/jswc.69.6.532.
  • Necpálová M, RP Anex, AN Kravchenko, LJ Abendroth, SJ Del Grosso, WA Dick, MJ Helmers, D Herzmann, JG Lauer, ED Nafziger, JE Sawyer, PC Scharf, JS Strock, and MB Villamil. 2014. What does it take to detect a change in soil carbon stock? A regional comparison of minimum detectable difference and experiment duration in the north central United States. J Soil Water Conserv 69:517-531. doi:10.2489/jswc.69.6.517.
  • Marzano SL, D Eastburn, M Wander, C Ugarte, and MB Villamil. 2015. Organic transition effects on soilborne diseases of soybean and populations of Pseudomonadaceae. Agron. J. 107: 1087-1097.
  • Davis VM, NE Mellendorf, MB Villamil, ED Nafziger. 2015. Initial plant size affects response to thinning in soybean. Agron. J. 107:158-166. doi:10.2134/agronj13.0599.
  • Zuber SM, GD Behnke, ED Nafziger, and MB Villamil. 2015. Crop rotation and tillage effects on soil physical and chemical properties in Illinois. Agron. J. 107: 1-8. doi:10.2134/agronj14.0465.
  • Fernandez F, B Sorensen and MB Villamil. 2015. A comparison of soil properties in long-term no-till and strip-till systems. Agron. J. 107: 1339-1346.
  • Villamil MB, and ED Nafziger. 2015. Corn residue, tillage, and nitrogen rate effects on soil carbon and nutrient stocks in Illinois. Geoderma 253-254, 61-66.
  • Villamil MB, J Little, ED Nafziger. 2015. Corn residue, tillage, and nitrogen rate effects on soil properties. Soil Till. Res. 151: 61-66.
  • Nafziger ED, MB Villamil, F. Iutzi, J Niekamp, and V. Davis. 2016. Bioenergy yields of several cropping systems in the U.S. Corn Belt. Agron. J. 108: 559-565.
  • Welch RY, GB Behnke, AS Davis, J Masiunas and MB Villamil. 2016. Using cover crops in headlands of organic grain farms: Effects on soil properties, weeds and crop yields. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 216:322-332.
  • Zuber SM, and MB Villamil. 2016. Meta-analysis approach to assess effect of tillage on microbial biomass and enzyme activities. Soil Biol. Biochem. 97: 176-187.
  • Yeater K, and MB Villamil. 2016. Multivariate analyses in agronomy. Chapter 18. Applied Statistics in Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences. ASA, CSSA and SSSA Publisher. Madison, WI. In Press.