Global Soil Partnership
 

Experts of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils

The  Plenary Assembly endorsed the list of 27 experts and approved the establishment of the first Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils on that basis. It asked the Secretariat to support and facilitate the activities of the ITPS as may be requested by the Assembly, including the organization of its first meeting, and assisting with its internal organization

Africa

Dr. Mohamed Badraoui - Morocco

Prof. Mohamed Badraoui has more than 32 years of experience in agricultural research, specializing in soil science. His work has focused on soil fertility management and crop fertilization and fertigation; soil mapping for land management and soil salinity management under irrigated systems for intensive crop production. He has developed particular expertise in evaluating the sustainability of cropping systems and evaluating and refining agricultural development projects in arid and semi-arid areas.

Since 2008, he has been serving as the Director General of Morocco’s National Agronomic Research Institute (INRA), based in Rabat, Morocco.

He was also elected in 2011 as a member of the French Academy of Agriculture. In 2012 he was also elected member of the board of directors of the International Fertilizers Development Center (IFDC) and a member of the board of trusties of the International Center for the Agricultural Research Center in Dry areas (ICARDA). Prof. Badraoui is the secretary general of the Morocco National Council on the Environment and a member of the High National Council on Water and Climate. He has been the president of the Moroccan Association of Soil Science since 1992.

Contact Mohamed Badraoui


Prof. Dr. Victor Chude - Nigeria

Prof. Victor Okechukwu Chude holds a doctoral and Master of Science degrees in Soil Science from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan and a B.Sc in Plant/Soil Science from the University of Nigeria. His specialization area is soil fertility and plant nutrition with a strong affinity for integrated soil fertility management of tropical soils having attended several short courses and training in that field.

He has served as a Senior Research Fellow in Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Professor at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Consultant to NPFS/FAO over the last 35 years. He has published numerous papers in many scientific journals, proceedings and chapters in books of international standing many of which are in the areas of soil fertility, plant nutrition, fertilizer formulation and assessment. He is a council member of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), and International Society of Plant Nutrition.

He has served as a Research Consultant to several government and non-governmental agencies (Federal and State-NALDA, FME, FMARD, World Bank, FAO) in a number of soil fertility, fertilizer formulation and fertilizer testing projects. He is a Life member and Fellow of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and currently the President of the Society since 2003.

Contact Victor Chude


Dr. Isaurinda Dos Santos Baptista Costa - Cape Verde

Isaurinda Baptista Costa is an Agronomist specialized in soil fertility management and, currently, a senior researcher in sustainable land management at the National Institute of Agriculture Research and Development (INIDA) in Cape Verde, where she has been working for 24 years. For the last seven years, until 2011, she was INIDA’s scientific director, coordinating research in three operating departments.

Since 2010, she has been conducting research on: “Innovative land management technologies to improve rainwater-use efficiency in Cape Verde”.  She attended several international and regional projects, both as researcher and project coordinator. From 2007 to 2012, she coordinated the European funded project “DESIRE – Desertification Mitigation and Remediation of Land - a Global Approach for Local Solutions”. Parallel to her research, she has done consultancy on Climate change mitigation for UNDP, and on watershed management and development projects, dealing with crop and soils related issues.

MSc Costa holds a bachelors’ degree in agronomy from Colorado State University (US) and a Masters also in agronomy/soil science from the University of Georgia (US). She is currently a PhD candidate in Environmental Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. 

Contact Isaurinda Costa


Prof. Dr. Tekalign Mamo - Ethiopia

Prof. Tekalign Mamo, a 1985 graduate in soil chemistry and fertility from Aberdeen University in Scotland, bears many mantles of a successful researcher, academician and leader. Prior to his current role as State Minister and Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, he has served as Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture (2005-2010), State Minister of Agriculture (2004-2005), Vice President of Haramaya University (2004), and senior researcher and Director of research (1985-1999).

He has published over 75 scientific papers and book chapters (focusing on soil chemistry and fertility, crop nutrition, Vertisol management and soil nutrient assessment techniques) in peer-reviewed journals locally and abroad. He is also the founder and first editor-in-chief of the Ethiopian Journal of Natural Resources. He has taught graduate courses and advised many students locally and abroad.  Currently, he advises or co-advises five PhD and six Master degree students in local and foreign universities. Major awards and honors he received include: Honorary Member of Ethiopian Soil Science Society, Swiss Trans-disciplinarity Award, and Recognition by the American Biographical Institute, Professorship from Haramaya University and Certificate of Recognition and Gold Medal Award for Meritorious Achievements in Agricultural Research.  Since October 2011, he has also been serving as a Commissioner in the Global Commission dealing with Climate Change, Food Security and Agriculture.

Lately, he developed a prioritized five-year soil health and fertility management roadmap for the Ministry and this was endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and presented to the Government. Two key components of the strategy are the National Soil Fertility Mapping and Fertilizer Blending Projects, which were endorsed and launched with his overall supervision. Through this national initiative in which enormous national soil resource information database, processing capacity and modern infrastructure are being built, there are also preparations to establish a National Soil Resources Institute in the country. The other expected outcome of the ongoing work will be the revamping of the fertilizer advisory service in the country and the anticipated increase in agricultural production and productivity in the next few years. He is a founding fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and initiated and conducted a series of research issues that have now contributed to the national extension program.

Contact Tekalign Mamo - (second email adress)


Dr. Martin Yemefack - Cameroon

Dr. Martin Yemefack has a background in Soil science and land evaluation. His career in scientific research for development has led him to specialize in the use of remote sensing and spatial modelling tools for land, land use and environmental resources evaluation, especially within the small-scale farming environment in the tropics where climate-dependent shifting cultivation is the main practice. He has more than 25 years of on farm research and consultancy experience (at national and international levels) in these areas.

Dr. Yemefack has served as Associate Research Professor in the Institute of Agricultural Research and Development (IRAD) and the UMMISCO unit of the University of Yaounde 1 as well as Head of the Unit coordinating national Research Activities at the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI), Yaounde (Cameroon). He now also works as Visiting Scientist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cameroon.

His research interest focuses on carbon dynamic and sequestration within the shifting agro-systems in the forest zone of Cameroon as well as the impact of climate changes on agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another growing interest is on the current development on digital soil mapping applicable for soil properties in Cameroon. He is the President of Africa Soil Science Society (ASSS), and the General Secretary of Cameroon Soil Science Society (CASSS).

Contact Martin Yemefack

 

 

Asia

Prof. Dr. Milkha Singh Aulakh – India

Prof. Dr. Milkha Singh Aulakh is presently serving as founder Vice Chancellor of Manyawar Shri Kashiram ji University of Agriculture & Technology, Banda, Uttar Pradesh State of India. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

He has a 39-year long career dedicated to education, research and administration, besides about 10-year experience of administrative and managerial level. He is a regular Consultant of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria to design and formulate international research projects on Crop Improvement, Water, Soil and Fertilizer Management. He has been the Vice President of the Indian Society of Soil Science.

His research work was dedicated on developing and optimizing nutrient-management strategies for high nutrient-efficient, lower-unit cost crop production while minimizing environmental impacts; and to effective communication of research findings to the state, national and international agricultural community. His work has led to the development of several reliable methodologies, new crop production technologies and improved practices. He became youngest Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1996; Fellow of Indian Society of Soil Science in 2000; and Hon. Fellow of Hi-Tech Horticultural Society in 2012.

Contact Milkha Aulakh


Dr. Pisoot Vijarnsorn – Thailand

Dr. Pisoot Vijarnsorn holds a master in Soil Survey and Classification from University of Illinois, USA and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Tokyo, Japan.

His past and present research work focuses on Soil Survey and Classification, Soil Management, Land Use Planning and Farm Planning. He also participated with ESCAP on Desertification Control for several years and contributed to a study on Green House Gas Emission for the Asian Countries.

He was the National Soil Correlator of Land Development Department from 1990 to 1995, thereafter he became Senior Specialist on Soil Survey and Classification in the same department from 1996 until his retirement in 2004. Currently, he is serving as Senior Specialist on Land Development at Chaipattana Foundation. He is a member of International Union of Soil Sciences, Soil and Fertilizer Society of Thailand and Soil and Water Conservation Association of Thailand.

Contact Pisoot Vijarnsorn


Dr. Kazuyuki Yagi – Japan

Dr. Kazuyuki Yagi is head of the Greenhouse Gas Team, the Department of Global Resources at the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki in Japan and a member of several Japanese and American scientific societies.

He holds a Master and a Ph. D. from Nagoya University in Biogeochemistry (1986) and in Soil Science (1996) respectively. His areas of expertise are agricultural sources of trace gases particularly in Asian agroecosystems, material cycling in agricultural ecosystems, isotopic measurements, as well as biogeochemistry and global environmental change. His current research activities involve emissions of trace gases in association with different land uses and agricultural management aiming at quantifying and modeling the processes of these gas emissions and developing their mitigation technologies.

Since 2008 he has been serving as a professor at Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Tokyo.

Contact Kazuyuki Yagi


Dr. Suk Young Hong – Republic of Korea

Dr. Suk Young Hong is a senior research scientist and head of the Soil Information Lab, working at Soil and Fertilizer Management Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS), Rural Development Administration (RDA), South Korea since 1995. She is a soil scientist with extensive experience for soil database and soil information of Korea.

 

She obtained her Ph.D. in 1999 from Kyungpook National University, South Korea. She worked on the establishment of Korean Soil Information System, soil prediction using VIS/NIR spectroscopy, and digital mapping of soil properties including soil organic carbon and available water capacity. She also has a strong background of remote sensing on agricultural environment such as land cover classification, estimation of crop growth, and crop yield prediction. Her group expands research interest on estimation of soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and energy-water balance modelling in agro-ecosystem using radar and thermal remote sensing.

She is now a vice-chair of ‘Division 1. Soil in Space and Time’ of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and is supporting the organization of the 20th World Congress of Soil Science. She is also involved in the GlobalSoilMap.net project and is a science coordinator of its East Asia Node.

Contact Suk Young Hong


Prof. Dr. Gan Lin Zhang – China

Prof. Gan-Lin Zhang obtained his Ph.D on Soil Science in 1993 from the hinese Academy of Sciences and since then has been an employee at the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

His research areas cover soil genesis, classification, digital soil mapping and soil information system, as well as urban soils. He has published more than 150 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than ten books/book chapters. He is on the editorial board of many well-known soil science and geography journals. He is one of the leaders in soil resource science in China. He also serves in many governmental department and professional expert panels regarding soil resource, earth surface processes and environmental protection in China and abroad.

He has been actively involved in international scientific cooperations and communications. He is currently involved in the GlobalSoilMap.net project and is the leader of its East Asia Node.

Contact Gan Lin Zhang

Europe

Dr. Dominique Arrouays - France

Dr. Dominique Arrouays is an Agricultural Engineer and holds a PhD in Soil Science from Montpellier National Superior School of Agronomy since 1995. In his work, he focuses on soil spatial analysis, carbon monitoring and modelling, mapping and digital soil mapping, soil fertility and soil contamination.

In 2001, he started leading a national assessment of carbon sequestration in French soils and its potential contribution to the fight against climate change.
From 2002 to 2007 he was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its work. He was also awarded in 2008 the Best scientific article by the Pedometrics commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences.

He has served as scientific coordinator of the Globalsoilmap.net Consortium since 2012 and he is currently involved in soil mapping and monitoring researches within the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (Infosol Unit). He has published 83 international peer-reviewed papers and 35 book chapters. Arrouays is also the editor in chief of the French scientific journal “Etude et Gestion des Sols”.

Contact Dominique Arrouays


Dr. Helaina Black - United Kingdom

Dr. Helaina Black is a soil ecologist based at the Aberdeen site of The James Hutton Institute, UK. She has over 25 years of practical experience in the use, management and monitoring of soils in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Her current research is centred on the role of soils in delivering ecosystem goods and services; soil monitoring and indicators of soil quality and the functional role of soil biodiversity.

She contributes to the international and Research Councils UK peer-review process, to journal refereeing and management and is actively involved with scientific and policy-related advisory groups and committees in Scotland, UK and the EU. She is the current Vice-President of the British Soil Science Society.

After completing her studies, she spent 10 years working on soil pests and soil fertility in sub-Saharan Africa as a researcher at the Natural Resources Institute, UK. In 2006, she was transferred to the Macaulay Institute to coordinate soil science research within the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme and to continue her own research interests in the role of soils in supporting ecosystem goods and services.

Contact Helaina Black


Dr. Jaroslava Sobocká - Slovak Republic

Dr. Jaroslava Sobocká has been the director of the Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia since 2012 where she coordinates several national and international projects.

Prior to her current role, she headed the Department of Soil Science and Soil Mapping of the same Institute. She studied geographical sciences and holds a Ph.D. degree (1989) in Genesis and Classification of soils, numerical taxonomy methods of processing. She appointed as associated professor in 2008. She has been lecture at universities in Slovakia and Czech Republic. She is member of the Editorial Board of some journals, and Scientific Boards.

Dr. Sobocká gained expertise in soil survey and mapping, soil classification (translator of the WRB in Slovak language) and GIS application. In addition, she is a specialist in anthropogenic and urban soils research, soil functions and ecosystem services, climate change and other global impact on soil resources. She worked as expert on soil sealing (DGENVI EC) and on less favourable areas (LFA) In the Programme of Rural Development (DGAGRI EC). She was also elected president of the Slovak Soil Science Society.

Contact Jaroslava Sobocká


Dr. Pavel Krasilnikov - Russia

Since 2011, Dr Pavel Krasilnikov is heading the Land Resources Department, Eurasian Center of Food Security of Lomonosov, Moscow State University, Russia. He also currently heads the Soil Ecology & Soil Geography Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Karelian Research Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia. His major areas of specialization are: soil science, soil geography, soil classification, soil mineralogy and micromorphology. Prior to his present position, he served as professor at the Laboratory of Edafology, National Autonomous University of Mexico.

He graduated from Moscow State University in 1992 with a degree in Soils Science and Agrochemistry and  obtained his PhD in 1996. He was also awarded with the Doctor of Biological Science degree in 2009.

He carried out several research projects mainly focused on Soil and Food Security, Soil Geography and Soil geomorphology, Soil Databases and Soil Information. He is a member of the Central Committee of the Docuchaev’s (Russian) Soil Science Society and member of the Editorial Board of the journals Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana, Eurasian Soil Science and Geoderma.

Contact Pavel Krasilnikov


Dr. Luca Montanarella - Italy

Dr. Luca Montanarella graduated in Agricultural Engineering at the University of Perugia, Italy in 1984. He did post-doctoral studies related to generic and inorganic chemistry, (micro)biology and organic chemistry, healthcare and pharmaceuticals and medical devices at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands in 1985 and at Groningen University, the Netherlands in 1986.

From 1986 to 1991, he served as Mass Spectrometry and Chromatography Specialist at Varian Associates, Palo Alto, USA; and from 1991 to 1992 he was the principal administrator at the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. Since 1992, he has been working as scientific officer at the Commission of the European Communities, Joint Research Centre (JRC). From 2001 to 2003 he headed the European Soil Bureau project, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Soil and Waste unit, JRC.

Since 2003 he is the head of the new JRC action “Soil Data and Information Systems” (SOIL). Dr. Montanarella has more than 200 publications, books and reports, and has received numerous awards and memberships.

Contact Luca Montanarella

Latin America and Caribbean

Dr. Julio Alegre - Peru

Since 2003 Prof. Julio C. Alegre Orihuela has been teaching ecosystem management and environmental protection, agroforestry and soil science courses at the National Agrarian University La Molina, Peru. His educational attainments include a Master in Soil and Water Conservation (1979) and a PhD in Soil Science, Soil Agro-biodiversity and Management from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1984.

He is also working as a private consultant to provide technical assistance in environmental aspects such as restoration of degraded lands and improvement of water quality.

In 2003 he was Regional Coordinator for Latin America and Senior Scientist of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). He is a member of several professional societies among which American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science of America. He is currently the President of the Latin America Soil Science Society.

Contact Julio Alegre (second address)


Dr. David Espinosa Victoria - Mexico

Dr. David Espinosa-Victoria is serving as Professor at “Colegio de Postgraduados” in Mexico where he teaches Soil Microbiology and Plant Nutrition.

His research area involves plant-microorganism molecular interaction, genetic diversity of soil microorganisms, microbial ecology, root fungi – plant interaction, biological control, soil macrofauna communities, bacterial biofertilizers production.

Professor Espinosa’s educational background includes a Master in Science From “Colegio de Postgraduados”, Mexico and a PhD in Soils in 1997 from University of Minnesota. Professor Espinosa is the current President of the Mexican Soil Science Society and he is a member of National System of Researchers, Mexico since 2008.

Contact David Victoria (second address)


Dr. Carlos Roberto Henríquez - Costa Rica

Dr. Carlos Roberto Henríquez H. has been serving as  Professor at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) since 1990. He is also the Director of the Agronomic Research Center CIA-UCR. He holds a bachelors’ degree in Agronomy from the University of Costa Rica in 1989, a Master degree in Natural Resources with a focus on soil science in 1996, and achieved his Ph.D in Soil Fertility at Iowa State University in 2002.

He is a member of Professional College in Agronomy of Costa Rica (Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos), Costa Rican Soil Science Society (ACCS) and Latin-American Soil Science Society (SLCS).

From 2006 to 2012 he has been President of the Costa Rican Soil Science Society and President of Latin-American Soil Science Society from 2007 to 2009.
He has also published several scientific papers, publications, thesis and books.

Contact Carlos Henríquez


Dr. Maria de Lourdes Mendonca Santos -Brazil

Dr. Maria de Lourdes Mendonca Santos graduated in Agronomy from the State University of Maranhao, Brazil (1986). She holds a Master in Agronomy (Soil Science) from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1990) and a Master in Environmental Sciences (1995). She achieved her Doctorate of Science in Pedology and Geomatics, from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland (1999). She also holds a post-doctorate on Digital Soil Mapping, from the University of Sydney, Australia. She has been an Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) researcher since 1990, where she coordinated several research projects on soil, at national and international levels. In 2009 she has became the General Director of Embrapa Soils (The National Center of Soil Research), until the present-day.

Her research expertise in Soil Science is focused on the interface Soils and Geomatica, developing research in the areas of quantitative pedology, digital soil mapping of soil classes and properties (like soil Carbon), soil-landscape modelling, soil databases and soil mapping.

To date, besides her activities in soil research management, she is the leader of the Latin American Node of the Consortium GlobalSoilMapping. Net.

Contact Maria Santos


Dr. Miguel Taboada - Argentina

Dr. Miguel Angel Taboada is an Agronomy Engineer graduated from University  of Buenos Aires in 1991 in Soil Science. He holds a Ph.D. in Agrosystem functioniong and Agrosystems from National Institute of Toulouse, France in 2006. His main areas  of specialization are soil physics, water and soil management and conservation, soil fertility, tillage systems and their relationships with soil, soil quality indicators, soil salinity, environmental quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2009, Taboada has been serving as the Director of Soils Institute, Natural Resources Research Centre, INTA, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is professor at the University of Buenos Aires teaching Fertility and Fertilizers. He also worked as an independent researcher at the National Council of Technical and Scientific research, CONICET. He was elected coordinator of the Council in 2012.

Besides many scientific papers at national and international level, he has also recently published two books on soil fertility. 

Contact Miguel Taboada (second address)

Near East

Dr. Abdullah AlShankiti – Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdullah Al Shankiti is a Soil Management scientist. He presently works at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) based in Dubai, UAE. He is actively engaged in research activites  concerning the utilization of Municipal Waste as a Soil Amendment, the diagnosis of salt affected soil and soil management in general.

He holds a Master of Science in Agriculture from California State University, Chico, USA and a PhD in Soil Science from the Soil and Water Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. He has extensive experience conducting agricultural research in developing countries and regional networking projects.
Prior to joining ICBA in October 2012, he worked for the ICARDA- Arabian Peninsula Regional Program as a farm soil and water management consultant.

His area of expertise includes micronutrient availability and correlation with salinity, CaCo3 content, the utilization of sewage sludge as a soil amendment, quantitative soil water content measurement, phosphorus availability and retention, water use efficiency of indigenous forage species and nutrient evaluation of some arid range plants.

Contact Abdullah AlShankiti


Prof. Dr. Seyed Kazem Alavi Panah – Iran

Dr. Seyed Kazem Alavi Panah holds a Master in soil sciences from Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, together with a Master and PhD in Remote Sensing and GIS from University of Gent, Belgium.

He is heading the Cartography Department in University of Tehran. Throughout his career he gained expertise in remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS), thermal remote sensing, cartography and photogrammetry, and soil sciences. His area of expertise also includes desertification and desert problems and management, natural resources management, environmental management including global warming and climate change, application of spatial sciences in educational and cultural studies, and literature.

He received about 10 awards and honors and issued 10 books mainly on RS and GIS, he also published about 250 articles and conducted more than 20 projects many of which related to environmental change and sustainable development planning.

Contact Seyed Panah


Prof. Dr. Elsiddig Ahmed ElMustafa ElSheikh – Sudan

Prof.Elsiddig Ahmed Elmustafa Elsheikh is the Vice Chancellor of University of Khartoum, Sudan and professor of Agricultural and Environmental Microbiology at the Department of Soil Science of University of Khartoum. He also serves as President of Association of Sudanese Universities since 2011 and served as the General Manager of the Scientific Research and Planning Department, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sudan from 2003 to 2005.

He gained his Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology, from the University of Reading, U.K., in 1989. He has been teaching environmental-related courses since 1990, including Soil Microbiology, General Microbiology, Soil Biochemistry and Soil Fertility. His current research interests focus on Biological Nitrogen Fixation, Biofertilizers and Food Quality, Fertility and Salinity.

He is a member of numerous professional societies like the National Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Unit in Sudan, National Council for Research, Sudan, the Sudanese Soil Science Society and the Sudanese Agricultural Society among others.

Contact Elsiddig ElSheikh (second address)

 

North America

Dr. Jon Hempel - USA

Dr Hempel currently serves as the Director of the National Soil Survey Center for the US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Lincoln, NE.  The primary focus of the Center is to coordinate standards, interpretations, business planning, laboratory analysis, geospatial and ecological information for the National Cooperative Soil Survey in the US.  As collateral duties to this position, he is also the North American Node leader for the GlobalSoilMap project and in this capacity has worked closely with the international community in building the consortium and consistent application of standards and specifications for digital soil mapping.  Additionally, he chairs the International Union of Soil Science Universal Soil Classification System Working Group.  Prior to assuming this position, he served in multiple leadership positions, with NRCS, as the Director of the National Geospatial Development Center in West Virginia and, State Soil Scientist and Soil Survey Digitizing Unit Leader in Wisconsin.   During his 32 year career with NRCS, he has also held a variety of technical positions, within the NRCS soil survey program, including work in Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

His background also includes work as a Research Associate with Iowa State University with work in the soil survey program and in the private sector in foundation engineering.

Educational background is in Soil Science and Biology from the University of Wisconsin.

Contact Jon Hempel


Prof. Dr. Daniel John Pennock - Canada

Dr. Pennock is a faculty member in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan and has broad experience in research and administration. He has published extensively in research areas including digital soil mapping, soil erosion assessment, effects of land use change on soil quality, precision nutrient management, hydropedology, and, most recently, on greenhouse gas emissions from managed and natural landscapes.

His research has emphasized the need to take a landscape-scale perspective on specific research questions. He worked previously with the FAO through the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture on the use of isotopes for developing management practices to reduce soil erosion and increase crop production.

He has held senior administrative posts at the University of Saskatchewan (most recently as Vice-Provost) and the Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS), and was named a fellow of the CSSS in 2010.

Contact Daniel Pennock

South West Pacific

Dr. Marta Camps Arbestain - New Zealand

Dr. Marta Camps Arbestain is currently an Associate Professor at Massey University in New Zealand and is the co-director of the New Zealand Biochar Research Centre. She has 20 years of research experience in Soil Science and obtained her Master degree and PhD in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis, United States in 1992 and 1995 respectively. She studied Agronomic Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Lleida (Spain).

Her area of expertise includes Soil science and biochar, soil organic matter stability in soils, carbon sequestration, soil chemistry, pedogenesis. She is also a member of the International Biochar Initiative Board and has been actively involved in the development of "Standardized Product Definition and Product Testing Guidelines for Biochar That Is Used in Soil". Since 2012 she isa member of the Expert Panel to Develop Stable Biochar Carbon Test Methodology for a Carbon Market Protocol.

She published 52 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and several books and book chapters.

Contact Marta Arbestain


Dr. Neil McKenzie - Australia

Dr. Neil McKenzie is an Australian soil scientist who joined CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in 1987. He has 30 years of research experience in the land and water sciences and was Chief of CSIRO Land and Water from 2007 to 2012. Prior to taking on this role, his research team focused on quantitative methods for mapping and assessing soil and land resources. 

His achievements include leading the team responsible for publication of the Australian soils and landscapes: an illustrated compendium (www.publish.csiro.au/pid/3821.htm), along with guidelines and other standards for land resource assessment relating to soil physical measurement, soil classification and database design. He has been involved in shaping public policy through his membership of scientific and technical committees. As Chief of CSIRO Land and Water, he contributed to a wide range of national and international forums on earth observation, environmental information, water resources, soil resources, sustainable agriculture, food security and climate change.

He now leads CSIRO’s involvement in the emerging global soil information system and he is currently the Executive Director of GlobalSoilMap.net Consortium.

Contack Neil McKenzie