Invited Speakers

As of today
(The list may be subject to change.)

Last name alphabetically

Opening Speaking

Abad CHABBI_edited.jpg
Abad CHABBI_edited.jpg


Director of Research

National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE)


Abad CHABBI, is a plant ecologist and soil biogeochemist. He worked at the Louisiana State University, USA; the Faculty of Environmental Science in Cottbus, Germany; the University of Pierre & Marie, Curie (UPMC), France; and the INRAE research council where he has been leading the National Observatory for Environmental Research-Agro-Ecosystems, Biogechemical Cycles and Biodiversity since 2009.


Abad Chabbi research centers on biogeochemical cycles in the context of climate and land use changes. He is also working with Strategic Research Infrastructures and interested in science policy and societal challenges. Throughout his career, Abad Chabbi has focused on coordinating large international and multidisciplinary projects, including ExpeER and AnaEE under the strategic European Commission framework (FP7).


He also chairs Working Group at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, at the Hercules Foundation for Investments in Research and Innovation”, Brussels… and provides expertise worldwide to numerous research councils.


Abad Chabbi is member of the National Ecological Observatory Network laboratory (NEON), Boulder, Colorado USA and Guest Professor at BIOREN-UFRO, Temuco, Chile. He supervised 18 PhD students and postdocs and has published more than 150 papers in international peer reviewed journals, book chapters, books, and special issues.

Plenary Speakers

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Chair of Soil & Environmental Science 

Environment Centre Wales / Food Futures Institute

Bangor University / Murdoch University

United Kingdom / Australia

Davey Jones holds a Professorial Chair in Soil and Environmental Science at Bangor University and Murdoch University in Western Australia.

A major focus of his research is on understanding below-ground processes with specific focus on nutrients and human pathogen behaviour in water-food-soil-plant-microbial systems.

Current applications of his work include (1) promoting carbon sequestration in agricultural systems and understanding the factors regulating carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions, (2) developing ways to improve nutrient use efficiency in cropping systems with specific focus on nitrogen and phosphorus, (3) soil microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning, and (4) the impact of flooding, drought and ozone on ecosystem functioning.

He has published more than 572 journal articles and advises UK government on both their waste and climate change policies.

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Yong Sik OK
Chair and Program Director

Korea Biochar Research Center

Korea University

Korea, Republic of

Dr. Ok is a full professor and global research director of Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


He has published over 900 research papers and books, 92 of which have been ranked as Web of Science ESI top papers (90 have been selected as “Highly Cited Papers” (HCPs), and two as “Hot Papers”).


He has been a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher (HCR) since 2018 in Cross Field, Environment and Ecology, and Engineering.


In 2019, he became the first Korean to be selected as an HCR in the field of Environment and Ecology. Again in 2021, he became the first Korean HCR in two fields: Environment and Ecology, and Engineering.

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Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration as a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategy

Cornelia RUMPEL
Research Director

Institute for Ecology and Environmental Sciences



Cornelia Rumpel is a soil biogeochemist working for the French National Research Center (CNRS) at the Institute of Ecology and Environment in Paris, France.

Her work is concerned with the dynamics of organic matter at the molecular scale and the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in natural and managed ecosystems.

She is dealing with temperate and tropical environments and contributed to the change of several paradigms. Since a few years her work focuses on the development of innovative agroecological strategies to increase soil carbon sequestration.

She supervised 18 PhD students to successful completion of their thesis and has published more than 200 papers in international peer reviewed journals. She is also working at the science policy interphase to communicate the value of soil carbon sequestration as response to global challenges.

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Soil Organic Matter as the Paradigm for Soil Quality and Soil Health Assessments

James McGill Professor of Soil Science

Department of Natural Resource Sciences
McGill University


Joann K. Whalen is a James McGill Professor of Soil Science (endowed research chair) at McGill University and an Adjunct Professor at Gansu Agricultural University, China.


She received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University (USA) and is a professional agronomist in Quebec, Canada. She teaches courses and does research in the areas of soil fertility, soil ecology and environmental soil chemistry. She has published more than 230 peer-reviewed scientific publications and supervised/co-supervised more than 70 students at the M.Sc., Ph.D. and postdoctoral levels.

Dr. Whalen is a Chief Editor for Soil Biology and Biochemistry, an academic journal that publishes original, scientifically challenging research articles that explain soil biological processes. She currently serves as President-Elect of the American Society of Agronomy.

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Jizhong ZHOU
George Lynn Cross Research Professor

Department of Microbiology and Plant Biologys
University of Oklahoma

United States

Dr. Jizhong Zhou is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Director for the Institute for Environmental Genomics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.


His expertise is on microbial ecology and genomics in the fields of climate change, groundwater bioremediation, wastewater treatments, bioenergy, and theoretical ecology. He was recognized as a top 0.1% globally highly cited researcher by all three major complementary metrics. He received the 2019 ASM Award for Environmental Research, DOE Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 2014, and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001.

He is an Editor-in-Chief for mLife, a senior Editor for ISME J, and a former Senior Editor for mBio and Applied and Environmental Microbiology. He is a Fellow of International Water Association, American Academy of Microbiology, Ecological Society of America, and American Association for Advancement of Science.


Keynote Speakers

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Woo-Jung CHOI
Professor (Full)

Department of Rural and Bio-Systems Engineering
Chonnam National University

Korea, Republic of

  • 1991-2002          Seoul National University (BSc. MSc. & Ph.D. in Environmental Soil Science)

  • 2003-2005        University of Alberta (Post-doc.)

  • 2005-present   Chonnam National University (Professor)

  • 2020-present   Director, Agri-Bio Institute of Climate Change Management, CNU

  • 2020-present   Leader, Unit for Climate-Smart Reclaimed Tideland Agriculture (Brain Korea 21 Project)

  • 2009-present:   Editor (Biology & Fertility of Soils, Journal of Soils & Sediments,

                                            Canadian Journal of Soil Science, Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis,

                                               Korean Journal of Soil Science & Fertilizer,

                                               and Korean Journal of Environmental Agriculture)



Michaela DIPPOLD
Georg-August University



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Challenges and Opportunities of Managing SOM in Dryland Systems

Principal Research Scientist

Agriculture and Food


Dr Mark Farrell is Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO in Adelaide, Australia, where he leads the Biogeochemistry Team.

His research primarily focuses on organic carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural systems, but he also has extensive experience in natural systems, particularly in the Australian arid zone.

Mark uses a range of techniques to establish a mechanistic understanding of systems and how they are perturbed by changes to management and environment. These include solid-state NMR, physical fractionation, rapid spectroscopy and stable- and radio- isotopes, coupled with microbial activity assays and the analysis of microbial community structure.

Mark is also Deputy Editor for Soil Chemistry at the European Journal of Soil Research, and chaired the last SOM meeting in Adelaide in 2019.

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Characteristics of Paddy Soil: Specifics in Dynamics in Organic Carbon Cycling

Tida GE

State Key Laboratory for Managing Biotic and Chemical Threats to the Quality and Safety of Agro-products
Institute of Plant Virology, Ningbo University


Ge Tida is Professor of Environmental Soil Science and Biogeochemistry at Ningbo University with expertise in soil ecology, biogeochemistry, land use and agroecology, especially in nutrient cycling.

His research focuses on rhizosphere ecology in agricultural systems and the use of isotopes, sequencing technologies and biomarkers to evaluate soil functioning. He has published >100 papers.

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Senior Lecturer

French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands
Ben Gurion University of the Negev


Ilya Gelfand have published 30 peer-review scientific publications and a book chapter as first author, co-author and corresponding author. These including publications in top interdisciplinary journals; Nature, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (USA), and Environmental Sciences & Technology.

In addition, Dr. Gelfand have published in tier one, field-specific journals such as Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Global Change Biology, and Biogeochemistry.

In his work he had explored environmental and climatic effects of widespread use of renewable energy, climatic effects of land-use change, energy balances of agriculture, and effects of land use and management on soil green-house gases emissions. Gelfand's work was covered by public media including USA and German national public radios and he served as expert panel member for the OECD.

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Limits and Benefits of Soil Carbon Sequestration in Croplands

Kees Jan van GROENIGEN
Senior Lecturer

Department of Geography

University of Exeter

United Kingdom

Kees Jan is a biogeochemist; through field experiments and data synthesis, he tries to understand how plants and soil respond to environmental change and management practices.

He has studied carbon and nutrient cycles in a wide range of ecosystems, including grasslands, cropland, temperate forests and rice paddies. He often uses meta-analytic techniques to synthesize findings in his field of research.

He also studies the role of soil microbes in carbon and nitrogen cycles, using techniques such as incubation experiments, isotopic tracers and analyses of biomarkers.

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Steven J HALL
Associate Professor

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
Iowa State University

United States

Steven Hall’s research group takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding soil organic matter dynamics, production of greenhouse gases, and nutrient cycling and water pollution.

He has worked in a wide spectrum of natural ecosystems but increasingly focuses on the United States Corn Belt, a region of intensive agricultural production where soils mediate globally important environmental impacts.

Steven received a BS and MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Utah and has been a faculty member at Iowa State University since 2015.

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Research Group Leader (Scientific Staff)

Institute for Microbiology
Leibniz University Hannover


Adrian Ho is a research group leader, currently pursuing his Habilitation (since 2017) at the Leibniz University Hannover, Germany.

His research focuses on elucidating the methanotroph “interactome”, addressing the role and relevance of the methane-driven interaction network across kingdoms for community functioning under global change scenarios. Stable isotope labelling in combination with high throughput sequencing and meta-“omics” approaches are applied to probe the interacting members of naturally-occurring complex communities, and complemented by studies using artificially assembled communities.

Adrian Ho is an editorial board member for the journals FEMS Microbiology Ecology and Frontiers in Microbiology, and serves in the review panel for the national funding agencies of Norway, Belgium, Poland, and Germany.



Jong Rok JEON
Gyeongsang National University

Korea, Republic of


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Hojeong KANG

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Yonsei University

Korea, Republic of

Dr. Kang is a Full Professor at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.

He received BSc from Seoul National University and PhD from University of Wales, Bangor, UK. Before joining the current position, he was Professor at Ewha Womans University and a postdoc research fellow at University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.

Professor Kang has published more than 120 international journal papers including 2 in ‘Nature’ and 2 in Nature-research journals. He is currently serving as Associate editor for ‘Ecological Engineering’ and editorial board members for ‘Microbial Ecology’, ‘Ecosystem Services’ and ‘Pedosphere’. Professor Kang’s research focuses on effects of global climate change on soil microbes and GHG emissions.

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Challenges and Opportunities for Enhancing Food Security and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Smallholder Farming in Sub-Saharan Africa. A review

Dong-Gill KIM
Associate Professor

Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources
Hawassa University


Research interests are mainly carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and climate change resilience in agroecosystems.

He carried out various GHG research in South- Korea, USA, Ireland and New Zealand and currently works at Hawassa University, Ethiopia.

He extensively collaborates with researchers in Africa, Europe, and North and Latin America for enhancing food security and GHG mitigation of smallholder farming systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Iowa State University, USA.



Sunghwan KIM

Department of Chemistry
Kyungpook National University

Korea, Republic of

Dr. Kim received his bachelor and master degrees from Seoul National University and PhD from the Ohio State University. After graduation, he worked on FT-ICR Program at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Florida State University as a postdoctoral researcher.

He moved to Korea Basic Science Institute as a senior research scientist and subsequently served as assistant, associate, and full professor in Department of Chemistry at the Kyungpook National University.

Dr. Kim has contributed to the molecular level identification of natural organic matters (NOM). His work combining van Krevelen diagram and ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry data of NOM has pioneered molecular level identification of NOM compounds. His current research is focused on developing new analytical techniques to achieve the goal.



Christian LAFORSCH
University of Bayreuth



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Soil Microbiome-mediated Carbon Sequestration: Understanding the Mechanisms Across Different Ecosystems

Ashish MALIK
Lecturer in Biogeochemistry

School of Biological Sciences
University of Aberdeen

United Kingdom

Ashish Malik is a Lecturer in Biogeochemistry at University of Aberdeen since 2019.

His research focuses on understanding soil microbial processes involved in carbon cycling and the underlying mechanisms from population and community to ecosystem scales. A key objective is to determine how environmental change affects microbial physiology, carbon cycling and thus ecosystem functioning.

His group investigates how environmental change affects microbiome-soil carbon linkages to explicitly focus on the underlying mechanisms behind these linkages. Using a multi-scale integrated ecology approach, he hopes to leverage fundamental science to address key societal challenges of sustainable land use, climate change resilience and peatland restoration. He is also keen on exploring newer ways of doing research, improving research culture and promoting diversity and inclusivity in academia and beyond.

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SOM Stoichiometry and Microbial Activity

Professor of Biogeochemistry of Forest Soils

Department of Soil and Environment

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Marie Spohn is a Professor of Biogeochemistry of Forest Soils at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Together with her group, she explores cycling of carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems.

She is specifically interested in interactions between different element cycles, and she uses a large range of methods, including soil chemical analyses, isotopes as well as microbiological tools.



Colorado State University

United States




Michelle WANDER
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

United States




Yuanhe YANG
State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences