Dries Roobroeck is an early-career scientist in the field of natural resource management across subsistence farming systems of tropical Africa, specialized in soil nutrient and water cycling. In recent years, he focused his research towards understanding biogeochemical factors that limit crop production and input use efficiency, as well as piloting resource management practices for farmers that help overcome challenges appertaining to the food, energy and water nexus. For the most part his research is empirical with work in agricultural and natural ecosystems, through which he has built a particularly strong skill-set in analytical chemistry and statistical computing. Particularly, he uses the information at the level of farmer fields for identifying interactions between crops, soils and weather, developing tools for rapid diagnostics, conducting meta-regression analysis and up-scaled scenario assessments. From this work he has authored various original papers that are frequently cited (H-index: 8), covering a broad scope of basic ecological sciences to applied agricultural economics. The main contribution from his research is related to the biophysical and economic potential of crop residues for gasification energy appliances and soil biochar amendment in farming systems of Kenya and Uganda. Working together closely with smallholder farmers and engaging in multi-disciplinary research he has gained extensive knowledge about how agroecological, social and economic perspectives are influencing the impact and adoption of natural resource management practices.

Experience

  • 2016–present
    Research scientist, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
  • 2013–2016
    Postdoctoral fellow, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)