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Francesca Cotrufo

Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University

I am a soil ecologist with leading experience in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. My main research interest is in understanding the mechanisms and drivers of formation and persistence of soil organic matter, and its response to global environmental changes and disturbances. I also aim to transfer this understanding into predictive models. I pursue applied research to propose soil management practices that increase soil health and mitigate climate change, such as application of biochar in soils, or use of cropping systems that maximize efficiency of soil organic matter formation, while supporting nutrient recycling. As a scientist fully aware of the current and future challenges expecting humanity, and the value of science literacy, I am interested in promoting education, and outreach activities to help mitigating the current human impacts on the Earth System and assure a better sustainable path for humanity.


  • –present
    Professor of Soil and Crop Sciences and Senior Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University