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Soil Health in Space

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Morgan Irons

Fellow / PhD Candidate - Principle Investigator

Morgan is an ecologist and an environmental scientist. Her research is focused on understanding and applying ecological theories and principles to develop and manage quasi-closed, agro-ecological systems for use in extreme and changing Earth and space environments. Morgan Irons is a PhD candidate in the Field of Soil and Crop Sciences at Cornell University.


Johannes Lehmann

PhD Advisor - Principle Investigator, Program Manager

Dr. Lehmann's lab at Cornell University is interested in advancing our general understanding of biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrient elements in soil, providing important insight into regional and global element cycles such as the carbon or sulfur cycle. This field of research has global and local relevance with implications for climate change and environmental pollution. His strong background in the chemistry, biology and physics of soils and its cycles provide the basis for the development of intelligent solutions for sustainable soil and land use management. The most exciting examples include the discovery of stabilization mechanisms of organic matter in soil nano-structures and the development of a biochar soil management technology that improves soil fertility, sequesters carbon and reduces off-site pollution. Recent efforts involve the conversion of wastes to valuable fertilizers and the discovery of novel reactions and pathways of nitrogen in soil organic matter and plant uptake.


Matthias Rillig

Associate Investigator

Dr. Rillig’s lab at Freie Universität Berlin is part of the Institute of Biology and the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB). Our research focus is on plant and soil ecology, with most people in the lab working on fungi. We work with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, other root colonizing fungi ranging in functioning (including parasites), and also saprobic fungi. Dr. Rillig's expertise is in Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, soil structure, soil microbiology, community ecology, and plant-soil-microbe interactions.

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