Valedictory speech

Farewell address Prof. dr. Lijbert Brussaard

On 6 October, Prof. dr. Lijbert Brussaard gave his farewell address, entiteld ‘‘The Ground beneath our Feet’. You can follow this speech via the button below. (in Dutch, with slides in English)

Organised by Wageningen University

Thu 6 October 2016 10:00 to 18:00

About Lijbert Brussaard

Over the years, my interest has broadened from straight soil biology to ecosystem services mediated by the soil biota, the (synergies and tradeoffs between) ecosystem services and how scientific knowledge may inform land use planning and decision-making by actors in agricultural landscapes.

In particular, my research focusses on:

- Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Agricultural landscapes are important for the survival of a great deal of wildland biodiversity. The challenge is to make wildland biodiversity more meaningful for the functioning of agricultural landscapes and the provision of ecosystem services. The challenge I am working on is to understand and integrate soil biodiversity in this picture.

- Soil biota - soil structure interrelationships. As a result of agricutural management the contributions of the larger soil biota, such as earthworms and termites, to the formation of soil structure and porosity has diminished, with likely negative effects on the build-up and maintenance of soil organic matter. My research is aimed at understanding and restoring the activity of the soil biota and associated ecosystem services.

- Element cycles as influenced by the soil biota. With mounting pressure on increasing biomass production, while reducing nutrient and greenhouse gas losses from soil to the environment, my research is aimed at understanding and managing of soil biotic interactions for increased nutrient use efficiency in agriculture.

- Biological soil quality. The concept of biological soil quality recognizes that soil characteristics, soil properties, ecosystem functioning and soil ecosystem services are mediated by the soil biota. My research is aimed at scientific underpinning of the concept and making it operational for farmers and other land users.