Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Search among the members of the Leopoldina for experts in specific fields or research topics.
|Year of election:||2001|
|Section:||Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences|
Ingrid Kögel-Knabner works on soil organic matter (humus) and its central role in the global carbon cycle. During the biomass formation/decomposition cycle carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important climatic gas, is either released from soils or is stabilized as humic matter in soils. The elucidation of the biogeochemical processes that are part of this cycle is one of the most important and most pressing scientific challenges of our times. Man is intervening in the natural carbon cycle on a global scale. Soil processes and soil management, especially the type and intensity of land use, affect the global carbon cycle to a high extent.
To assess these processes requires a thorough understanding and quantification of the multiplicity of soil organic matter formation and decomposition processes and the way in which they are controlled by land use and soil management. To understand the complex system of biogeochemical processes in soils requires a high degree of integration between different disciplines, a strong link between modelling and observation, as well as between theoretical and experimental research. The seminal works of Ingrid Kögel-Knabner have laid out foundations to achieve a better understanding of these processes.