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Editorial Board of the Biochar Journal

The editorial board brings together 20 distinguished personalities within the field of biochar who help us build the Biochar Journal by providing advice, knowledge and experience. All tBJ articles are reviewed by at least two members of the editorial board, or qualified outside reviewers.

Samuel Abiven leads the research group "Organic matter in the plant-soil system" at the department of geography at the University of Zurich. He mainly focusses on the stabilization of carbon in plants and soils and investigates the influence of biochar on soil fertility aspects. He also works on ways to integrate biochar into agricultural systems, including physical as well as socio-economical aspects with projects in India. He is one of the few soil scientists who can drive a tractor and can milk a cow.

Albert Bates is a writer and a permaculture expert who has lived and worked at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, USA since 1972. He has been an environmental and civil rights attorney who argued cases in front of the US Supreme Court; an inventor of renewable energy technologies; a humanitarian and an educator. Since 1994 he has directed the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm. He is actively developing new biochar methods and products with various partners at The Farm and elsewhere.  His most recent book is The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change (New Society Publishers, 2010).

Catherine Brewer is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, USA. Catie did her PhD work at Iowa State under pyrolysis expert Dr. Robert Brown. She has a passion for thermochemical conversion, biomass utilization, waste valorization, biochar characterization and communicating biochar science to non-scientists.

Thomas D. Bucheli  leads the research group for environmental analytical chemistry  at Agroscope Institute for Sustainability Sciences ISS in Switzerland. His expertise in black carbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) led him eventually to biochar research. He developed the standard method for PAH analysis of biochar, authored a major publication on organic contaminants of biochar, and had an important role in the process of governmental approval of biochar as soil amendment in Switzerland and the quality control of the European Biochar Certificate.          

Pellegrino Conte is professor for organic and soil chemistry at the University of Palermo. He is one of the leading experts of NMR relaxometry and the first to apply this analytical technology to investigate the water activity and water bonding in biochar. He delivered invaluable new insights into the function of biochar and its interaction with soil water and minerals.

Gerard Cornelissen is not only one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of organic contaminants but also a widely experienced technical expert for the agronomic use of biochar in countries like Nepal, Zambia, Indonesia and Malaysia. He is professor at the University of Life Sciences in Oslo and expert adviser at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI).

Justine Cox is a research soil scientist with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries in Wollongbar, NSW, Australia. Justine investigates the use of biochar in Australian horticulture, primarily fruit and vegetable production. She is the editor of an extraordinarily useful handbook guide for farmers, Biochar in horticulture: Prospects for the use of biochar in Australian horticulture, that covers every aspect of biochar use from agronomic effects to economic assessment.

Jim Ippolito is a research soil scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) - Northwest Irrigation & Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho. He is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Environmental Quality. He has a keen interest in biochar and is actively investigating the effects of biochar on nutrient cycling, heavy metal contaminant immobilization, and soil hydrology in both laboratory and field trials. He has written extensively regarding how biochar positively or negatively alters soil properties.

Claudia Kammann is professor for the impact of climate change on agriculture at University Geisenheim. She is a specialist on the effect of biochar on greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen cycling. Claudia Kammann is further one of the leading figures on the combination of biochar with organic nutrients for the development of new growing media and organic fertilizers.

Joshua Kearns is a PhD candidate in environmental engineering at the University of Colorado, and a visiting scholar at North Carolina State University. Josh has worked in the fields of ecological economics and sustainability science both in academia and in the non-profit NGO sector. He founded Aqueous Solutions (, a non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research, development and promotion of inexpensive, low-tech and sustainable drinking water and eco-sanitation systems in developing communities. Josh and coworkers have pioneered the application of biochars in water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment through their field and laboratory research initiatives.

Ondrej Masek is a founding member of the UK Biochar Research Centre and leads the research on biochar production technologies and associated processes. He developed several units for research pyrolysis and produced the first reference biochars. Ondrej Massek counts among the most influential engineers in biochar production technologies and the utilization of by-products (oil and gas) for bio-fuels and bio-energy generation.

Steven McGreevey is an Assistant Professor at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan and has a background in agriculture and rural sustainable development from Kyoto University. His research focuses on novel approaches to rural revitalization, sustainable agrifood and eco-energy transition, and the relinking of patterns of food consumption and production in local communities. He is a member of the Japan Biochar Association and has been involved with supporting small-scale biochar producers/users and Carbon Minus Projects.

Franco Miglietta is team leader at the National Research Council of Italy. In 2007 his team set up one of the two first European biochar field trials and he is since then one of the leading and most influential biochar scientists in Europe. With his astounding large scientific horizon, he brings the combination of many key scientific fields to biochar research. Franco led the first biochar project funded by the European Union.

Tom Miles is the principal at T.R. Miles Technical Consultants, Inc. An expert in combustion and gasification of biomass, he has designed and developed many systems to make biochar. He has sponsored and hosted Internet discussions on biomass energy since 1994 including the listservs and since 2006. Tom has given a great deal to the biochar industry, helping many individuals and groups with biochar projects and information, and providing expert industry analysis at many biochar conferences and meetings.

Genxing Pan is head of soil science and group leader in biochar science and green agriculture at the Nanjing Agricultural University, China. His group has been conducting researches from applied biogeochemistry of carbon cycling to carbon management in agricultural systems of China, focusing recently on biochar’s role in carbon sequestration and soil resilience as well as safety of agricultural production with long-term field experiments. He leads China’s initiative on Biochar and Green Agriculture, developing technologies of biochar production systems and of biochar products used in Chinese agriculture. He has organized and chaired international workshops and symposiums on biochar soil amendment and green agriculture and international biochar training courses in China and abroad since 2010.

Christian Pulver is a former Peace Corps Volunteer currently finishing his PhD in Agronomy at Cornell University.  For the past 8 years, Christian has worked with small farmers, institutions and government programs in Kenya, South Africa, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador.  His research is concentrated in soil fertility and food production dynamics in impoverished countries. His interests are in designing cook stoves, designing chars, and the microbial ecology of biochar.

Christa Roth is the director of Food and Fuel Consultants. She assists implementers worldwide to introduce and adapt clean-burning efficient solid biomass technologies to reduce emissions and fuel consumption in a convenient, acceptable and affordable manner. She is an expert on micro-gasification and biochar-producing cookstoves. She is the author of a comprehensive manual, Micro-gasification: Cooking with gas from dry biomass, published by the German GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit).

Simon Shackley is a founding member of the UK Biochar Research Centre and is lecturer in Carbon Policy at the University of Edinburgh. He is expert in Life Cycle Assessment of biochar; the socio-economic assessment of biochar; policy mechanisms for biochar deployment and their interaction with policies for food production, land-use, rural diversification, waste, energy and climate change. He leads several biochar projects for the Asia Development Bank in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Nepal.

Kurt Spokas is a research soil scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) in St. Paul, Minnesota. His main research areas concern the impacts of management practices (particularly fungicides and biochar additions) on the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and other greenhouse gases and the development of farming practices to improve overall water quality. He has written extensively about biochar and its properties in soil and for other uses.

Paul Taylor worked as a physicist at MIT and at the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory when he became an early alerter of climate change. He has intensely researched global warming and biochar as one solution since 2007. Paul Taylor edited the influential book The Biochar Revolution and designed many small and mid scale biochar production devices. He advocates new carbon cycling methods and technologies combining reforestation, solar energy production and carbonization.

Wenceslau Texeira is a senior scientist at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and one of the most intimate connoisseurs of the original Terra Preta soils and their genesis. He edited two scientific books about Terra Preta and Biochar and was involved in pioneering biochar experiments in the Amazon. His main focus lies on water fluxes in tropical soils, biochar influence on soil biota and geoarcheology.




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