Soil Biophysics is a multidisciplinary science interested in understating the interaction between soil physical properties and life in soils. Indeed, the physical properties of soils such as soil Structure, soil porosity, and soil moisture impact plants and microorganisms' life in soils. Similarly, plant, and microorganism activity, in soils impact the physical properties of soils.
The professorship for Soil Biophysics and Environmental Systems is interested in understating the role of the physical properties of soils in shaping plant and microorganism life in soils. Soil drying is the major soil physical constraints limiting factor for food production worldwide. As soil dries its transport properties drop by several orders of magnitude limiting plant access to water and nutrients.
In our research and teaching, we would like to imagine ourselves as plants or microorganisms growing in drying soil and would like to be able to describe what we feel as soil dries? how,when and why does soil matter in different conditions? how may plants/microorganisms cope with the impact of soil drying on their life? One may imagine two main options: modifying the internal properties of plants/microorganisms to cope with soil drying or modifying the properties of the surrounding soil. We are interested to explore different these possibilities and believed that any potential solution should be soil condition specific.