Johannes Lehmann

Hans Fischer Senior Fellow

Cornell University

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Ingrid Kögel-Knabner

Focus Group
Soil Architecture

Short CV

Johannes Lehmann, professor of soil biogeochemistry and soil fertility management at Cornell University, received his graduate degrees in Soil Science at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. During the past 20 years, he has focused on nano-scale investigations of soil organic matter, the biogeochemistry of black carbon and sequestration in soil. He is principal investigator of projects focusing on climate-smart agriculture, on developing fertilizers from waste and on soil carbon sequestration. Dr. Lehmann is a member of the steering group of the International Soil Carbon Network, has testified in the US congress, briefed the President’s council of advisors, was part of Workgroup 2 on Monitoring and Assessment of Sustainable Land Management of UNCCD, and serves on the Technical Management Advisory Committee of USAID legume program. Dr. Lehmann has authored more than 200 journal publications, has been named ISI Highly Cited Researcher and is editor-in-chief of the journal Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems.

Selected Awards

Highly Cited Researcher distinction, Thomson Reuter, 2014, 2015, 2016

International Research Award, Soil Science Society of America, 2014

Fellow, Soil Science Society of America, 2014

Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson, Soil Science Award, U.S. Soil Science Society of America and the Agronomic Science Foundation, 2012

SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Development and Institutional Development, 2010

Sir Frederick McMasters Fellowship, CSIRO, Australia, 2007

Research Interests

I am interested to advance 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, food security and environmental pollution.

The 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, the cycles of pyrogenic carbon and the development of a biochar soil management technology.

Selected Publications

  • Paustian, Keith; Lehmann, Johannes; Ogle, Stephen; Reay, David; Robertson, G. Philip; Smith, Pete: Climate-smart soils. Nature 532 (7597), 2016, 49-57 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Solomon, Dawit; Lehmann, Johannes; Fraser, James A; Leach, Melissa; Amanor, Kojo; Frausin, Victoria; Kristiansen, Søren M; Millimouno, Dominique; Fairhead, James: Indigenous African soil enrichment as a climate-smart sustainable agriculture alternative. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14 (2), 2016, 71-76 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Lehmann, Johannes; Kleber, Markus: The contentious nature of soil organic matter. Nature, 2015 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Whitman, Thea; Lehmann, Johannes: A dual-isotope approach to allow conclusive partitioning between three sources. Nature Communications 6, 2015, 8708 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Güereña, David T.; Lehmann, Johannes; Walter, Todd; Enders, Akio; Neufeldt, Henry; Odiwour, Holiance; Biwott, Henry; Recha, John; Shepherd, Keith; Barrios, Edmundo; Wurster, Chris: Terrestrial pyrogenic carbon export to fluvial ecosystems: Lessons learned from the White Nile watershed of East Africa. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 29 (11), 2015, 1911-1928 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Lehmann, Johannes; Rillig, Matthias: Distinguishing variability from uncertainty. Nature Climate Change 4 (3), 2014, 153-153 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Cayuela, Maria Luz; Sánchez-Monedero, Miguel Angel; Roig, Asunción; Hanley, Kelly; Enders, Akio; Lehmann, Johannes: Biochar and denitrification in soils: when, how much and why does biochar reduce N2O emissions? Sci. Rep. 3, 2013 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Schmidt, Michael W. I.; Torn, Margaret S.; Abiven, Samuel; Dittmar, Thorsten; Guggenberger, Georg; Janssens, Ivan A.; Kleber, Markus; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Lehmann, Johannes; Manning, David A. C.; Nannipieri, Paolo; Rasse, Daniel P.; Weiner, Steve; Trumbore, Susan E.: Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property. Nature 478 (7367), 2011, 49-56 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Lehmann, Johannes; Skjemstad, Jan; Sohi, Saran; Carter, John; Barson, Michele; Falloon, Pete; Coleman, Kevin; Woodbury, Peter; Krull, Evelyn: Australian climate–carbon cycle feedback reduced by soil black carbon. Nature Geoscience 1 (12), 2008, 832-835 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Lehmann, Johannes; Solomon, Dawit; Kinyangi, James; Dathe, Lena; Wirick, Sue; Jacobsen, Chris: Spatial complexity of soil organic matter forms at nanometre scales. Nature Geoscience 1 (4), 2008, 238-242 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Lehmann, Johannes: A handful of carbon. Nature 447 (7141), 2007, 143-144 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )