Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a soil and global-change scientist and educator passionate about all things related to the science and beauty of soils.
There's two times more carbon in the earth's soil than in all of its vegetation and the atmosphere -- combined. Biogeochemist Asmeret Asefaw Berhe dives into the science of soil and shares how we could use its awesome carbon-trapping power to offset climate change. "[Soil] represents the difference between life and lifelessness in the earth system, and it can also help us combat climate change -- if we can only stop treating it like dirt," she says.
As Asmeret Asefaw Berhe tells it: "My research investigates: 1) how the soil system controls the earth's climate, in particular how otherwise thermodynamically unstable organic compounds can remain in soil for up to millennia, and 2) the dynamic two-way relationship between human communities and the soil system that we depend on for our food and nutritional security, and the socio-political implications of land degradation.
"I have a strong commitment towards education, outreach and mentoring. I am driven to ensure that scientific education and careers are equally accessible to people from all walks of life, and that academic workplaces are free from bias and harassment."