SciCafe: The Dirt on Soil

Part of SciCafe

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A close-up shot of vibrant green plants, shooting up out of rich, moist soil, sunlight illuminating their stalks and leaves. Steven Weeks/Unsplash
Humans depend on soil for 95 percent of global food production, yet it’s eroding at unsustainable rates.

In the United States, China, and India, vast tracts of farmland will be barren of topsoil within this century. 

Join Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery and former associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama administration, as she grounds us in a discussion on the diversity in microbial communities and the effect these microbiomes have on human health and soil environments. Handelsman will unearth mitigations that individuals, companies, and governments can take to create a more sustainable future.  

Resources for SciCafe’s Frequent Geeks  

Quick Pick: The Soil Science Imperative

Big Bite: Molecular biological access to the chemistry of unknown soil microbes: a new frontier for natural products

Deep Dive: Podcast: Indigenous Pedology (SOIL SCIENCE) with Lydia Jennings