The Pedon is at the Core of Digital Soil Morphometrics

Alfred Hartemink is Professor of Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His research focusses on digital soil morphometrics, soil mapping, and soil carbon. Prior to his current  position, he was senior researcher at ISRIC in the Netherlands, and worked 12 years as pedologist and soil fertility specialist in Tanzania, DR Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Australia and Papua New Guinea. He has been involved in the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) since 2001, and is the chair of the IUSS Working Group on Digital Soil Morphometrics. He believes that soil science can help the world to become a better place.

Fusing data and expert knowledge for digital soil mapping and assessment


Laura Poggio is a spatial modeller (The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK) since 2008. Her main research focus is Integration of information on soil-climate interactions with land use and ecosystem processes in a spatial context. In particular she is interested in mapping spatio-temporal relationships between ground data and remote sensing-derived information for digital soil mapping with quantification and propagation of uncertainty. The background is in forestry and environmental sciences from University of Turin (I) with a PhD focussing on the development of a simplified land-use modelling method for the assessment of the risk of heavy metal polluted soil towards human health. 

Sample Support: what's in our soil data?


Tom Orton is a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, and was the recipient of the inaugural Margaret Oliver Award for Early-Career Pedometricians. He has an undergraduate degree in maths from the University of Reading, UK, and worked at Silsoe Research Institute and Rothamsted Research in the UK and at INRA in France before starting his PhD at the University of Sydney, graduating in 2016. Throughout this time, he has investigated, developed and applied methods for dealing with various issues associated with soil data, with a focus on how sample support and data uncertainty can affect the results of geostatistical analyses.

Lessons from big data - what can Pedometrics learn


Jianghao Wang (1985) is an assistant professor in the State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He has a BSc from Hohai University, China and received a PhD in GIScience from CAS. His research interests are in spatial statistics, spatio-temporal big data mining, and urban studies. Dr. Wang is the co-founder of Beijing City Lab (, an open research network for quantitative urban studies. He has published over thirty peer reviewed journal articles. His most recent research focus on modelling human behaviors and understanding urban development through the analytical lens of emerging geospatial big data. He believes that big data paradigms and approaches will be valuable for soil science and pedometrics.

Implementing a conceptual model of physical and chemical soil profile evolution

Mike Kirkby receiveda PhD in Geomorphology from Cambridge University in 1963. Following some time in the USA and at Bristol University, he was held the Chair in Physical Geography at University of Leeds since 1973, and is now Emeritus. He has worked on geomorphological and hydrological processes, primarily through the development of mathematical and numerical models, applied to runoff generation (TOPMODEL), landform and soil profile development, peat mires and soil erosion (PESERA). He is a fellow the AGU and has been awarded the Founder’s medal of the UK Royal Geographical Society and the John Dalton Medal of the EGU.  During the last 20 years he has taken part in a number of EU-funded projects, principally on desertification (MEDALUS, DESIRE), and also on water harvesting, dryland river ecology and Ecosystem Services.  He has published over 100 refereed journal articles, co-written/co-edited ten books and was Managing Editor of the journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms from 1976-2007.  He is married with 4 children and ten grand-children.

Towards a successful introduction of a business concept for fast and reliable soil sensing: scientific and business related challenges

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Rob Beens (1962)  is Chief Commercial Officer at Dutch Sprouts in Wageningen (NL), the Holding company of SoilCares, Springg, NMI and ClearDetections. He has a MSc in Business Administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam. His field of expertise is i) Building & expanding international businesses  ii) Service & Distribution management and iii) International Marketing in B-to-B environments.  After 2 jobs in corporate business  (logistics and agriculture), he co-invested in a SME business in 2000. In 2014 the company was sold after realizing a successful European Buy and Build strategy. After a cool down period as interim manager in among others Poland, he joins the start-up Dutch Sprouts mid-2016. At that time Dutch Sprouts was ready to launch its commercial activities on a global scale. The combination of an innovative information service with a global growth strategy for a cause that matters made Rob join Dutch Sprouts.  

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Peter van Erp is director of SoilCares Research. He has a BSc in Horticulture, MSc in Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertilty and a PhD in Soil Chemistry. His field of expertise is i) the accurate determination of the soil, plant and feed nutrient status and ii) the use of this information in the optimization of  nutrient management strategies towards sustainable agricultural systems.  About 10 years ago he became interested in use of sensor technology for quick and affordable soil, plant and feed testing and “bringing research into business”.  Both are included in his present position at SoilCares Research.  

Unearthing soil change with dirty data


Budiman Minasny is a Professor in soil-landscape modelling at the University of Sydney. He was awarded the Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council to develop dynamic soil-landscape models. He has an undergraduate degree from Universitas Sumatera Utara in Indonesia and a MAgr and PhD degrees in soil science from the University of Sydney. He is passionate about the role of soil in managing climate change, food, water, energy security and maintaining biodiversity. His research and contribution to the discipline of soil science has been on discovering the causes and controls of soil distribution over space and time.