Dr. Alison Hoyt
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, TropSOC Guest Researcher
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. I use isotopic techniques to explore carbon cycling in ecosystems and rates of soil carbon turnover. I completed my Ph.D. at MIT in 2017, where I studied carbon cycling in tropical peat swamp forests in Borneo. I am particularly interested in improving datasets from the tropics, a region home to large carbon stocks and valuable ecosystems, which remains critically understudied. As a guest researcher on the TropSOC project, I look forward to better understanding how vegetation, geology and erosion control timescales of carbon turnover in soils using 14C measurements.
Dr. Basile Bazirake Mujinya
University of Lubumbashi, Professor, Coordinator
Mujinya Bazirake Basile is full professor at University of Lubumbashi (UNILU) and head of Biogeochemistry and Ecology of Tropical Soils and Ecosystems Unit- BESET. He holds a PhD in Geology (2012, Ghent University), a M.Sc. in Physical Land Resources (2006, Ghent University) and a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering (2002, University of Lubumbashi). He received special training in microscopy of soil and ragoliths from the tropics (2009, Ghent University). Vice-dean of research for the Faculty of Agricultural Science (UNILU) and Director and Initiator of Lubumbashi Museum of Termites and Lubumbashi Museum of Natural Sciences, he is involved in several international research projects.
His research activities focus mainly on soil formation and evolution, their properties, functions and quality, based on fieldwork and advanced physicochemical, micro-morphological and mineralogical analyses. He has a key interest in interactions between soil fauna (termites, earthworms, etc.) and soil properties and processes, and biogeochemical (CNP) cycles. He is an active reviewer for several high-impact journals of his field (Applied Soil Ecology, Journal of Arid Environments, Geomorphology, etc.).
Dr. Bienvenu Dinga
Institute of National Research in Exact and Natural Sciences, Head of
the National Hydrologic Service, FSU partner
Bienvenu Dinga is a Physicist, Hydrologist and Chemist, Head of the National Hydrological Service, IRSEN, Ministry of Research and Technological Innovation. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics and Chemistry of the Environment (2014, University Marien Ngouabi, Congo), a Master of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Remote Sensing and GIS (2002, University of Cocody, Côte d’Ivoire) with a focus on Physics, Hydrology and Modeling, and a Master of Physics (2000, University of Cocody, Côte d’Ivoire). He also works as Hydrological Adviser to the Permanent Representative to WMO, Congo.
Dr. Boris Rewald
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna,
TropSOC Guest researcher
I am a botanist studying plant ecophysiology in both agricultural and forest production systems: water and nutrient uptake under salinity and drought, plasticity of architecture, morphology and physiology under competition and stress, and plant and ecosystem carbon fluxes (with an emphasis on root systems and disturbance effects). Trained as a biologist at Kassel and Göttingen Universities, Germany, I hold a PhD in Plant Ecology (Göttingen), conducted postdoctoral research at the Wyler Department of Dryland Agriculture at the Ben-Gurion University, Israel and habilitated in Plant Ecophysiology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU). At BOKU, I currently work at the Department of Forest and Soil Sciences as an Assoc. Professor for Root Ecology. As guest researcher in the TROPSOC project, I especially see the determination of fine root turnover rates in forest plots and the growth/yield determination on cassava plots as related to topology and geology through.
Dr. Clovis Kabaseke
Mountains of the Moon University, Professor, Coordinator
Clovis Kabaseke is an Agroecologist with a Master of Science in Agroecology, Bachelor of Science in Horticulture with Management and Entrepreneurship, with a long experience in Forestry and Ethnobotany.
Clovis is coordinating all the TROPSOC activities at Mountains of the Moon University and allocates 10% of his work time to provide ground support for all tasks related to the project, including logistics, administrative and scientific support more especially in botany and biomass assessment.
Dr. Cordula Vogel
Technische Universität Dresden, TropSOC cooperation partner
I am an assistant professor at the institute of soil science and site ecology at the Technische Universität Dresden. My research focus on biogeochemical process understanding in soils at different spatial scales from the micro to the landscape scale. The main topics I am working on are soil carbon dynamics (turnover and sequestration), the role of microorganism especially the production of extracellular polymeric substance and extracellular enzymes as well as their functionalities in soil. Another research activity is based on soil structure mainly aggregation and there influencing factors as well as there relevance for soil erosion and biogeochemical cycles. Within the TropSOC project we are jointly working on the understanding if and how soil erosion and weathering influence biogeochemical (CNP) cycling in the eastern part of the Congo Basin. Our focus within the project is mainly on the influence of pedogenic oxides and clays minerals on carbon turnover and stabilization in relation to microbial processes related to C cycling along the geochemical and geomorphic gradients.
University website profile
Catholic University of Bukavu, Local monitoring coordinator
I am Daniel Muhindo Iragi, a junior lecturer at UCB (Université Catholique de Bukavu). I hold a 5 years degree in agricultural engineering and a master's in Integrated Watershed Management in which I specialized in land suitability assessment using geographic information system and remote sensing technologies.
In the TropSOC project I am responsible for monitoring event-driven erosion rates and landscape dynamics using UAV photogrammetry as well as assessing soil and plant surface property using VIS-NIR concerning CNP, soil moisture and soil texture. Through Plutonium derived erosion estimates and model results with UAV, my task is also to model erosion at catchment scale in tropical environments.
Dr. David C. Podgorski
University of New Orleans, Assistant Professor, FSU partner
Research in the Podgorski lab aims to define and interrogate the compositional continuum of organic matter (OM). We use chromatographic separations in combination with advanced analytical methods of analyses to determine relationships between the molecular-level structure and composition of OM and its reactivity in natural systems. Our work in the Congo focuses on understanding how land use affects the quality of soil organic matter (SOM). We seek to determine how differences in the molecular level composition and structure (i.e., quality) of SOM control dissolution, transport, processing, and fate in impacted and pristine ecosystems.
Catholic University of Bukavu, Student assistant
I am a researcher at Catholic University of Bukavu. I did my bachelor in Agricultural sciences, with orientation in Soils Sciences. My areas of expertise are soil analyses in the in vitro and in situ laboratory and technics for improving and conserving soil fertility.
My role in TropSOC is taking care of the samples of PhD candidates in the UCB laboratory during the sampling campaign until their shipment. I am also involved in the monitoring of the forest biomass ( litter and roots). Generally, I am a local helper of the four TropSOC PhD candidates.
Woods Hole Research Center, project partner
I am a research associate at the Woods Hole Research Center. I obtained my B. Sc. in geography at York University in Toronto and M. Sc. at McGill University in Montreal. My primary research focus is on the impacts of climate change on greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, N2O) exchange in boreal to tropical forest and wetland ecosystems. I have developed methodologies for continuous measurement of greenhouse gas fluxes, data quality protocols and taught those techniques to other scientists and students. One of my current projects is to quantify CH4 emissions from rice paddies under differing agricultural practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr. Landry Cizungu
Catholic University of Bukavu, Professor, Coordinator
Landry Cizungu Ntaboba is associate professor at Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB) and head of the faculty of Agronomy. He holds a PhD in Applied Biology (2015, Ghent University), a M.Sc. in "Gestion des Resources Animales et Végétales en Milieux Tropicaux (2006, Gembloux Agrobiotech and Liège University) and a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering (2000, Catholic University of Bukavu). He is involved in several international research projects that he is coordinating in Africa. His research activities focus mainly on Nutrients (Nitrogen) dynamics.
Dresden University of Technology, PhD student
I am an Agronomist Engineer with emphasis on soil weathering, carbon and nutrient cycling. I am a research associate in the framework of TropSOC (DFG funded (DFG funded Emmy Noether group) and I hold a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to carry out my PhD research at Dresden University of Technology. My PhD research focuses on understanding if soil erosion in the eastern part of the Congo Basin is fast enough to reach the less weathered regolith, which contains the minerals with more reactive surfaces to stabilize carbon, while still allowing fast soil weathering and nutrient retention at a high level. Along geochemical and geomorphic gradients, I evaluate the effects of pedogenic oxides and clays minerals on carbon stabilization and release, as well as microbial processes related to C cycling (e.g. microbial biomass carbon, enzyme activities, Extracellular polymeric substances, and amino sugars).
Dr. Peter Fiener
Augsburg University, TropSOC partner
Peter Fiener is a full professor at the Institute of Geography, at the University of Augsburg since 2013. He is the head of the working group Water and Soil Resource Research, which hosts the Emmy-Noether-Group TroSOC. His research interests are: (i) measuring and modelling of surface runoff, soil erosion and lateral matter fluxes, (ii) analysis of effects of spatio-temporal patterns, structures and connectivity in agricultural landscapes upon water and matter fluxes, (iii) coupling lateral water and matter fluxes with biogeochemical processes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and (iv) sustainable use of water and soil resources. Peter Fiener works for nearly a decade in Tropical India, focusing on the nexus of land management, hydrology, soil erosion and biogeochemical cycling. Based on this experience he is very much interested in research in tropical systems and therefore engaged in the research activities in the TropSOC Project. He will be especially involved in the upcoming model development and application required to upscale point information acquired during TropSOC field campaigns. Moreover, he is an administrative and technical supporter of the TropSOC group and is co-supervisor of the PhD students in the project.
Dr. Sasha Wagner
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, project partner
My research interests broadly focus on the geochemistry of organic matter, a fundamental component of carbon and biogeochemical cycles. As part of this research, I specialize in the study of black carbon, the fire-derived portion of organic matter. The biogeochemical processing of black carbon is different from that of bulk organic carbon, which has major implications for carbon cycling on local and global scales. In my lab, we use a variety of analytical and chemical techniques to decipher the molecular information contained within organic matter and to advance our understanding of aquatic biogeochemistry in the face of environmental change.