Lauren Hale is the new Research Soil Scientist at the USDA-ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Fresno. I knew Lauren from her PhD research at UCR under David Crowley. Her thesis explored the use of biochar as a shelter for beneficial soil microbes. She subsequently worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oklahoma's Microbial Ecology lab, where Dr Hale researched total microbial community response to climate change and how that response affects carbon and nitrogen cycling.
Her research projects going forward will include how the soil microbiome affects and is affected by soil health. This currently includes field experiments on the influence of biochar on plant yield under deficit irrigation. Dr. Hale is particularly interested in whether biochar stabilizes microbial communities in cases of drought stress. Future research will investigate biochar for use in water purification.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org . Office phone: 559-596-2865
Assistant professor positions in soil biogeochemistry and soil health that would touch on biochar-related areas have opened up at the University of Missouri. For more information search: http://hrs.missouri.edu/find-a-job/academic/
There are a half-dozen TED talks on biochar, many from familiar faces:
Biochar: The Oldest New Thing You've Never Heard Of: Wae Nelson at TEDxOrlando: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrDOLx57KUU
Biochar -- Putting the carbon Genie back in the bottle: Rob Lerner at TEDxSanMiguelDeAllende (2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgwwV6YrWb0
TEDxHilo - Josiah Hunt - Biochar and the Future of Farming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWbomZJn83U
TEDxBerkeley - Lopa Brunjes - Biochar: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZroDAyIqW74
With a little bit of heart, we can change the world -- biochar | Elaine Doyle | TEDxTallaght: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_19j0hEFVz0
Biochar - the future of sustainable agriculture: Lauren Hale at TEDxUCR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKBkgJoaIxQ&t=66s
Hugh McLaughlin has done much good work on characterizing biochar over the years. He most recently set out to come up with the simplest tests possible that accurately reflect biochar's relevant functions, e.g. enhance soil productivity.
Attached are three well-written papers on Hugh's proposed "Baseline Biochar Metrics":
1) The "Perspective" paper, explaining why these are so needed and welcomed by the biochar community.
2) The actual Metrics themselves.
3) A very lucid spreadsheet "Comparison of European Biochar Certificate Version 4. 8 and IBI Biochar Standards Version 2.0 and Baseline Biochar Metrics Ver IX"
The California Biochar Association welcomes any comments.