SES Seminar Guest Joann Whalen

Date and Time




“Soil health: perspectives and practical applications”.


Soil health is a reflection of our perceptions about soil functions, particularly those related to biological activity. Thus, the diversity and functions of soil microorganisms and fauna are linked to soil stability and resilience. I will discuss the current perspectives explaining how the soil foodweb contributes to crop production and biocontrol, humus biosynthesis and nutrient recycling, and soil physical stability. Agricultural producers have a sense that their farming practices impact soil biota, and are curious about how agricultural soils can be managed to support soil health in sustainable food production systems. The opportunities and challenges to adjust agricultural practices in a manner that supports soil health will be discussed.

Short bio.

Joann Whalen is a Professor and William Dawson Scholar (endowed research chair) in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at the Macdonald Campus of McGill University in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, Canada. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Joann received her B.Sc. (Agr.) from Dalhousie University, M.Sc. from McGill University and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She is well known for her expertise in earthworm ecology and the contribution of soil biota to nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas fluxes from agroecosystems.

Joann has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed publications, graduated 43 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and trained visiting scholars from 21 countries. She is the Past President of the Canadian Society of Soil Science and a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America. Joann is a Chief Editor for Soil Biology and Biochemistry and a Subject Editor for Applied Energy.

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