Heike Knicker

Since 2008, I am working as Research Professor at the Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla which is part of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain. Most of my research is dedicated to issues related to soil biochemistry. The spectrum of projects ranges from the investigation of the interactions and stabilization of organic carbon and nitrogen in soils and sediments to the impact of changing soil managing practices on quantity and quality of soil organic matter. In addition I am interested in the effect of vegetation fires on soil organic matter stability, which led me to the study of biochars. Finally, the latter became a major topic of my present scientific activity. As a biochemist, I am highly interested in advancing analytical tools – in particular solid-state NMR spectroscopy – for an improved understanding not only of the structure and function of soil organic matter, biochars and related samples but also the interactions between the first and the latter. In 2016, I was awarded the Philippe Duchaufour Medal of the European Geosciences Union for outstanding research in the field of soil organic matter, in particular on the impact of fire on humic materials, and for furthering the knowledge of the origin and properties of pyrogenic soil organic carbon and nitrogen.