The Ecology of Soil Health Summit meets in conjunction with the Soil Ecology Society Biennial Meeting starting on Monday, June 5 at 2 pm. The Summit concludes Wednesday, June 7 at 12:30 pm.  The SES meeting continues through Thursday June 8 at 9 PM, with an optional field trip on Friday June 9.

2 pm  Plenary session: Overview of Soil Health Opportunities & Challenges

Welcome: Matthew Wallenstein, President, Soil Ecology Society; Director, Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Associate Professor, Colorado State University

Plenary session: Overview of Soil Health Opportunities & Challenges

2:30      Michael Doane, The Nature Conservancy

3:00       Wim van der Putten, Head, Depart of Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology

3:30       Esther Ngumbi, Auburn University

4 pm      Moderated Keynote panel discussion: Miles O’Brien, Moderator

4:30        IGNITE Session 1:  The Science of Soil Health

                5 minute lightning talks; selected from submitted abstracts from The Soil Ecology Society

Jessica Gutknecht 

Is your farm ready for the next storm? Soil health as a win-win for sustainability and resiliency to climate change

Stephen Wood

Can different types of organic matter can have contrasting effects on soil health?

Matt Ruark

Why isn’t soil ecology considered when developing nitrogen fertilizer recommendations?

Loren Byrne

Soil health fosters student engagement and deepens environmental literacy in soil ecology education

5 pm Poster Session and Reception (appetizers and cash bar)


7:30  Breakfast: coffee, pastries, and fruit

8:30 Steven Tucker, AgriForce Seed

9:00 Ami Gunasekara, Manager, Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation

California Department of Food and Agriculture

9:20 Matt Carstens, Senior VP, SUSTAIN at Land O’ Lakes

9:40 Nick Goeser, Director of Soil Health and Sustainability, National Corn Growers Association

10:00    Break

10:30 Jennifer Moore-Kucera, USDA NRCS

10:50 Allison Thomson, Science & Research Director, Field to Market

11:10     Moderated Panel Discussion: What can we do now to enhance soil health?

12:00     Lunch

1:30:      Wayne Honeycutt, CEO, Soil Health Institute

1:50 LaKisha Odom, Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

2:10 Jacob Parnell, NovoZymes                             

2:30       Break

3:00        Innovations in Soil Health: Start-Up Pitches

                Dan Morash, CEO, California Safe Soil

                Colin Bell, Chief Growth Officer, Growcentia,  Inc.

                Brian Buege, Head of Technology, CoolPlanet, Inc

                Barry Goldman, Indigo Ag

                Diane Wu, Co-Founder, Trace Genomics

4:00       Panel Discussion: What is the role of startups in enhancing soil health?

4:30       IGNITE Session 2:  The Science of Soil Health

                5 minute lightning talks; selected from submitted abstracts from The Soil Ecology Society

Joseph Blankinship, Corey Lawrence

Nurturing a mechanistic view of soil health

Aradhana Roberts, Michelle Mack, Nancy C. Johnson

Eighteen years of mob-grazing increases soil carbon in a semi-arid grassland

Steven Fonte

Soil macrofauna as drivers of soil and ecosystem functionIgnite Sessions

Felicity Crotty, Chris Stoate

Understanding how to harness the power of underground livestockIgnite Sessions

Rachel Rubin, Kees Jan Van Groenigen, Bruce Hungate 

Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are more effective under drought: a meta-analysis

5:00       Poster Session II and Mixer

7:00       All-Conference Banquet Dinner

7:30        Breakfast

8:30       Kate Scow, Professor of Soil Science and Soil Microbial Ecology, University of California,


8:50 Stuart Grandy, Associate Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, University of  New Hampshire

9:10 Lynne Macdonald, CSIRO

9:30 Panel Discussion: What are the most important research needs to advance soil health?

10:00     Break

10:30     IGNITE Session 3:  The Science of Soil Health

Emily Oldfield, Mark Bradford, Stephen Wood

Increasing soil organic matter can reduce global yield gaps

Kelly Gravuer, Kate Scow

Can “macrobial” diversity and invasion theories explain microbial outcomes of compost addition to agricultural soils?

Brendan O’Neill, Christine Sprunger, John Kerr, G. Philip Robertson

Aligning Soil Health Testing and Farmer Knowledge for Improved On-farm Soil Management

Michael Lehman, Shannon Osborne

Measuring and Managing Soil Health – Multidimensional Solutions

Phillip Taylor

The Jury is Out on Carbon Farming

11:00 Moving forward: Building Bridges Between Industry, Scientists, and Practitioners

Bill Buckner, President, Noble Foundation

LaKisha Odom, Scientific Program Director, Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research

Keith Paustian, Professor, Dept of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University

12:00:    Wrap-Up (Matthew Wallenstein)

12:30     Adjourn (Soil Ecology Society Meeting continues at 2:00)

                Box Lunches

Soil Ecology Society Meeting Continues at 2:00

2:00 pm Parallel Oral Sessions

8 am SES Business Meeting (open to all members; breakfast provided)

9 am Parallel Sessions

10:30 am Break

11 am Parallel Sessions Continue

12 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Parallel Oral Sessions

3 pm Break

3:30 pm Parallel Oral Sessions

6:30 pm Banquet Dinner and Awards

Download the full program

(hardcopy will be provided upon check-in)

Keynote panel discussion moderated by Miles O’Brien, Emmy-award winning veteran independent journalist who focuses on science, technology and aerospace. He is the science correspondent for the PBS, NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series.