Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

Dokuchaev Award 2014

Alex McBratney

Alex McBratney [University of Sydney]Alex McBratney

Alex McBratney, professor of soil science at the University of Sydney, Australia, received the Dokuchaev Award of the IUSS at the World Congress of Soil Science in Jeju, South Korea, in June 2014. This was the third presentation of the Dokuchaev Award, established in 2006. The award is made for major research accomplishments, resulting from basic researches in any field of soil science. Each award includes an engraved medal, a certificate, a US$ 1000 honorarium, and financial support to attend the presentation at the World Congress of Soil Science.

Alex McBratney is known for the development and application of statistical, geostatistical, and mathematical procedures, now known by the broad term pedometrics, which he introduced in the 1990s.

In 2003, he suggested a new approach to soil mapping, what we now know as Digital Soil Mapping. The principal innovation was an explicit, quantitative model that recognized the key environmental determinants of soil diversity, and which could be implemented as a soil predictive tool across the landscape.

Through his development of new mathematical and modeling techniques, Alex has increased our understanding of many key soil properties and processes.

He has taken this knowledge and applied it to the management of contemporary soil problems and the prediction of soil response to future environmental changes such as land use changes and climate changes. He has edited eight books and has published more than 200 refereed journal papers. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Science and two doctoral degrees in soil science from the University of Aberdeen.