Henrik Breuning-Madsen - ©Huset MydtskovProfessor Henrik Breuning-Madsen DSc PhD, the long-standing Secretary of the Danish Soil Science Society, died aged 69 years on 24 November 2018 in a tragic car accident. 

Henrik Breuning-Madsen was awarded a Master of Science degree in Geography by the University of Copenhagen (UC) in 1975, and a PhD degree three years later, based on a thesis on soil surveying. In 1983 he defended his DSc thesis on the detailed classification and mapping of soils in Western Denmark (Jutland). From 1981 to 1983 he was with the Ministry of Agriculture as project leader for the mapping of potential ochre areas and for managing the need for the drainage of farmland. When appointed associate professor at the University of Copenhagen in 1983, Henrik headed the section for mapping marginal Danish lands and coordinated the construction of the European soil analysis database. From 1991 until his death, Henrik was Professor of Soil Geography at the University of Copenhagen.

During his time as professor, Henrik participated in many soil geographic projects inside and outside Denmark. He initiated and conducted detailed studies on the formation of iron pans in Bronze Age barrows and clarified the formation of sandy hills in Jutland. He studied soil formation at Bellona, Solomon Islands and, in cooperation with local researchers, Henrik contributed significantly to soil science in Ghana over many years.

Henrik was a curious man with a broad interest in many scientific fields. He was an extremely interesting and fascinating man who over the years cooperated with many researchers from inside and outside Denmark such as pedologists, soil chemists and physicists, archeologists and geologists. Despite, however, his broad research interests, soil science always played an important role in all his research and teaching.

Because of his great knowledge and broad interests, Henrik held several positions of trust. Apart from serving as the Secretary of the Danish Soil Science Society for many years, he was the leader of the Geographic Institute. Henrik was the Secretary-General and finally the Vice-President of the Royal Danish Geographic Society. He was the editor, or editorial board member, of several scientific journals.

With Henrik’s death we have lost a very special and enterprising researcher; the students have lost a committed teacher; the Danish Soil Science Society has lost an inspiring and open-minded board member; and we have lost a dear friend and valued colleague.

By Ingeborg Callesen, Gry Lyngsie, Bjarne W. Strobel & Ole K. Borggaard


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Page created: 18.07.2019 | Page updated: 18.07.2019

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