Jan Moulder (Norway)
Name: Jan Mulder
Position: Professor of Soil Science (since 1998)
Address: Dept. Plant & Environmental Sciences, Norwegian Univ. Life Sciences
1. When did you decide to study soil science?
During my first year at Wageningen university; partly based on recommendations from older students. I also selected this study, because I was fascinated by soils and soil processes and their importance for environmental challenges.
2. Who has been your most influential teacher?
Most influential has been my main supervisor during my PhD (Prof. Nico van Breemen); Creative, and stimulating. Curiosity-driven research.
3. What do you find most exciting about soil science?
Understanding soils and soil processes has to build on an integration of elements of biology, chemistry, physics and geosciences. Often exciting new insights are developed at the interface of different disciplines (for example, the current research on biochar, but many other examples could be mentioned here). It is also exciting that soils are important reactors with respect to global change processes (climate change, land-use change, changes in the global nitrogen cycle). Thus a sound understanding of soils is crucial for society and its development.
4. How would you stimulate teenagers and young graduates to study soil science?
Show how understanding of soils is important for society. Environmental change affects soils, but soils and soil processes also modify the environment. Besides their importance for environmental science, soils and soil management are also crucial for sustainable production of food.
5. How do you see the future of soil science?
Soils are at the heart of many of society’s challenges, and there is a great need for recruitment. The future for soil science is bright!