Lucia Cunha dos Anjos (Brazil)
Name: Lucia Cunha dos Anjos
Position: Associate Professor (since 1983)
Address: UFRRJ – Soils Department, Seropédica, RJ. Brazil
1. When did you decide to study soil science?
During my undergraduate course, in Agronomy, in the last two years before graduation, I started to participate of research projects and as a teaching assistant at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), Soils Department.
2. Who has been your most influential teacher?
I can not name one influential teacher only. The first contact was in the Fundamentals of Soil Science course at UFRRJ, through Professor Renato Nascimento. He taught me that rocks, landscapes and soils are related and that they are decisive to agriculture. Later, I became a teaching assistant at the Soil Physics Laboratory, having as advisor Professor Joelito de O. Rezende, the best undergraduate professor ever. During my Master program, Professor Doracy P. Ramos aimed my life at Soil Genesis and Classification, and his field knowledge became my reference guide. Then, during my Ph.D. at Purdue University, Don Franzmeier, with his wise and serene guidance became my role model as advisor.
3. What do you find most exciting about soil science?
That it is the base of everything in the ecosystems, and to learn about soil it is required interaction with so many other fields of science, ecology, biology, geology, geography, physics, math, sociology, and so on.
4. How would you stimulate teenagers and young graduates to study soil science?
By showing soil in the field and relating it’s properties and importance to the web of life.
A perfect example is the Smithsonian and SSSA project – Dig it! The secrets of soil. Another good experience is the Soil Judging Contest, which involves many college and undergraduate students in US.
5. How do you see the future of soil science?
The future of soil science is to be integrated with other sciences. The interdisciplinary studies will be required for the advance of any science, including soil science. The efforts of IUSS to produce a Universal Soil Classification System (USC) follow in this direction. The soil scientists will be required to change, to break pre-concepts, but this should always happen for any science to expand.