Teodoro Miano (Italy)
Name: Teodoro Miano
Position: Full Professor (since 2001)
Address: Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry of Agro Forestry and Environment, University of Bari, Italy
1. When did you decide to study soil science?
It happened by chance. I was about to decide my major when an offer came from the Soil Chemistry Group at the Faculty of Agriculture. I ended up working with Nicola Senesi on soil organic matter management, humus chemistry and metal-organic matter interactions. That experience was extremely significant and I decided to work in soil science.
2. Who has been your most influential teacher?
For sure Nicola Senesi introduced me to soil science, to the scientific approach and attitude, to organize an experiment and to write in English, basically everything. Later on, I have met several renowned scientists in various places of the world, Masters in their disciplines, I worked with some and I enjoyed learning from all of them also from the human point of view.
3. What do you find most exciting about soil science?
Soil is the source of life on earth. I love its diversity in time and space, its countless equilibria, its interactions with hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, its origin and its evolution. I found it a fascinating world which is still largely unknown.
4. How would you stimulate teenagers and young graduates to study soil science?
I try to let them understand what I like most, why I like it and why soil is so important for them and for future generations. I also try to show them how many jobs can be connected to soil science out there. Soil is really located in the center of our universe and no matter where or when, sooner or later everybody has to get in touch with soils. This is my main messages in classes.
5. How do you see the future of soil science?
A see very important opportunities for soil science in the future. It is extremely important though that the soil community widen his horizons and perspectives, trying to relate and connect with other major disciplines, such as hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, natural hazard, and others. The future is multi disciplinarity, integration of diverse expertise, common research interest and especially communication. A strong effort should be devoted to communicate the kingdom of soil science to younger generations using all possible means. They are the real future and the main driving forces of the future of the planet.