RSB Directors Seminar: Soil biodiversity: Assembly, drivers and ecosystem services.

This presentation will identify drivers of soil biodiversity and will provide evidence for biotic regulation of key ecosystem functions (e.g. primary productivity, nutrient cycling) from micro- to global scales. Direct and indirect impacts of soil biodiversity on key ecosystem functions will be highlighted. It will also demonstrate that integration of ecological and evolutionary theories, and system-based approaches can substantially help in translating emerging knowledge into effective solutions for increased agriculture productivity, climate adaptation and environmental sustainability.

Brajesh is Director of Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation and Professor of soil biology, at Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University. He is also President and Scientific Chair of Global Initiative of Crop Microbiome and Sustainable Agriculture. Through his fundamental research, he identifies the quantitative relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem/ host functions and how natural/anthropogenic pressures such as global change affect this. His applied research harnesses the knowledge gained in fundamental research to improve agriculture productivity and environmental sustainability. Outcomes from his research have informed multiple policy decisions at national and international levels, and he is currently working with multiple government and inter-governmental bodies including European Commission, United Nation agencies such as Food and Agriculture Authority to support the implementation of relevant Sustainable Development Goals. He has published well above 250 scientific papers, and these have been cited well above 28,500 times with h’ index of 88. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher, and a Humboldt Research Awardee.