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Cornell professor Johannes Lehmann was elected in May to the German National Academy of Sciences, also known as the Leopoldina. Lehmann, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, joined the Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences Section of the Leopoldina. Among Cornell faculty, chemist Roald Hoffmann is a member as were physicists Hans Bethe and Peter Debye, and biologist Thomas Eisner.

Lehmann, a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences since 2001, is an international expert on soil biogeochemistry and soil fertility management with more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. A particular focus of Lehmann’s research is using soil amendments such as biochar and their role in improving soil fertility and mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. A fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, he has been ranked as a highly cited researcher by Thomson Reuters since 2015.

He has an established record of engagement with policymakers, having testified before Congress and served as a delegate to multiple United Nations Climate Change Conferences. His honors include the International Research Award of the American Soil Science Society, SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the McMaster Fellowship of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia.

Founded in 1652 and appointed as the official German National Academy of Sciences in 2008, the Leopoldina is one of the oldest science academies in the world. The Leopoldina promotes scientific and public debate, supports young scientists, confers awards, conducts research, and campaigns for the human rights of persecuted scientists. Members are expected to actively contribute their expertise to policy recommendations issued by the academy. Three-quarters of the Leopoldina’s members come from Germany, Austria and Switzerland with the rest drawn from distinguished scientists around the world.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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