Rattan Lal, Ph.D., is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Iceland since 2009.
He earned his B.S. from Punjab Agricultural University, an M.S. from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as a soil physicist in 1969, he worked with the University of Sydney, Australia, as a Senior Research Fellow. From 1969 to 1987 at the IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria, Professor Lal conducted long-term experiments on watershed management, water budget in relation to land use and land use change, erosion control, water conservation in the root zone, no-till farming, and agroforestry.
Since joining Ohio State University in 1987, he has worked on soil carbon sequestration, adaptation and mitigation of climate change, management of soil quality, drainage of agricultural lands, soil degradation and global food security. He has mentored 100 graduate students and 45 postdoctoral researchers and hosted 70 visiting scholars. He has authored and co-authored more than 1500 research publications, including 600 refereed journal articles, and in addition has written 13 books and edited or co-edited 45 books.
He is past president of the World Association of the Soil and Water Conservation, the International Soil Tillage Research Organization, and the SSSA (2005-2007). He was a member of the U.S. National Committee on Soil Science of the National Academy of Sciences (1998-2002, and 2007-2010) and lead author of IPCC (1998-2000), and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize Certificate by IPCC in 2007. He has served on the Panel on Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment in the Humid Tropics of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served as consultant to FAO, World Bank, UNEP, GEF, UNDP, USAID, and many other international organizations.
Professor Lal is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), Third World Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS), and Indian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He received several awards from the SSSA, the ASA, and the SWCS. In 2005, Professor Lal received the Borlaug Award and Liebig Award of the International Union of Soil Science, and in 2009, he received the M.S. Swaminathan Award (India) and COMLAND Award (Germany). He has received honorary degrees from Punjab Agricultural University, India (2001), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway (2005), and Alecu Russo Balti State University, Republic of Moldova (2010).