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Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal

Distinguished Professor | School of Environment and Natural Resources | College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences


(614) 292-9069

422B Kottman Hall,
2021 Coffey Rd.,
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental quality and sustainability
  • Food security
  • Climate change and soil carbon
  • Soil degradation and restoration


  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University (1968)
  • M.Sc., Indian Agricultural Research Institute (1965)
  • B.Sc., Punjab Agricultural University (1963)

Rattan Lal is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. He is the Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Professor Lal conducts research in carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems, soil dynamics and processes, and natural resources management with emphasis on food security and environmental quality in the United States, Africa, Latin America, and India. Currently his research is focused on carbon dynamics in relation to soil erosion, and soil quality as indicated by soil structure and productivity.

Professor Lal is the recipient of prestigious Norman E. Borlaug Award (2005) and the von Liebig Award (2006) for his contributions and research in sustainable management of soil and natural resources. His service to professional organizations includes Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Soil Science, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Soil & Tillage Research, and Past-President of the Soil Science Society of America. He is a fellow of the Soil Science Society of American, the American Society of Agronomy, the Third World Academy of Sciences and the American Association for Advancement of Science. He is a member of the U.S. National Committee of Soil Science, and was a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.N. Millennium Assessment.

He has authored, reviewed and edited 1,200 journal articles and publications during his career, and has published in a variety of journals including Science and Soil & Tillage Research. He has presented numerous keynote seminars around the world, including the prestigious Presidential Lecture chaired by the President of Iceland.

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