Navigate Home


Francesca Cotrufo, PhD.


Professor Soil and Crop Sciences

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-6056   Office: B250 Natural Resource Ecology Lab

Email:   Lab:


Fields of Expertise

1.) Ecosystem Dynamics

Areas of Interest

 Black carbon hydro-biogeochemistryLitter decompositionSoil ecology and biogeochemistrySoil organic matter dynamicsStable isotope ecology


I am a soil ecologist with leading experience in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter C and N dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. My main research interest is in the understanding of C and N fluxes from plant or pyrogenic organic matter to soil, water and the atmosphere, and their response and feedback to global environmental changes. I also pursue applied research to propose soil management practices that increase soil quality and fertility and mitigate climate change, as for example the study of biochar in soils. As a scientist fully aware of the current and future challenges expecting humanity, I am interested in promoting research education, and outreach activities, aside from my specific area of expertise, to help mitigating the current human impacts on the Earth System and assure a better sustainable path for humanity.