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Aburto, Felipe Assistant Professor


In my research, I explore landscape-scale processes, human-soil interactions, and biogeochemical controls on soil mineral weathering, elemental cycling, and soil development. I emphasize pedological mechanisms and soil functions that support vital ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, nutrient and water cycling, and interactions among soils, microbes, vegetation, and hydrology at different scales.

In my research program, I study the underpinning pedological mechanisms that control soil formation, like mineral weathering and secondary mineral formation and biogeochemical supporting processes that define ecosystem productivity and resilience. I believe an enhanced understanding of these mechanisms in natural and managed environments will allow the prediction of temporal, horizontal, and vertical distribution and changes of soil properties and functions and derived services at the landscape scale.

In my previous research, I looked at soil development and weathering patterns in different environmental settings using traditional chronosequences and climosequences approaches. I also studied the effect of human disturbances, including agriculture and forest use intensification, grazing, fire, erosion, etc., on intrinsic soil properties linked to soil functions. I also direct and collaborate in applied research projects that look at the rate and state of recovery of inherent soil properties (e.g., mineralogy), microbial and fauna diversity, and C and nutrient cycling after restoration or reforestation with native vegetation.

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  • Assistant Professor