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M. Francesca Cotrufo

Fracnesca Cotrufo portrait

Francesca Cotrufo, Professor of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, March 13, 2020

Soil Ecology


B250 Natural Resource Ecology Lab

970-491-6056 office


M. Francesca Cotrufo is a Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and Senior Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab, at Colorado State University. Born and raised in Naples, Italy, she earned B.Sc. from the University of Naples in 1991 and Ph.D. from Lancaster University, UK in 1995. Prior to join CSU in 2008, Dr. Cotrufo worked as a professor at the University of Campania, Italy. Since 2003, she have also been an Editor for the journal Global Change Biology. Dr. Cotrufo has been the recipient of the SSSA Soil Science Research Award, the CSU Provost 14’er Award for Faculty Excellence, and the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Mentoring Award. Recently, she was recognized as Nutrien Distinguished Scholar of Agricultural Sciences, SSSA Francis E. Clark Distinguished Lecturer, Colorado state University Distinguished Resident Ecologist, Michigan State University Eminent Ecologist, and within the 2% of the world scientists for publication impact (PLSO, 2020).

Research Interests:

Dr. Cotrufo is a soil ecologist and biogeochemist, internationally recognized as an authority in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. Her main research interest is in understanding the mechanisms and drivers of formation and persistence of soil organic matter, and its response to global environmental changes and disturbances. She also pursues applied research to propose soil management practices that increase soil health and mitigate climate change, such as application of biochar in soils. As a scientist fully aware of the current and future challenges expecting humanity, she is interested in promoting K-12 education and outreach activities to advance scientific literacy and societal understanding of current human impacts on the Earth System.


Courses I Teach:

SOCR 670  Terrestrial Ecosystem Isotope Ecology

SOCR 400   Soils and Global Change: Science and Impacts

SOCR 530   Scientific Writing – co-taught with Dr. Mark Brick and Dr. Paul Ode

Curriculum Vitae

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