For his contributions to the research of forest soil dynamics and their impacts on carbon sequestration, Professor Brian Strahm of the College of Natural Resources and Environment has earned the title of fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). This is the highest recognition bestowed by the organization, limited to 0.3 percent of the society’s more than 6,000 members.

“Being selected as a fellow of the SSSA is a significant honor given the history and stature of the organization, and it represents high recognition from colleagues across the continent,” said Professor Jay Sullivan, head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. “We are proud of Brian’s contributions to his area of forest soils, and we are fortunate to have him at Virginia Tech.”

Strahm’s research considers forest productivity, sustainability, and environmental quality with a focus on the interactions of minerals, organic matter, plants, and microbes in forest and soil ecosystems. His research program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to generate knowledge across multiple scales with an aim to support land management decisions for an array of stakeholders.

“The SSSA community has been an inspiration to me,” said Strahm. “Their science provided the spark that propelled me down this career path and continues to motivate me today. It is truly humbling to receive this recognition, and I’m excited to continue my work with all of the great students and collaborators who have helped make this honor possible.”

Strahm, an affiliate faculty member of the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech, has previously served as a research fellow for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, where he worked with the forestry sector in New Zealand to improve productivity and sustainability.

A faculty member at Virginia Tech since 2009, Strahm has taught soil and ecosystem science to over 2,000 students, mentored 94 scientists, contributed more than 200 conference presentations, and published 95 papers or book chapters.

“Soils are the hub of biological and chemical activity in the natural world, connecting plants, water, and the atmosphere in ways that influence our lives on a daily basis,” said Strahm. “I’ve aspired to develop knowledge and encourage others to improve the stewardship of this critical natural resource.”

Strahm holds a Ph.D. in forest resources from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina. He will be recognized as a fellow during the SSSA’s annual meeting on Oct. 30.

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