Professor Maurício Cherubin, linked to the Department of Soil Science at Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz” (Esalq-USP) and vice-director of the Nature-Based Solutions program at RCGI, has just been congratulated with the Bunge Foundation Award 2022, in the category “Youth – up to 35 years old”.

He was recognized for his investigations into the impacts of land use and management practices on soil quality, carbon dynamics and the provision of ecosystem services in agricultural systems.

Below is an interview with Maurício Cherubin about his research and the award.

Q.: How important is the award for your career?

R.: The Bunge Award is one of the most important honors given to researchers who have outstanding academic and scientific contributions in topics associated with Agricultural Sciences in the country. I am a science enthusiast, but recognition like this (at the beginning of my career) certainly motivates us to continue working for Brazilian science with even more commitment and dedication. This year’s theme “carbon credit and regenerative agriculture” is very relevant and strategic for the country and the world, and will certainly be at the center of the scientific, technical and political agenda in the next decade(s). Thus, given the relevance of the theme, this award becomes even more special for my career. ESALQ is a world reference in agriculture, and should lead important agendas like this one, related to regenerative agriculture and carbon credits. Therefore, I feel proud to win this Award and spread our work even further within this century-old institution.

Q.: What were the studies that led to the award?

R.: I believe that this award is the result of practically 10 years of intense work carried out in the area of ​​soil management and quality/health. Since my doctorate I have been studying how land use changes and management practices alter the functioning of soils, with an integrated look from the chemical, physical and biological point of view. In 2018, when I joined the Soil Science Department at ESALQ, I created the Soil Health & Management Research Group – SOHMA, a research group composed of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students dedicated to studying soil health. soil and provision of ecosystem services in agricultural and natural environments. Additionally, we have been working intensively on large projects, financed by public and private funding agencies, which aim to assess the potential of different nature-based solutions (eg no-till system, integrated production systems, cover crops, pasture recovery) in sequestering carbon in the soil and contributing to climate change mitigation. We trust that the adoption of these management practices is very promising for the generation of carbon credits in the near future. And, therefore, Brazil must be a protagonist in this agenda. Finally, I would like to make it clear that good quality research is not done alone, and I am privileged to have a family that gives me all the support I need to dedicate myself to my work, I have excellent students, and I am happy to interact scientifically with brilliant colleagues from our Department, from other ESALQ Departments, from other USP units, and from many other institutions in Brazil and abroad. To all these colleagues and family, thank you very much!

Relationship with the RCGI

This year’s theme “C Credits and Regenerative Agriculture” is fully aligned with my work in the RCGI’s Nature Based Solutions Programme (NBS), and particularly in the project I coordinate – Ag4C – C sequestration through integrated agricultural systems in Brazil. Therefore, my performance at RCGI undoubtedly contributed to me achieving this important distinction.