Rattan Lal, a preeminent soil scientist in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has been designated as a Distinguished University Professor — the highest faculty honor bestowed by the university upon individuals with exceptional records in teaching, research and service.
A professor in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, Lal’s work focuses on carbon sequestration (the storage of carbon in soils and plants), studying soils in the United States, Africa, Latin America and India, and aiding in applying the technique of no-till to farms throughout the world.
Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Lal’s other areas of research include soil processes and atmospheric greenhouse effects, sustainable management of soil and water resources, restoration and rehabilitation of degraded soils, agro-forestry, tropical agriculture, and agricultural development in the Third World.
Lal grew up on a small farm in Punjab, India. He has an undergraduate soil science degree from Punjab Agricultural University, a master’s degree in soil science from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State, where he has been on the faculty since 1987.