Projects

List of current projects

  • Impact of agroforestry systems on soil water balance in semi-arid regions of Rwanda. > Read more
  • Building resilience to climate change: effect of selected sustainable land management practices on cocao yield and quality response in Uganda. > Read more
  • Impacts of irrigation with grey effluent water on soil properties and crop growth. > Read more
  • Working the land, searching the soil. A geophysical framework for diachronic land-use studies. > Read more
  • Challenges for forest management in eastern Austria: Will we be able to control wind erosion under climate change? > Read more
  • Agricultural drought: will capillary rise from groundwater be among pertinent drivers of heterotrophic activity and carbon cycling in our soils? > Read more
  • Prevention and remediation of soil compaction from agricultural operations. > Read more
  • Environmental Impact of Soil Structural Degradation by Agricultural Operations. >Read more
  • Water Productivity in Agriculture in Tana-Beles Area, Ethiopia. >Read more
  • Healthy soils for sustainable rice production in the Vietnamese Mekong delta. >Read more
  • Soil-improving cropping systems for sustainable rice production in the Vietnamese Mekong delta (SUSRICE). > Read more
  • Prevention of soil compaction by agricultural operations in Chuquisaca, Bolivia. > Read more
  • Optimisation de l’humidité pour la maîtrise du tassement des sols agricoles en Tunisie. > Read more
  • Building resilience to drought in Laikipia East District, Kenya: the Conservation Agriculture perspective. >Read more
  • Isotopes for better environment: Integrated isotopic and 3D modeling approaches for sustainable management of watersheds affected by soil erosion.

Project-info

Impact of agroforestry systems on soil water balance in semi-arid regions of Rwanda

The research project will evaluate combined factors affecting adoption of agroforestry in the research area, farm and landscape impacts of agroforestry on soil water balance and maize yield; season and source of water consumption pattern by trees; and the effect of agroforestry systems on microclimate change in soil water balance highly exposed regions to drought, such as semi-arid regions of Rwanda. This action research will involve farmers in data collection, analysis, and develop solutions together with the hope to expose them to agroforestry services for their adoption and improve small-scale farmers' livelihoods.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2020 - 30 Sep 2014
Promoter(s): Ann Verdoodt, Wim Cornelis, Pascal Boeckx
Main researcher: Juliette Gatesi
Funding: EU. >up

Working the land, searching the soil. A geophysical framework for diachronic land-use studies

Through an interdisciplinary approach, this project aims to redress current understanding of Neolithic land-use. Hereby, a synergy between archaeology, environmental studies and applied geophysics will provide insight into diachronic human-environment interactions in complex pedological environments. Aimed at a robust basis for prehistoric archaeology, this will equally offer a future-oriented methodological framework for soil and environmental studies.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2020 - 30 Sep 2014
Promoter(s): Philippe De Smedt, Philippe Crombé, Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Gastón Mendoza Veirana 
Funding: BOF UGent. >up

Prevention and remediation of soil compaction from agricultural operations

The general objective of this project is to raise awareness of the prevention of soil compaction and to evaluate the effectiveness of specific remedial measures for compaction in the deeper soil layer. Specific purposes are: Inventory of good practices with regard to cultivation techniques and mechanisation for prevention and remediation of soil compaction; Testing and evaluating the most promising techniques/measures for the prevention and remediation of soil compaction by putting strong emphasis on the participation of the target group (farmers/contractors/mechanical constructors and distributors,...); Budgeting for the application of preventive and remedial measures in order to raise awareness among farmers; The drafting of a good practice guide, the extension and wider dissemination of the Terranimo tool and the development of the tool 'Soil Compaction in Focus';
Disseminating the knowledge acquired in this project to the specific target farms and the wider agricultural population.

Timeframe: 1 November 2018 - 31 October 2022
Promoter UGent : Wim Cornelis
Consortium: ILVO (Tommy D'hose, Greet Ruyschaert), Inagro (Pauline Deltour), Bodemkundige Dienst van België (Annemie Elsen, Tom Coussement), UGent (Wim Cornelis)
Main researcher: Adriaan Vanderhasselt
Funding: Vlaamse overheid, Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen (VLAIO). >up

Challenges for forest management in eastern Austria: Will we be able to control wind erosion under climate change?

The project is designed to increase the current knowledge of soil loss due to wind erosion and the current situation of wind erosion control measures (wind shelters) in Eastern Austria. Future trends of wind erosion control due to climate change will also be addressed. A combination of (1) field investigations (transect measurements), (2) wind tunnel experiments, and (3) modelling will be used.
Timeframe: 1 Jul 2019 - 30 Jun 2022
Promoter(s): for UGent: Wim Cornelis
Funding: Austrian Climate Research Program (ACRP). >up

Agricultural drought: will capillary rise from groundwater be among pertinent drivers of heterotrophic activity and carbon cycling in our soils?

The overarching goal of the present proposal is to assess to which extent groundwater depth exerts a control on heterotrophic activity in agricultural soil. We hypothesize that in specific soil texture / groundwater depth combinations, the process of capillary rise of moisture into topsoil becomes a conditio sine qua non for occurrence of soil microbial activity in drier summers.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2020 - 30 Sep 2024
Promoter(s): Steven Sleutel, Wim Cornelis, Pascal Boeckx
Main researcher: Astrid François
Funding: FWO. >up

Environmental Impact of Soil Structural Degradation by Agricultural Operations

Soil structural degradation from increased agricultural mechanization is not only relevant to farmers, but also for society. We will investigate its consequences on hydraulic properties of different soils, to better predict and spatially explain water transport through structurally degraded soils, and thus better assess its effect and its remediation on agronomy, ecology, environment and society in scenarios of global warming.

Timeframe: 1 October 2018 - 30 September 2022
Promoter UGent : Wim Cornelis, Gemmina Di Emidio
Main researcher: Lin Lin
Funding: Chinese Scholarship Council. >up

Water Productivity in Agriculture in Tana-Beles Area, Ethiopia

Timeframe: 1 February 2017 - 31 January 2021
Promoter UGent : Wim Cornelis, Pieter Janssen
Main researcher: Desale Kidane
Funding: VLIR-UOS IUC Bahir Dar. >up

Healthy soils for sustainable rice production in the Vietnamese Mekong delta

Timeframe: 1 March 2017 - 28 February 2021
Promoter UGent : Wim Cornelis, Steven Sleutel, Ann Verdoodt
Main researcher: Nguyen Van Qui
Funding: Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam. >up

Soil-improving cropping systems for sustainable rice production in the Vietnamese Mekong delta (SUSRICE)

Albeit the increased use of mineral fertilizer and improved cultivars, rice productivity is gradually declining in the Vietnamese Mekong delta. The project aims at increasing crop production by introducing soil-improving cropping systems, while reducing inputs like water and fertilizer, and greenhouse gas emissions. Cropping systems in which rice is rotated with upland crops like maize, soybean and sesame within one year instead of rice monocultures with three rice crops per year, and soil is amended with organic waste materials like compost and rice-husk based biochar will be evaluated on farm. Specific attention is given to soil health, water balance, crop growth, economic profitability and greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the capacity of Can Tho University staff regarding teaching and research will be enhanced.
Timeframe: 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2020
Promoter(s) : Wim Cornelis; Ann Verdoodt, Steven Sleutel, Vo Quang Minh, Le Van Khoa
Main researcher: Nguyen Van Qui
Funding: VLIR –UOS TEAM (Belgian Development Cooperation). >up

Prevention of soil compaction by agricultural operations in Chuquisaca, Bolivia

This project will develop a decision support tool that allows to evaluate the risk of soil compaction due to agricultural operations with heavy machinery. The tool compares mechanical strength of the soil with stresses propagated in soil and exerted by wheels from machinery driving on the soil. It will be used to raise awareness to soil compaction. Meanwhile, the capacity of SFXU staff regarding teaching and research on soil compaction in an
agricultural context will be enhanced.
Timeframe: 1 March 2016 – 28 February 2020
Promoter(s): Adam Bezuijen, Gemmina De Emidio, Wim Cornelis, Juan Carlos Rojas Vidovic
Main researcher: Juan Alfredo Torrico
Funding: VLIR–UOS TEAM (Belgian Development Cooperation). >up

Optimisation de l’humidité pour la maîtrise du tassement des sols agricoles en Tunisie

Timeframe: 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2019
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Khaoula Abrougui
Main researcher: Chihab Khemis
Funding: Institut Supérieur Agronomique de Chott-Mariem. >up

Building resilience to climate change: effect of selected sustainable land management practices on cocao yield and quality response in Uganda

Cocoa productivity in Uganda has remained low with average productivity of 0.55t/ha, compared with 1.65t/ha attained in Ghana. The study will develop simple visual indicators for monitoring soil structural quality in cocoa fields, establish the effect of sustainable land management practices on cocoa yields and quality and predict future cocoa yields using data from Global Climate and Regional Climate Models.

Timeframe: 1 Feb 2021 - 31 Jan 2025
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Pascal Boeckx
Main researcher: David Akodi
Funding: BOF UGent. >up

Isotopes for better environment: Integrated isotopic and 3D modeling approaches for sustainable management of watersheds affected by soil erosion

Timeframe: 1 Oct 2011 - 30 Sep 15
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Koen Verbist, Pascal Boeckx
Main researcher: Bahsar Al-Barri
Funding: BOF-UGent. >up

Impacts of irrigation with grey effluent water on soil properties and crop growth

In Europe and beyond, water is a limited resource. With the growing population and global change, availability of freshwater will become more problematic in the future. The use of ‘grey’ water for irrigation has risen globally, but has hardly been introduced in Belgium. Because of a salinization hazard, using ‘grey’ water can lead to soil structural degradation. Field experiments have been setup in 2018 at INAGRO (Beitem) in which potato, spinach and cauliflower are grown. The objective is to study the effect of effluent water (from three different sources, i.e. from a (domestic) wastewater treatment plant, from frozen-vegetables industry and from potato industry) and a rainwater control on physical, chemical and biological soil quality and growth of vegetables, by conducting lab and field tests.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2020 - 30 Sep 2014
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis, Sarah Garré
Main researcher: Lin Wang
Funding: CSC. >up

Building resilience to drought in Laikipia East District, Kenya: the Conservation Agriculture perspective

The farmers’ concept of drought is an indirect result of land degradation. Crop production suffers because water (and hence nutrients) is not available due to an imbalanced soil hydrology. This project aims at investigating how conservation agriculture can improve the rootzone water balance (by ameliorating soil quality) and hence crop production on farmers’ fields in Kenya.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2011 - 30 Sep 2016 - extended
Promoter(s): Wim Cornelis
Main researcher: Geofrey Waweru Nyambura
Funding: VLIR-UOS. >up