Guusje J. Koorneef

Guusje J. Koorneef MSc

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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


I want to understand how we can improve soil health in an ecological manner. Can we steer soil functions by managing the type of soil carbon? And what type of knowledge do we as humans need to improve soil health?


 I obtained my master Environmental Sciences at Wageningen UR, for which I studied the influence of earthworms on phosphorus and carbon dynamics in Terra Preta soils in Colombia. I further reinforced my interest in soil carbon dynamics in relation to soil life and soil health during my PhD at Wageningen UR. I investigated how the amount and type of soil carbon was related with soil functions in agricultural soils, and how these aspects can be steered by agricultural management. This PhD research was part of the broader NWO-Green project: “Vital soils for sustainable intensification of agriculture”.

In my current research within the European SOLO project, I focus more on the human component of  improving soil health. I investigate what knowledge and/or innovation is needed to have all soils in Europe healthy by 2050. This roadmap will be co-created in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders across Europe, and will set the agenda for future soil research in Europe.

Projects & collaborations


  • Vital soils for sustainable intensification of agriculture

    Project 2016–2021
    A key challenge for sustainable intensification of agriculture is to produce increasing amounts of food for a growing world population, with minimal loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In order to facilitate ecological intensification of agriculture, the underlying principles need to be understood and validated in farmers’ fields

Additional Projects

SOLO Soils for Europe


The EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ is leading the transition towards healthy soils by 2030. Research is key to achieving eight ambitious objectives that include reducing desertification, conserving soil organic carbon stocks and improving soil structure to enhance soil biodiversity. In this context, the EU-funded SOLO project has created think tanks, one for each of the eight Soil Mission objectives. The think tanks will co-create knowledge and identify knowledge gaps and actions that are needed to achieve respective mission opjective. Moreover, four regional nodes situated in the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Hungary acts  address in a transdisciplinary approach the potential regional differences in the implementation of the Soil Mission. The project’s overall objective is to produce a shared understanding of research and innovation priorities to improve soil health in Europe

Link to the project website: