Késia Silva Lourenço

Dr. Késia Silva Lourenço PhD

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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



The focus of my work is the sustainable reuse of different agro-industrial residues in agriculture, as well as the assessment of their environmental impacts.


Dr. Késia Silva Lourenço is an agronomist (UDESC), with a Master's (UDESC) and PhD (IAC and Leiden University, Netherlands) degree and she has been working in the area of environmental sustainability since graduation. The focus of her work is the sustainable reuse of different agro-industrial residues in agriculture, as well as the assessment of their environmental impacts. Késia started her career in 2006, at the University of Santa Catarina (UDESC). During her graduation she obtained a scientific initiation scholarship (CNPq) and received the 1st place award in the Agronomy Course 2010/second semester. During her master's degree she evaluated the efficiency of using poultry litter as a fertilizer and the efficiency of urease inhibitors in reducing N losses through ammonia volatilization. In 2013, she started her doctorate at the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (IAC), where she evaluated different management strategies to reduce the negative effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the combined application of nitrogen fertilizers and vinasse. Késia researched practical and simple strategies, such as separating the application of mineral N and vinasse in time and the use of nitrification inhibitors, which may eventually be used in RenovaBio (National Biofuel Policy). In addition to the studies carried out in the field in Brazil, Késia carried out, as part of her doctorate, basic studies on the microbiological processes involved on the emission of GHG at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) in Wageningen. At NIOO, she assessed the impact of vinasse on the soil microbial community and investigated the microbial pathways responsible for the N2O production. This is an emerging area of science and can, again, produce innovative results. Currently, Késia continues the studies that she started at the doctorate, with a broader focus, linking agricultural production and environmental sustainability. 






Projects & collaborations


  • Deciphering the role of fungal denitrifiers in N2O production from soils

    Project 2022–Present
    The goal of this project is to decipher the role of fungal denitrifiers in N2O production from soils under sustainable management practices. Here we apply mesocosms experiments combined with SIP and meta-omics approaches targeting the functional genes of N cycle. In addition, we design primers for fungal denitrifiers based on complete fungal genomes and soil metagenomics data.  
  • Microbial Networks controlling soil greenhouse gases emissions

    Project 2014–2019
    Soils are considered principally non-renewable resources. Soil ecosystem services have a large impact on numerous societal demands and are of high economic importance. Within the area of sustainable agriculture, it is expected that agricultural production will increasingly rely on the natural nutrient retention and recycling capabilities of soil. This project seeks to provide a fundamental scientific understanding of soil functioning and the resulting ecosystem services in Brazilian and Dutch bio-economies based on innovative microbial ecology and soil science studies. Focus is in sugarcane crop production systems by linking soil microbial composition and functioning, waste residues recycling, fertilizers, soil factors and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions through integrating and complementing the strong expertise of Brazilian and Dutch researchers from different areas of agronomy, soil sciences, plant nutrition, biogeochemistry, soil ecology, microbial ecology, ecological genomics, molecular ecology and bioinformatics. We will quantify the microbial functional groups and microbial abundance of C and N cycle genes and measure GHG emissions (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from soils during the productive cycle of the plant under different management practices and verify the temporal and spatial variability of these emissions in the evaluated treatments with different concentrations of sugarcane vinasse residue combined with N mineral fertilizers in combination with straw additions, and determine the conditions under which such GHG emissions can be counteracted, or minimized most. The proposed project will enhance fundamental scientific understanding of the interactive role of the microbial networks operating in soil and the consequences of bio-based agricultural management practices for the functioning of soil systems.
    Microbial Networks in control of greenhouse gases emissions in Bio-based agriculture-MiniBag

Additional Projects

The role of fungal denitrifiers in the nitrous oxide emission from soils with organic residues amendment


Different biologic processes are responsible for the nitrous oxide (N2O) production from soils. So, decipher the main players is of paramount importance due to global warming, since N2O is a potent greenhouse gas. It is well known that the combined application of organic residues with inorganic nitrogen (N) usually increase N2O emissions and change the structure of the soil microbiome. The use of organic vinasse, a by-product of ethanol production, applied in the sugarcane fields is no different. The present project aims to investigated the role of the fungal denitrifier community on the N2O production in soils amended with straw and concentrated vinasse (CV) plus N fertilizer.