Diana Wall is University Distinguished Professor and Director, School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. She is also a Professor of Biology and Senior Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU.
Professor Wall is actively engaged in research to explore how soil biodiversity contributes to healthy, productive soils and thus benefits society, and the consequences of human activities on soil sustainability. Her global research includes more than twenty years of research in the Antarctic Dry Valleys examining how climate change affects soil biodiversity, ecosystem processes and ecosystem services. Wall Valley, Antarctica was named for her achievements in 2005.
Talk Description: Soil biodiversity is increasingly recognized as key to sustaining soil resources and life aboveground but is often overlooked in global and regional policies addressing land management, climate change, loss of biodiversity and desertification. Research on the responses of individual species to climate change is challenging because in most ecosystems, soils are the habitat for millions of interacting microbial and animal species. Research in the Antarctic Dry Valleys, a cold desert ecosystem with a wide expanse of seemingly barren soil and low biodiversity is revealing how animal species will respond to climate change. These studies inform climate change and biodiversity scenarios and expand our understanding of, and society’s dependence on, soil biodiversity in other ecosystems.