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ISMC News 26 May 2023

Announcements + Featured Paper + Featured Soil Modeller


Kick-off meeting of the working group on teaching & dissemination 
The kick-off meeting of the newly setup teaching & dissemination working group (TAWG) will be held 1st of June 2023 4 PM German time. If you still want to participate contact Ali Mehmandoostkotlar (

Nomination for ISMC awards now open

Nomination for the Rien van Genuchten Award for advanced modeling of soil processes, the ISMC Early Career Award and the ISMC publication award 2024 is now open. Nominations are directed to the ISMC coordination office for registration until 1st October 2023.

The biennial Rien van Genuchten Award is issued for outstanding contributions to the understanding of flow and transport processes in soils. It is dedicated to recognizing outstanding scientific achievements made by well-established researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences.

The ISMC Early Career Award is issued biennial for outstanding scientific achievements made by early career researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences.

The ISMC Publication Award is issued to honour an outstanding paper that will likely make a significant impact in soil systems modeling, consistent with the mission of ISMC.

Save the date for the ISMC international conference in May 6th - 11th 2024 Tianjin China

The 4th international ISMC conference will be held the first week of  (6th to 11th)  May 2024 at Tianjin University China. More information about the program will follow soon.

Featured Paper
Do you want your paper featured?

Please share your recent paper if you want to be featured in the ISMC newsletter. With your contributions, we will select one paper to be featured in every newsletter. Below is the link to google form. 

Data correlation structure controls pedotransfer function performance
Soil hydraulic properties are essential for modeling and evaluating several soil–water processes. The use of pedotransfer functions (PTFs) is a viable alternative in the analysis of these processes due to the high costs or difficulty in measuring these properties. We aimed to (1) examine the performance of a physically-based PTF and a pool of empirical PTFs from both temperate and tropical climates to estimate soil water retention under subtropical climate and (2) performed correlation analysis between PTF inputs, outputs and estimation residuals to help gain understanding why some PTFs are more successful than others in a given study area. The study was carried out in the Pelotas River Watershed, Southern Brazil, where samples were taken at 100 locations in the 0–0.20-m soil layer along a 25-km spatial transect. For each point, clay, silt, fine sand, total sand, and organic carbon contents were measured along with bulk and particle density, macro, micro, and total porosity, and the soil water retention curve. The PTFs were used to estimate field capacity, permanent wilting point, and the available water (AW) content. The performance of PTFs from different climate zones was mixed, and similarity in the data correlation structure between PTF development and application data sets appeared to be a good predictor of their predictive power. There was no clear grouping in such correlation structures within climate-zones, and we conclude that the often claimed geoclimatic difference or similarity between an empirical PTF’s origin and its application site is not, or at least not the sole driver of a PTF’s expected performance. DOI:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.128540

Featured Soil Modeller

Modeling of soil-plant-environment interactions
Mouiz YESSOUFOU is a graduate research assistant at the laboratory of hydraulics and environmental modeling (HydroModE-lab) of the University of Parakou in Benin. He has a bachelor degree in Agricultural Engineering at the Federal University of Technology Akure and a masters in Natural Resources Management with specialization in Soil-Water-Environment and Modeling at the University of Parakou. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the graduate school of agronomy and water sciences of the University of Parakou.

- Please tell us briefly about yourself and your research interest.
I have a strong background in mechanized agriculture (pre-planting, planting, post-planting and post-harvesting). This had me interested in effect of heavy machinery usage on agricultural soils. Presently, my research covers the areas of soil science, soil-plant interaction and climate effect on agriculture. Specifically, I am interested in questions related to soil compaction, soil fertility, modelling crop development with respect to varying climate and management scenarios.

-  How did you first become interested in soil modelling and learn about ISMC?
My interest in soil modelling arose during my masters program at the University of Parakou, where I was introduced to soil-plant-atmosphere modeling and related crop simulation models such as DSSAT and APSIM. My first modelling task was in the framework of my masters thesis on improving rainfed maize production under integrated soil fertility management in northern Benin through crop simulation modeling. I came across ISMC on a LinkedIn post and deepen my curiosity on the ISMC website.

-Can you share with us your current research focus? And, please tell us briefly how your research could contribute to ISMC Science Panel’s activities
My current research focuses on combining plant modeling with climatic modeling to develop an integrated decision support tool for climate smart rainfed maize cropping. Particularly, propose crop ideotypes and adapted crop management strategies to future climate. I am interested in large-scale model parametrization and validation.

-Please tell us how can ISMC help you advance in your career?
ISMC offers a great opportunity to connect with other renown soil modelers. Furthermore, ISMC promotes international collaboration among soil modeling researchers. I am currently a member of the Pedotransfer functions and Land Surface Parameterization working group and the Sil systems in agro-ecological modelling working group of ISMC.

- What resources or skills would you recommend that early career members of ISMC should acquire? And how can ISMC help and support early career members in this regard?
I would recommend series of capacity building seminars and talks on various soil modeling themes. The opportunity to participate to summer schools offered by ISMC is a great avenue for early career members to acquires new skills and update previously acquired skills related to soil modeling.

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