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IBI Board and Advisory Committee

In June 2008, members of the IBI established roles for the organization--including staff and board duties. Our board currently has nine members. Please see below for more information.

IBI also has a dedicated Advisory Committee consisting of 28 members with 5 sub-committees that focus on Policy, Biochar Production/Technology/Classification, Utilization in Soils, Commercialization, and Socio-Economic Evaluation. The members collectively speak seventeen languages and hail from twelve different countries including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Kenya, Mongolia, Paraguay, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They represent a wide range of institutions and organizations including the academia/research community, small businesses, large corporations, non-profit organizations, and on-the-ground practitioners/farmers.

Current IBI Board Members include those listed below (click on a name for more information). We thank our former board members for all their support and hard work.

  • Johannes Lehmann, Chair of the Board, Cornell University, United States
  • Marta Camps, Board Vice-Chair, Massey University, New Zealand
  • David Wayne, Board Treasurer, Formally of Shell Research, United Kingdom
  • Andreas Hornung, University of Birmingham and Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), United Kingdom/Germany
  • John Lewis, Terra Global Capital LLC, United States
  • Warwick Manfrinato, Plant Environmental Intellegence, Brazil
  • Guy Reinaud, Pro-Natura International, France
  • Sununtar Setboonsarng, Asian Development Bank, Thailand
  • Saran Sohi, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

IBI board

Johannes Lehmann, associate professor of soil biogeochemistry and soil fertility management at Cornell University, received his graduate degrees in Soil Science at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Prior to his appointment at Cornell, he coordinated a research project on nutrient and carbon management in the central Amazon where he started work on Terra Preta soils. During the past 10 years, he has focused on nano-scale investigations of soil organic matter, the biogeochemistry of black carbon and the development of biochar and bioenergy systems. Dr. Lehmann is co-founder and Chair of the Board of the International Biochar Initiative, and member of the editorial boards of Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems and Plant and Soil.

Marta Camps is currently an Associate professor at Massey University in New Zealand and is the co-director of the New Zealand Biochar Research Centre. Dr. Camps received her M.S. and PhD in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis, United States. Previous to working at Massey University, she was a Senior Researcher (“Ramón y Cajal”) at NEIKER, Spain (2003 - 2008) and a post-doc researcher (1995-1998) and Lecturer (1999-2003) at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Andreas Hornung is the director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University in the UK and is the Director of the Institute branch Sulzbach-Rosenberg of Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology (UMSICHT). With a team of researchers at EBRI, Dr. Hornung developed a biochar production system called the Pyroformer™ which utilizes multiple waste feedstocks to generate cost-effective heat and power. Dr Hornung is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

John Lewis is currently the Managing Director of Terra Global Capital, LLC, which provides organizations with strategic advice in environmental markets. Dr. Lewis has 29 years of experience combining his discipline, ecological anthropology, with international development management experience. By 2001, he had completed a 22-year career with US AID, retiring after six years as the Agency Senior Agriculturalist and Director of its central Office of Agriculture and Food Security. From that Senior Foreign Service vantage point Dr. Lewis brought several international agribusiness corporations to collaborate with US AID field programs. Serving in Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Egypt, Tunisia, and then Haiti, Dr. Lewis was able to design and implement path-breaking new approaches to community-driven sustainable development in rural settings. Immediately following his retirement from the Agency, he became Executive Director of the Near East Foundation. Since 2002, he has served as Executive Director of ProNatura USA. Dr. Lewis has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale University.

Warwick Manfrinato has a background in the soil carbon cycle, forests, and land-use dynamics. He has participated in developing methodologies for quantification of carbon stocks for a number of projects both for GHG emissions compensation and carbon credit purposes. Mr. Manfrinato currently leads an environmental consultancy company, Plant Environmental Intelligence, and also holds the post of Executive Director of the Amazonia in Transformation Program, at the Institute for Advanced Studies within the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Since 2003 he has been an invited member to the official Brazilian Delegation to the UNFCCC-COP/MOP and has recently accepted membership on the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change.

Guy Reinaud has been President of Pro-Natura International since 1992 working in agricultural development and biochar. He graduated from Ecole Centrale of Paris and has been Managing Director of Centi Software from 1966 to 1973. He then joined ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) and from 1973-83 he was President of ICI Sopra, from 83-84 President of ICI Belgium, from 84-86 President of ICI Francolor, from 86-92 International Business Board Member ICI Agricultural Products and was the Chemical Industry representative at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. He has been the lead promoter of Conservation Agriculture for many years and the founder of Eco-Carbone and Green Charcoal International. Mr. Reinaud is also on the Board of several Institutions like IUCN France and a member of the Scientific Council of ICROA – (International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance).

Sununtar Setboonsarng, a national of Thailand, is Principal Natural Resources and Agriculture Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In her current post, she leads the Greater Mekong Sub-region Regional Cooperation Program on Agriculture. She has extensive country experience in sustainable agriculture and green food development, including microfinance development in a number of countries in the region. From 2003-2008, Ms. Setboonsarng was seconded to ADB Institute in Tokyo where she was a senior research fellow and carried out research on innovative poverty reduction strategies. Prior to joining ADB/ADBI, she worked extensively in rural areas of Asian countries as staff of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Asian Institute of Technology, and the East-West Center.  Ms. Setboonsarng holds a PhD in Agriculture and Resources Economics (University of Hawaii) an MA in International Development Economics (Yale University), an MS in Agriculture and Resources Economics (University of Hawaii), and a BSc. degree in Botany (Chulalongkorn University). She also completed an Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis Program at Harvard Institute of International Development.

Saran Sohi leads soil science research at the UK Biochar Research Centre (UKBRC), in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh. The purpose of his work is to deliver UKBRC a sound mechanistic understanding of biochar function in soil, and gain from this the predictive capacity required to 'prescribe' biochar in ways that firstly are safe, and secondly offer the best possible results in terms of soil and crop performance at previously untested locations. Previous to joining the UKBRC, Dr. Sohi did eight years post-doctoral work at Rothamsted Research, the research institute based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. As part of that work, Dr. Sohi spent 2005 working at Cornell with Johannes Lehmann in 2005 on biochar soil science. 

David Wayne was born in the UK, obtained his school education and bachelor's degree (in chemistry) in Johannesburg, South Africa, continuing studies in Chemical Physics at Queen's University Ontario and Cambridge, England.  After short spells of postdoctoral research in Southampton, the Smithsonian Institution in Massachusetts and the Herzberg Institute in Ottawa, he joined Shell Research, working on various topics including flame radiation, transport properties in liquids, lubrication and finally, biochar.

Former IBI Board Members Include:

  • Ellen Baum (Treasurer of the Board) 2008 – 2012
  • Stephen Joseph (Vice Chairman of the Board) 2008 – 2012
  • Yoshiyuki Shinogi 2010 – 2013
  • Beata Madari 2011 – 2012
  • Thomas Harttung 2011 – 2012