Soil GeoEcoPhysics Laboratory

Tel.: +38 057 704 16 65
Fax: +38 057 704 16 69


Soil Geoecophysics Laboratory was founded in July 1958 as a subdivision of Ukrainian Institute for Soil Science and the first head of laboratory was Peter O. Gavrik, follower of academician О.N. Sokolovskiy. Original research direction was associated with the study of the soil hydrophysics properties in the Steppe and Forest-Steppe of Ukraine for future irrigation projection. The results of the expedition and analytical works were necessary to justify the large-scale land reclamation in the country and had the support from Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management.

Research of the 70-80's were aimed on the study of changes in the physical properties of the soil under influence of intensive agriculture practice and the development of practical guidelines for agriculturists. Under the guidance of Vitaly V.Medvedev (Head of the laboratory from 1973 to 1996) in simulation experiments and in working conditions were carried out relations research of soil physical properties from different methods and tools of soil tillage, from irrigation by pure and waste water, manuring and of different mineral fertilizers and industrial waste applying. The results of the long-term field experiments also were used for the model creation of optimal parameters of soil structure and bulk density within the root layer for optimal growth of various agricultural plants. Various methods for reducing of the negative impact on agricultural soil were proposed.

In the 90's of last century in the laboratory research activities was created a new direction – study of change patterns of soil properties in a continuous space. This was the reason for the name change of the laboratory to – Geoecophysics. During this period (the head of the laboratory -Tatyana M. Laktionova, 1996-2008) was selected a special polygon (27 ha), where had been investigated the patterns of spatial distribution of precipitations water and chemical elements, in connection with the physical properties of soils, relief and agricultural factors. There's also had been modeled different levels of anthropogenic stress. Similar studies were also carried out in the framework of international projects (Preferential flows and Water reuse).

In the late 90's laboratory has started active work to create database of Ukrainian soil properties, which now has over 2000 soil profiles and is a tool for estimation of soil quality in the country and separate regions. With the use of database and GIS laboratory has created a map electronic atlas of soil properties in Ukraine, has prepared several maps for the National Atlas of Ukraine, participated in the creation of the Soil Atlas of Europe (European Soil Bureau Network European Commission, 2005), as well as in several international projects, including estimation of soil degradation (SOVEUR, 1999-2001) and in the creation of the joint database of soil resources of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (2011-2012).

In the last decade, the laboratory is actively developing a new method for soil estimation, it`s novelty is based on the account of the intrinsic linkages in the system "soil-climate-field" and on the new terms. Also the principles of pecuniary valuation of agricultural land have been developed.

 Last years a lot of attention is given studying of spatial heterogeneity of small areas. The statistical and geostatistical estimation of this phenomenon is given and gradual strengthening heterogeneity of properties of arable soil in modern conditions is established. Such researches are aimed at the decision of tasks of precision agriculture.
 In laboratory the information about new soil-protective ways of soil tillage in the world, including minimal, zero, exact, conservative and others is collected. Suitability Ukrainian soil for introduction of different ways of tillage is estimated.

The information on needs of different plants concerning soil and climatic parameters is collected. These materials are used for a various zoning, estimation, determination of investment appeal of the plots, suitability for cultivation of different plants.
Main scientific results

  • «Ukrainian Soil Properties» Database and GIS technology as a means of soil physical quality evaluation and its use in mapping and zoning of agricultural land; The theoretical substantiation justification and substantiation of practical ways to determine the spatial heterogeneity of soil properties within the arable land.
  • Recommendations for agronomic practices;
  • Methodology of agrophysical inspections of land for substantiation of precise agriculture
  • Methods of assessment and pecuniary valuation of agricultural land within the parameters of soil properties, climate and technological characteristics of land plot;
  • Method of agro-ecological estimation of Ukrainian lands with purpose of rational agricultural allocation of crops cultivation;
  • The program of soils monitoring in Ukraine
  • Soil-technological zoning of the agricultural land of Ukraine.
  • Technique of the digital map of soil properties construction with use of a soil database and GIS.
  • In the laboratory more than 25 patents for ways of improvement of soil physical properties, including by means of new instruments of soil tillage in a sowing layer are received.

Currently, in the staff of the laboratory there are the employees (2013):
  • Iryna V. Plisko: head of the laboratory (since 2009), Science Candidate, Senior researcher;
  • Vitaliy V. Medvedev: Principal Investigator, Doctor of sciences, Professor, Academician;
  • Tetyana M. Laktionova: senior researcher, Sciences Candidate;
  • Oksana M. Bigun: senior researcher, candidate;
  • Svitlana G. Nakisko: researcher;
  • Sergiy M. Sheiko: researcher;
  • Lyudmyla P. Timoshenko: leading engineer;
  • Valentyna A. Panchenko: leading engineer;
  • Olena I. Druzininska: engineer 
  • Svitlana I. Hekalo: engineer;
  • Kostyantyn V. Savchenko: junior researcher;
  • Andriy Borodin: post-graduate student.

Expertise categories

Agriculture, Soil protection, Food, Agricultural biotechnology, Standards, Water management, Environmental protection, Waste management, Climate change, Carbon cycle research, and some other

Soil physical quality; Spatial heterogeneity of soil properties; Soil assessment; Soil database; Soil tillage; Soil degradation; Mapping; Monitoring; Relation between soil tillage (methods and tools), soil physical properties and plant needs.

Skills and competences

Database developing; Digital mapping; Division into districts with a view of agriculture; Methodology of simulation experiments; Technique for research of spatial heterogeneity of soil physical properties and other.

Reports at the international conferences, papers, books.
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