M. Francesca Cotrufo, PhD, is a professor of soil ecology in the department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and senior scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University. She earned a B.Sc. from the University of Naples, Italy and Ph.D. from Lancaster University, UK. Prior to joining CSU in 2008, she worked as a professor of ecology at the Second University of Naples, Italy. Dr. Cotrufo is a soil ecologist with leading experience in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter C and N dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. Her main research interest is in the understanding of C and N fluxes from plant litter to soil and the atmosphere, and their response and feedback to global environmental changes and disturbances, such as fire. She also pursues applied research to propose soil management practices that increase soil quality and fertility and mitigate climate change, as for example the study of biochar in soils. She participated in, and often coordinated, a number of research projects, financed by the European Community, NSF, USDA, etc., She has long-term experience with mentoring, advising and teaching. She currently teaches several classes both at the graduate and undergraduate level in the field of soil Ecology, Global Change and stable isotopes. She is an editor of the journal Global Change Biology. She published over 60 peer reviewed articles and several book chapters, which received 2391 citations to date.