Institute of Geography


PD Dr. Abdallah Alaoui

Principal Investigator

Soil Science

+41 31 684 89 22
Postal Address
Universität Bern
Geographisches Institute
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern

The main aim of my research is to assess the problem of soil heterogeneity by integrating classical pedological approaches to describing soil-landscape patterns with process knowledge gained from soil physics and hydrology across scales.

Research interests:

Land use and soil management: Evaluation of the impact of land use and land cover on soil structure and flow processes. Importance of soils for agriculture and forestry, and for ecosystems functions. Modelling the effects of land use and climate changes on soil and water resources.

Soil hydrology: Up-scaling of soil hydrological processes at the temporal and spatial scales. Impact of climate changes on surface hydrology. Flood-process oriented modelling. Field determination and modelling of the water balance.

Soil physics and soil mechanics: Macropore flow. Structured soils. Soil-Plant-water interaction. Modelling flow and transport in unsaturated zone. Inverse modelling. Dynamic patterns of flow in soils. Soil compaction. Soil protection. Soil management.

H2020 - Interactive Soil Quality Assessment in Europe and China for Agricultural Productivity and Environmental Resilience (iSQAPER). SFS-4-2014: Soil quality and function (2015 – 2020)

H2020 – SoilCare for Profitable and Sustainable Crop Production in Europe. SFS-2B: Assessing soil-improving cropping systems (2016 – 2021)

H2020 – Sustainable Plant Protection Transition: A Global Health Approach (SPRINT). SFS-04-2019-2020 (2020 – 2025)

H2020 – MIcro- and NAno-Plastics in AGRIcultural Soil: Sources, environmental fate and impacts on ecosystem services and overall sustainability (MINAGRIS). SFS- 21-2020 (5 years duration)

Alaoui A, Hallama M, Bär R, Panagea I, Bachmann F, Pekrun C, Fleskens L, Kandeler E, Hessel R. A New Framework to Assess Sustainability of Soil Improving Cropping Systems in Europe. Land. 2022; 11(5):729.

Alaoui, A.; Barão, L.; Ferreira, C.S.S.; Hessel, R. An Overview of Sustainability Assessment Frameworks in Agriculture. Land 2022, 11, 537.

Piccoli, I.; Seehusen, T.; Bussell, J.; Vizitu, O.; Calciu, I.; Berti, A.; Börjesson, G.; Kirchmann, H.; Kätterer, T.; Sartori, F.; Stoate, C.; Crotty, F.; Panagea, I.S.; Alaoui, A.; Bolinder, M.A. Opportunities for Mitigating Soil Compaction in Europe—Case Studies from the SoilCare Project Using Soil-Improving Cropping Systems. Land 2022, 11, 223.

Silva V, Alaoui A, Schlünssen V, Vested A, Graumans M, van Dael M, et al. (2021) Collection of human and environmental data on pesticide use in Europe and Argentina: Field study protocol for the SPRINT project. PLoS ONE 16(11): e0259748.

Fernando Teixeira, Gottlieb Basch, Abdallah Alaoui, et al. 2021. Manuring effects on visual soil quality indicators and soil organic matter content in different pedoclimatic zones in Europe and China. Soil and Tillage Research, 212 – 105033 DOI:

Abdallah Alaoui, Lúcia Barão, Carla Ferreira, et al. 2020. Visual Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Management Practices on Soil Quality. Agronomy Journal. DOI: 10.1002/agj2.20216

Barao L., Alaoui A., Ferreira CSS et al. 2019. Assessment of promising agricultural management practices. Science of The Total Environment 649. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.257

Alaoui A., Rogger M., Peth S., Blöschl G. 2017. Does soil compaction increase floods? A review. J. of Hydrology. Accepted.

Rogger M., Agnoletti M., Alaoui A. et al. 2017. Land use change impacts on floods at the catchment scale: Challenges and opportunities for future research. Water Resour. Res. 53, doi:10.1002/ 2017WR020723.