EEOB Alumna now Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative


Dr. Elizabeth Bach

photo credit: Alyssa Borowske

Elizabeth Bach (PhD, 2014) is now Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, based at Colorado State University.  After graduating in 2014, Bach went on to a self-funded postdoctoral research position with the Illinois Natural History Survey.  Her research project continued investigating temporal changes in soil microbial communities, an area of interest stemming from her dissertation work at Iowa State.  The project specifically focused on seasonal changes in soil microbial communities in restored and remnant tallgrass prairies across Illinois.  In early 2016, Bach was selected as the Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative. 

The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative is a network of nearly 1000 soil ecologist based around the world.  The goals of the Initiative are to integrate soil ecology into policy and land management decision-making as well as facilitate global collaboration.  The position is an opportunity to take data science to the next step to shape solutions to global environmental challenges.  The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative works with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity (IPBES), the Global Soil Partnership, the EU Joint Research Commission, and the new Federal Framework for a Strategic Plan for Soil Science launched this fall in the US to bring attention to soil biodiversity and the services it provides. Bach brings a strong research background and a passion for soil biology to the position. 

“I’m honored to collaborate with an amazing network of scientists and make our research part of finding solutions to multiple environmental and humanitarian challenges,” said Bach.  “Soil is central to sustaining life on Earth and it is exciting to see enthusiasm and momentum for soil ecology build in the research and policy community.”

Bach is also a 2016-2017 Sustainability Leadership Fellow at Colorado State University.  Through the program she is receiving science communication training and professional development guidance.  “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to build on skills I started developing at Iowa State,” said Bach, “communication and leadership skills are essential for scientists in the 21st century.”

Read one of Elizabeth’s recent blog posts here:

Six ways Soil Biodiversity Sustains us!