• Soil Quality
• Carbon sequestration and climate change
• Agro -climatology
• Soil Mapping and GIS
• Polluted soils
Rafael Espejo responsable IP-CASAM

Dr. Rafael Espejo

Rafael Espejo is Professor in the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry of the Technical University of Madrid. He has focused his scientific career in the study of the genesis of soils, soil quality, agriculture conservation and recovery of degraded soils. Rafael has coordinate 14 research projects of the Spanish National Research Programme and supervised 7 Doctoral Theses. Dr. Espejo is vice president of the Spanish Association of Conservation Agriculture – Living Soils

Foto Grupo CASAM
Research group profile
The group of Soil Quality and Environmental Applications (CASAM) is composed of 17 members, including researchers at different levels, technical staff and administrative staff which are working on Food and Agro-environmental Sciences. The staff is associated with the Technical School of Agricultural, Food and Biosystems Engineering and Technical School Forestry and Natural Environment Engineering.

In addition, CASAM is integrated into two university clusters: CEI Moncloa-Global Change and New Energy and Agro-Food and Health and the Group on Educational Innovation in Soil Science. CASAM research activities are focuses on different aspects of soil quality in agro-ecosystems, including degradation, conservation, improvement and the role of agricultural soils as a source or sink of greenhouse gas emissions.

Research Projects associated to AGRISOST

  1. Management of degraded acid soils. Implications for the role of soil as a sink for CO2 at ecosystem level. CGL2008 04361-C02-01
  2. Recovery of polluted soils with native plants from eco-compatible substrates and effect of these materials on bioavailability and biodegradation of contaminants. CTM2009-13140-C02-01
  3. Use of organic substrates (agricultural and forestry) from the State of Oaxaca (Mexico) as growing media and for conservation of soils. AL11-PID-08
  4. Use of humic acids as chelating agent for assisted phytoextraction of polluted soils by heavy metals. Grant for Research Groups.
  5. Techniques for Heritage Conservation, in collaboration with CSIC and several universities. Consolider-Ingenio Programme. CSD2007-00058

Scientific Infrastructures

  • Atomic absorption spectroscopy
  • Ion chromatography
  • Kjeldahl equipment
  • Richards Membrane
  • Radiometer (range 400-2500 nm) and spectral cameras





  1. Gomez-Paccard, C., Hontoria, C., Mariscal-Sancho, I., Perez, J., Leon, P., Gonzalez, P., Espejo, R., 2015. Soil-water relationships in the upper soil layer in a Mediterranean Palexerult as affected by no-tillage under excess water conditions – Influence on crop yield. Soil & Tillage Research 146, 303-312.
  2. Gomez-Paccard, C., Mariscal-Sancho, I., Leon, P., Benito, M., Gonzalez, P., Ordonez, R., Espejo, R., Hontoria, C., 2013. Ca-amendment and tillage: Medium term synergies for improving key soil properties of acid soils. Soil & Tillage Research 134, 195-206.
  3. Diaz-Pines, E., Rubio, A., Van Miegroet, H., Montes, F., Benito, M., 2011. Does tree species composition control soil organic carbon pools in Mediterranean mountain forests? Forest Ecology and Management 262, 1895-1904.
  4. Fernandez-Getino, A.P., Perez, J., del Mar Albarran, M., Martin Lammerding, D., Walter, I., 2012. Restoration of Abandoned, Degraded Agricultural Soil Using Composted Biosolid: Influence on Selected Soil Properties. Arid Land Research and Management 26, 200-210.
  5. Lammerding, D.M., Hontoria, C., Tenorio, J.L., Walter, I., 2011. Mediterranean Dry land Farming: Effect of Tillage Practices on Selected Soil Properties. Agronomy Journal 103, 382-389.
  6. Navas, M., Benito, M., Rodriguez, I., Masaguer, A., 2011. Effect of five forage legume covers on soil quality at the Eastern plains of Venezuela. Applied Soil Ecology 49, 242-249.
  7. Gonzalez-Fernandez, P., Ordonez-Fernandez, R., Mariscal-Sancho, I., Espejo-Serrano, R., 2012. Economics of applications of sugar factory lime refuse in Mediterranean Ultisols. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 58, S185-S189.
  8. Mendiola Ubillos, A., Aguado Cortijo, PL., Espejo Serrano, R. 2012. One project of Educational Innovation applying news information and communication Technologies (ICT): CyberAula 2.0. Geophysical research Abstracts. 1607-7962.
  9. Mariscal-Sancho, I., Santano, J., Mendiola, M.-A., Peregrina, F., Espejo, R., 2010. Carbon Dioxide Emission Rates and beta-Glucosidase Activity in Mediterranean Ultisols Under Different Soil Management. Soil Science 175, 453-460.