Research Director, Farming Systems Trial
Dr. Yichao Rui is the Research Director of the Farming Systems Trial, the longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional agricultural systems in North America. He also supports all other soil health-related research, education, and outreach at Rodale Institute.
A major focus of Yichao’s research is building greater resilience into our agricultural systems. Using an interdisciplinary research approach, his research evaluates the impacts of climate change, land use, and management strategies on soil health, water quality, biodiversity, and long-term agronomic productivity. In particular, his research has focused on the critical role of soil microbes, the most diverse and complex communities on the planet, in building soil structure, sequestering carbon, and recycling nutrients. With the ultimate goal of improving the health of the planet through regenerative practices, Yichao’s research aims to provide evidence-based solutions to both landholders and policymakers.
Yichao holds a B.S. in Biology from Nankai University (China) and Ph.D. degrees in Microbial Ecology and Soil Science from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Griffith University (Australia). Before joining Rodale Institute, Yichao worked at the University of Western Australia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently chairs the Soil Health Advisory Council of the Regenerative Organic Alliance and sits on the editorial board of the Soil Security Journal.