The 2017 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award is awarded to Victoria Arcenegui for her contribution to understanding the effect of forest fires in soil water repellency, aggregation, and the development of new techniques and indicators to assess post-fire soil status and management.
Victoria Arcenegui finished her PhD in 2008 in Mediterranean soils affected by forest fires in Spain. The title of her thesis was “Hydrophobicity in soils affected by wildfire and development of a new technique to estimate the maximum temperature reached on burned soils” , which she defended as a compilation of five papers in some of the highest impact factors journals of soil science, such as European Journal of Soil Science, Catena or Geoderma. Currently she is an associate professor in external geodynamics and continues her research career in the Environmental Soils Science Group in the Department of Agrochemistry and Environment of the Miguel Hernández University in Elche, Alicante, Spain. Arcenegui’s research focusses on how post-fire management practices affect soil properties, but also works in projects related to agricultural management and its effects on soil quality. Additionally, she worked on the development of new techniques and indicators to assess the status of soils after fire and their subsequent treatment. She is author and co-author of 38 papers, most of them in the first quartile of impact factor in the field of soil science, three of the papers now have more than 100 citations. With an H-index of 21 (Google scholar), H=18 (Scopus) and 1501 citations (Google scholar), 1057 (Scopus), her productivity is of very high level. Arcenegui’s work has definitively contributed to creating productive research team. She currently has collaborations with many researchers from other teams (national and international), and involved in national and international research projects.