2002, Ph.D. in Environmental and Agricultural Chemistry, Autonomous University of Madrid (European Doctorate; summa cum laude)
1998, Graduate in Chemistry, Autonomous University of Madrid
2015-present, Visiting Scientist/Affiliated Faculty, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Northern Arizona University, USA
2009-present, Research Group Leader, Soil Organic Matter, Environmental Waste Management, and Global Change, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, CSIC
2008-present, Tenured Scientist, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Center for Environmental Sciences, CSIC
2006-2008, Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow, Center for Environmental Sciences, CSIC
2005-2006, Juan de la Cierva Research Fellow, Center for Environmental Sciences, CSIC
2003-2005, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Agroforestal and Environmental Biology and Chemistry, University of Bari, Italy
1998-2002, Research Assistant, Center for Environmental Sciences, CSIC
Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Department of Agroforestal and Environmental Biologyand Chemistry, University of Bari, Italy (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2006), Department of Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA (2008), Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, USA (2009), Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, USDA-ARS, Pendleton, USA (2010), Environmental NMR Research Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada (2011), National Soil Resources Institute, Cranfield University, UK (2013)
Professional service and activities
2016-Present, Chair, Soil Chemistry Subdivision, SSS, European Geosciences Union (EGU)
2009-2015, Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Quality
Mechanisms of organic matter stabilization and C sequestration in soils
Soil organic matter in permafrost and dryland ecosystems
Global C cylce
Chemistry of soil organic matter: molecular structures, reactivity, properties, and functions
Treatment of organic wastes for use in agriculture and effects on soil and crops
Biochar production and use
Selected peer-reviewed publications
Plaza, C., Pawlett, M., Fernández, J.M., Méndez, A., Gascó, G., Ritz, K., 2015. Does biochar interfere with standard methods for determining soil microbial biomass and phenotypic community structure? Soil Biology & Biochemistry 81, 143-146.
Fernández, J.M., Nieto, M.A., López-de-Sá, M.E., Gascó, G., Méndez, A., Plaza, C., 2014. Carbon dioxide emissions from semi-arid soils amended with biochar alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers. Science of the Total Environment 482-483, 1-7.
Courtier-Murias, D., Simpson, A.J., Marzadori, C., Baldoni, G., Ciavatta, C., Fernández, J.M., López-de-Sá, E.G., Plaza, C., 2013. Unraveling the long-term stabilization mechanisms of organic materials in soils by physical fractionation and NMR spectroscopy. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 171, 9-18.
Plaza, C., Courtier-Murias, D., Fernández, J.M., Polo, A., Simpson, A.J., 2013. Physical, chemical, and biochemical mechanisms of soil organic matter stabilization under conservation tillage systems: A central role for microbes and microbial by-products in C sequestration. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 57, 124-134.
Plaza, C., Gollany, H., Baldoni, G., Polo, A., Ciavatta, C., 2012. Predicting long-term organic carbon dynamics in organically amended soils using the CQESTR model. Journal of Soils and Sediments 12, 486-493.
Plaza, C., Fernández, J.M., Pereira, E.I.P., Polo, A., 2012. A comprehensive method for fractionating soil organic matter into pools not protected and protected from decomposition by physical and chemical mechanisms. CLEAN-Soil Air Water 40, 134-139.
Fernández, J.M., Plaza, C., Polo, A., Plante, A.F., 2012. Use of thermal analysis techniques (TG-DSC) for the characterization of diverse organic municipal waste streams to predict biological stability. Waste Management 32, 158-164.
Quintana, M.A., Colmenarejo, M.F., Borja, R., González, R., García, G., Sánchez, E.P., Abileo, F., Arellano, A., Plaza, C., 2009. Procedure for recovering a struvite-rich fertilizer from wastewaters, solid by-products and gas emissions. Spanish Patent, Application Form No. P200601070, Holder Entity: CSIC, Licensed companies: Canal de Isabel II.