Umakant Mishra

Principal Member of Technical Staff, Computational Biology & Biophysics

Author profile picture

Principal Member of Technical Staff, Computational Biology & Biophysics

(925) 294-6505

Sandia National Laboratories, California
P.O. Box 969
Livermore, CA 94551-0969


Umakant Mishra is a computational soil scientist, who studies land use and climate change impacts on soil properties and functions. Using field observations, remote sensing and environmental datasets, and geospatial and process-based modeling he quantifies anthropogenic and climatic impacts on the soil system. He has published studies on land use and climate change impacts on soil system, lifecycle analysis of bioenergy crops, spatial prediction of soil properties at regional and national scales, and benchmarking earth system model projections.


Bachelor’s Degree: Agriculture, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Master’s Degree: Physical Land Resources, Ghent University, Belgium

Doctoral Degree: Soil Science, The Ohio State University

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/ University of California Berkeley

Awards, Honors, & Recognitions

2022 IUSS Jeju Award, International Union of Soil Science
2020 Certificate of Excellence, Regional and Global Model Analysis program,
Department of Energy- Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division
2015 Honorable mention, Editor’s citation for excellence in Manuscript review,
Agronomy Journal
2014 Outstanding Associate Editor Award, Agronomy Journal
2008 Gamma Sigma Delta, The Honor Society of Agriculture, Ohio State University
2008 Edward J. Ray Travel Award, The Ohio State University
2002 Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) Award, Ghent University, Belgium


  • Tao, F., Y. Huang, B. A. Hungate, S. Manzoni, S. D. Frey, M. W. I. Schmidt, M. Reichstein, N. Carvalhais, P. Ciais, L. Jiang, J. Lehmann, U. Mishra, G. Hugelius, T. D. Hocking, Y.-P. Wang, B. Z. Houlton, X. Lu, Z. Shi, K. Viatkin, R. Vargas, Y. Yigini, C. Omuto, A. A. Malik, G. Peralta, R. Cuevas-Corona, L. E. Di Paolo, I. Luotto, C. Liao, Y.-S. Liang, V. S. Saynes, X. Huang, and Y. Luo. 2023. Microbial carbon use efficiency promotes global soil carbon storage, Nature, 618, 981-985,
  • Lin, Z., Y. Dai, U. Mishra, G. Wang, W. Shangguan, W. Zhang, and Z. Qin. 2023. Global and regional soil organic carbon estimates: magnitude and uncertainties, Pedosphere,
  • Qin, Z., K. Guan, W. Zhou, B. Peng, J. Tang, Z. Jin, R. Grant, M. Villamil, E. DeLucia, A. Margenot, U. Mishra, T. Hu, and Z. Chen. 2023. Assessing long-term impacts of cover crops on soil organic carbon in the central U.S. Midwestern agroecosystems, Global Change Biology, 29, 2572-2590,
  • Wang, M., X. Guo, S. Zhang, L. Xiao, U. Mishra, Y. Yang, B. Zhu, G. Wang, X. Mao, T. Qin, T. Jiang, Z. Shi, and Z. Luo. 2022. Depth-dependent soil carbon losses under warmer climate revealed by assessing global soil profiles, Nature Communications, 13, 5514,
  • Baral, N.R., S.K. Mishra, S. Gautam, U. Mishra and C.D. Scown. 2022. Multifunctional landscape for Dedicated Bioenergy Crops Leads to Low-Cost and Carbon-Negative Biofuels, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 169, 112857,
  • Mishra, U., K. Yeo, A. Adhikari, W.J. Riley, F. Hoffman, C. Hudson, and S. Gautam. 2022. Empirical relationships between environmental factors and soil organic carbon produce comparable prediction accuracy as the machine learning, Soil Science Society of America Journal, 86, 1611-1624,
  • Gautam, S., U. Mishra, C.D. Scown, S.A. Wills, K. Adhikari and B. Drewniak. 2022. Climate change may release over 1.8 petagrams of soil organic carbon from topsoils in the United States by 2100, Global Ecology & Biogeography, 31, 1146-1160, https://doi/10.1111/geb.13489.

Selected Publications

  • Mishra, U., G. Hugelius, E. Shelef, Y. Yang, J. Strauss, A. Lupachev, J. W. Harden, J. D. Jastrow, C.-L. Ping, W. J. Riley, E. A. G. Schuur, R. Matamala, M. Siewert, L. E. Nave, C. D. Koven, M. Fuchs, J. Palmtag, P. Kuhry, C. C. Treat, S. Zubrzycki, F. M. Hoffman, B. Elberling, P. Camill, A. Veremeeva, and A. Orr. 2021. Spatial heterogeneity and environmental predictors of permafrost region soil organic carbon stocks. Science Advances,7, eaaz5236, https://doi/10.1126/sciadv.aaz5236. 
  • Mishra, S.K., S. Gautam, U. Mishra, and C. D. Scown. 2021. Performance-based payments for soil carbon sequestration can allow a low-carbon bioeconomy, Environmental Science &Technology, 55 (8), 5180-5188, https://doi/10.1021/acs.est.0c06452.
  • Shu, S., A. K. Jain, C. D. Koven, and U. Mishra. 2020. Estimation of permafrost SOC stock and turnover time using a land surface model with vertical heterogeneity of permafrost soils, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 34, e2020GB006585, https://doi/10.1029/2020GB006585.
  • Mishra, U., S. Gautam, W.J. Riley, and F. Hoffman. 2020. Ensemble machine learning approach better predicts the spatial heterogeneity of surface soil organic carbon stocks in data-limited northern circumpolar region, Frontiers in Big data, 3, 40, https://doi/10.3389/fdata.2020.528441.
  • Adhikari, K., U. Mishra, P.R. Owens, Z. Libohova, S.A. Wills, W.J. Riley, F. M. Hoffman and D.R. Smith. 2020. Importance and strength of environmental controllers of soil organic carbon changes with scale, Geoderma, 375, 114472, https://doi/10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114472.
  • Nave L.E., G.M. Domke, K.L. Hofmeister, U. Mishra, C.H. Perry, B.F Walters, and C.W. Swanston. 2018. Reforestation can sequester two petagrams of carbon in U.S. topsoils in a century, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 2776-2781, https://doi/ 10.1073/pnas.1719685115.

Professional Service

  • Member, Committee on budget and finance
    • International Union of Soil Science, Jan 2023 – present
  • Chair, International Soil Science Award Committee
    • Soil Science Society of America, Jan 2021 – Dec 2021; Jan 2022 – Dec 2022; Jan 2023 – Dec 2023
  • Chair, Soil and the Critical Zone Processes Technical Committee
    • American Geophysical Union (Jan 2020 – Dec 2020).
  • Co-chair, Data & observation model link panel and Executive board member
    • International Soil Modeling Consortium (2017 – 2019, 2020 – present).
  • Member, Editorial Board
    • Associate Editor, Soil Science Society of America Journal (2022 – present)
    • Associate Editor, Vadose Zone Journal, Soil Science Society of America publication (2014 – 2022)
    • Technical Editor, Agronomy Journal, American Society of Agronomy publication (2019 – 2021)
    • Associate Editor, Agronomy Journal, American Society of Agronomy publication (2009 – 2012, 2012 – 2015)

Selected Invited Presentations

  • Mishra, U. 2023. Our knowledge on storage and fate of global soil carbon, Global Soil Security 2023, Seoul, South Korea, June 27, 2023.
  • Mishra, U. 2022. Current knowledge on soil carbon storage and dynamics and remaining challenges, Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway, Nov. 21, 2022.
  • Mishra, U. 2022. Machine learning to investigate soil organic carbon storage and dynamics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, Sep. 26, 2022.
  • Mishra, U. 2022. Carbon farming: a tool to mitigate climate change and enhance food security, California State University Fresno, Sep. 14, 2022 (virtual seminar).
  • Mishra, U. 2022. Fundamental soil science to enhance Earth system predictability, Soils in the climate crisis: Modeling Microbiome During Disturbance, Sandia National Laboratories, June 9, 2022 (virtual workshop).

Professional Affiliations

  • Pedometrics, International Union of Soil Science since, 2004
  • Soil Science Society of America, since 2006
  • Digital Soil Mapping working group, International Union of Soil Science, since 2008
  • American Geophysical Union, since 2009
  • International Soil Carbon Network, since 2009
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, since 2009
  • Permafrost Carbon Network, since 2011
  • Cryosol working group, International Union of Soil Science, since 2014
  • International Soil Modeling Consortium, since 2017
  • United States Permafrost Association, since 2021