I am an ecologist and biogeochemist working on carbon and nitrogen cycling in natural and agricultural ecosystems. I investigate nutrient transformations and nutrient losses via gaseous emissions and leaching, with a special focus on greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O). Currently, my research focuses on options for soil and manure management that reduce nutrient losses to improve livestock productivity and help achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation. Furthermore, I work on ecosystem carbon cycling and sequestration using novel tools such as Eddy Covariance towers. I work in mixed crop-livestock systems and rangelands and am currently involved in projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

My Blog Posts

Mazingira Centre – a role model for environmental research infrastructure in Africa

Environmental externalities and greenhouse gas emissions from water pans and bomas in pastoral systems

Digging into Bomas

My Publications

Greenhouse gas emissions from sheep excreta deposited onto tropical pastures in Kenya

  • Zhu, Yuhao
  • Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus
  • Merbold, Lutz
  • Oduor, Collins
  • Gakige, Jesse K.
  • Mwangi, Paul
  • Leitner, Sonja

A new feed database to accelerate decision making, environmental analysis, and soil modelling through access to region-specific nutritional and management data

  • Karimi, Peggy
  • Notenbaert, An Maria Omer
  • Mwendia, Solomon W.
  • Leitner, Sonja
  • Jones, Christopher S.

Simple manure management to retain plant nutrients

  • Leitner, Sonja
  • Kagai, Jesse
  • Saya, Nelson
  • Ngome, David
  • Mulat, Daniel

Quantifying Non-Photosynthetic Vegetation in a Mixed Grassland Using Hyperspectral Data: A Case Study in Kenya

  • Ceriani, R.
  • Fava, F.
  • Tagliabue, G.
  • Leitner, Sonja
  • Panigada, C.
  • Odongo, Vincent O.
  • Vaglia, V.
  • Mutuo, Paul M.
  • Kinuthia, Kelvin
  • Heidarian, R.
  • Fakherifard, K.
  • Pepe, M.

Greenhouse gas emissions from sheep excreta deposited onto tropical pastures in Kenya

  • Zhu, Yuhao
  • Butterbach-Baul, Klaus
  • Merbold, Lutz
  • Odour, Collins Ouma
  • Gakige, Jesse Kagai
  • Mwangi, Paul
  • Leitner, Sonja

Multiple mitigation strategies can lead to GHG emissions reduction in Kenyan dairy systems

  • Merbold, Lutz
  • Graham, Michael
  • Arndt, Claudia
  • González-Quintero, Ricardo
  • Korir, Daniel
  • Leitner, Sonja
  • Ndung’u, Phyllis
  • Notenbaert, An Maria Omer
  • Özkan, Seyda
  • Mottet, Anne