Rattan Lal is a professor of soil physics in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, FAES/OARDC at The Ohio State University (OSU).
From 1968 to 1969 he was Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney and soil scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria from 1970 to 1987. In 1987 he joined the faculty at OSU.
He is recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Punjab Agricultural University, India and of the Norwegian University of life Sciences in Aas, Norway. He is past president of the World Association of the Soil and Water Conservation (1987-1990), the International Soil Tillage Research Organization (1988-1991), and the Soil Science Society of America (2005-2008). He is a member of the U.S. National Committee on Soil Science of the National Academy of Sciences (1998-2002) and (2007-to date) and lead author of IPCC (1998-2000) which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize Certificate. He has served on the Panel on Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment in the Humid Tropics of the National Academy of Sciences, and has also been a consultant to FAO, World Bank, UNEP, GEF, UNDP, USAID and many other international organizations. He was Scientific Liaison Officer of USAID for the CGIAR system from 1990 to 1995, and member of the review team of all CRSPs in 1994.
He has mentored 85 graduate students and 80 postdoctoral researchers. He has hosted about 25 short term trainees/visiting scholars from India. He has authored and co-authored about 1375 research publications, has written 13 books and edited or co-edited 43 books.
He earned B.Sc from Punjab Agric. University, his M.Sc from IARI and Ph.D from OSU.