Dr. André Franco is a soil ecologist who studies the role of soil fauna in carbon cycling and primary production, exploring how global environmental changes alters communities of soil animals and the ecosystem services they provide. André completed his doctorate in Soil Science at the University of São Paulo in Piracicaba, Brazil, his home country. His dissertation research addressed the responses of soil (macro) fauna to land use change for bioenergy cropping in the tropics and how these changes in soil fauna impact soil carbon storage.
André moved to Colorado State University in the summer of 2015. As a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biology, he is working with Dr. Diana Wall and Dr. Osvaldo Sala (Arizona State University) on NSF-funded research examining which mechanisms govern the responses of primary productivity to water availability in grassland ecosystems. His focus in this project is to study the sensitivity to water availability of root feeder nematodes and their predators and its linkages to aboveground productivity from desert to humid grasslands. André also leads a Wall Lab international collaboration with the Federal University of Pará, Brazil to study the composition and functional attributes of soil biodiversity under different land-use systems in the Brazilian Amazonia.