Associate Director of Initiatives
John Muir Institute of the Environment
Majdi Abou Najm is a faculty member at the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California Davis. He studies the dominant physical and biogeochemical processes controlling the flows of water, carbon, energy, and nutrients across the soil-plant-atmosphere system and the impact of our decisions on the sustainability of those resources. He recognizes the complex interactions between those resources and the need for integrated approaches to develop sustainable solutions. He seeks to develop decision support tools for optimum resources management that promote economic progress, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Together, his research interests focused on coupling natural and human systems through unpacking the complexities of our natural systems and the mysteries of the human decision-making process. He developed optimization tools with broad application from characterization of porous media to food-water-land coupling to integrated solid waste management and water-energy-food-carbon-nitrogen nexus management. Dr. Abou Najm is particularly interested in developing low-cost and sustainable solutions for poverty alleviation. His fundamental research resulted in the development of new experimental and theoretical methods for characterizing cracks and preferential flows in soils, for abstracting the soil’s pore structure, and for advancing the modeling of infiltration, flow and transport across scales.