Experts' profiles - David Dent
David Dent
David Dent hails from the County of Durham, in the North of England. He completed his education at Grey College, Durham University where he read Geography and was Captain of Athletics, then began PhD research in NE Turkey in 1964.

He married Vivien fellow Durham geographer and England netball captain - in 1965. They began married life in a caravan as David started a long career in soil survey with the Soil Survey of Scotland. They have three children: Claire, Kirsten and Nicholas. They continue to work together in voluntary capacities for the Duke of Edinburghs Award.

Science was interrupted when David took the reins of the family road haulage company in 1968, upon the illness of his father. It was resumed in 1970 when he joined the, then, revolutionary School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where a PhD Field relationships and management of acid sulphate soils as finally completed in 1984. His home is still in Norfolk.

As well as teaching soils and land resources, he undertook consultancies in many countries, including several stints in The Gambia and Sri Lanka, a year with the New Zealand Soil Bureau in 1976/8 and Royal Society and CSIRO fellowships at the CSIRO Division of Soils in 1993 and 1995.

David took up a new position as senior principal scientific officer in the Bureau of Rural Science, Australia in 1999, drove the science behind the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and was awarded the Australia Centenary Medallion in 2002.

In 2003, he became Director of ISRIC World Soil Information, an independent foundation in Wageningen, Netherlands. Current programs include a Global assessment of land degradation and improvement, GEF/UNEP/FAO 2006-9; and Green water credits, an innovative financial mechanism to tackle water security and poverty backed by IFAD.
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