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Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

  —Our Mission

Dr. Cristina Lazcano

Dr. Cristina LazcanoDr. Cristina Lazcano

Phone: (805) 756-2059
Office: 180-514

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Dr. Lazcano's Areas of Focus

Sustainable Soil Management · Belowground ecological interactions and their effect in biogeochemical cycles · Carbon and nitrogen cycling in soils · Use of organic waste materials as fertilizers in agriculture · Environmental impacts of different fertilization strategies

About Dr. Cristina Lazcano

Cristina Lazcano joined the NRES department in 2016 as our Soil Ecologist. She completed her PhD at the Soil Ecology research group from the University of Vigo (Spain). Afterwards, she acquired extensive international experience in top research institutions, including the Technical University of Denmark, the University of California Davis and the University of Calgary (Canada) where she holds an adjunct assistant professor position.

Through her teaching and research, Cristina aims at understanding the role of belowground biological interactions and management strategies in soil nutrient cycling and the consequences for plant productivity and environmental quality across natural and managed soil systems. In particular, her research focuses on the interactions between plants and microorganisms, and their role in N and C cycling across different soil moisture conditions and management strategies. She has experience in a wide range of agricultural systems together with natural systems such as grasslands, forests and peatlands. In addressing her research questions, Cristina combines a variety of methods, including soil physical, biological and chemical assays, as well as a range of techniques used to investigate the interaction of soils with other ecological compartments such as analysis of trace gas emissions, plant physiological measures, and stable isotopes. 

Visit Cristina's website

Teaching Quality Rating1Teaching quality rating A

Student comments about the teacher:


Dr. Lazcano was an amazing instructor over the past quarter. Every lecture was engaging and centered around a different topic in a way that made the course very well organized. Dr. Lazcano was enthusiastic the entire quarter and the lab portion of the course was incredibly relevant and practical.

Dr. Lazcano was very enthusiastic about the subject, has a lot of experience in soil ecology, and is very well read in soil ecology literature.

Great professor, made the class as interesting as soil can be. I would recommend this professor to my colleagues.

Dr. Lazcano is extremely knowledgeable about soil science and that is clearly showcased in her lecture. She is organized and keeps the class well structured.  I really enjoyed the practice questions and class interaction/activities she offered.  I also like how well the lecture and lab were synced so that the information built off itself. I learned a lot in this course that I will use in the future in my career. 

Dr. Lazcano is very knowledgeable and very helpful.  She is one of the better professors that I have had at Cal Poly.


1 Teaching quality rating is based on student teaching evaluations completed by Cal Poly students. A cumulative grand average for all courses taught over the last two years is calculated from responses to the student evaluation question, "Overall, this instructor was educationally effective" that ranges on a scale from 1=Strongly disagree to 5=Strongly agree.

4.5+ A+
4.0 to 4.5 A
3.5 to 4.0 B
3.0 to 3.5 C
Below 3.0 D

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