Soil scientist at the Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT  



Mayesse works at the Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT as a soil researcher of the Multifunctional Landscapes area. She has experience in Soil Science working mainly on the following themes: digital soil mapping, pedology, geoprocessing, water erosion, water recharge, agricultural aptitude and classification of soil use capacity, watershed management, recovery of degraded areas, agriculture conservationist, soil management in eucalyptus forest plantations, mitigation of climate change and geostatistics.).

Mayesse graduated in Forest Engineering and did her master’s degree and doctorate in Soil Science at the Federal University of Lavras. She was a Visiting Researcher at Purdue University where her research, developed in the Digital Soil Mapping area, included the application of Digital Soil Mapping in water recharge areas aiming at soil and water conservation in southern Minas Gerais, Brazil. She also participated in the Digital Soil Mapping Project of the High Plains of Llanos Orientales in Colombia, a cooperation between Purdue University and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Mayesse has also participated in the Hydrological Assessment and Water Management Recommendations for the Cacao Alliance in El Salvador project, which was in cooperation with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Cacao for Peace (CfP)” program, which was financed by USAID and USDA, and jointly implemented with the Penn-State University and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS).


Abegaz, A.; Tamene, L.; Abera, W.; Yaeko, T.; Hailu, H.; Nyawira, S.S.; Da Silva, M.; Sommer, R. 2020 Soil organic carbon dynamics along chrono-sequence land-use systems in the highlands of Ethiopia. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 300:106997 ISSN: 0167-8809 11 p.

Williams, B.A.; Grantham, H.S.; Watson, J.E.M.; Alvarez, S.J.; Simmonds, J.; Rogeliz, C.; da Silva, M.; Forero-Medina, G.; Etter, A.; Nogales, J.; Walschburger, T.; Hyman, G.; Beyer, H. (2020) Minimising the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in an intact landscape under risk of rapid agricultural development. Environmental Research Letters 15: 014001 14 p. ISSN: 1748-9326

Chocosafe (2019) A tool that allows users to calculate the safe limit for cadmium in raw material (nibs) depending on the targeted product for final consumption according to the EU regulation.

Piikki, Kristin; Söderström, Mats; Sommer, Rolf; Da Silva, Mayesse; Munialo, Sussy & Abera, Wuletawu (2019). A Boundary Plane Approach to Map Hotspots for Achievable Soil Carbon Sequestration and Soil Fertility Improvement. Sustainability, 11(15): 4038




Mayesse’s research is focused on the characterization and development of tools, such as detailed digital mapping of key physical and chemical properties of soil (including cadmium levels for cacao), wich are key for an appropriate planning of soil management and for identifying which soils are suitable to different sustainable crops. 

Mayesse is currently working on the development of solutions to mitigate cadmium and the standardization of protocols and methodologies useful to the Andean countries and coordinates the Climate Low- Cadmium project, which Fosters low cadmium and climate-relevant innovations to enhance the resilience and inclusiveness of the growing cocoa sectors en Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.