Sofia N. Lessovaia

Teaching courses

  • Methods of Field Landscape Study;
  • Soils of natural landscapes
  • Geographical trends of the weathering and pedogenesis processes in the landscapes;
  • Cryogenic processes, cryosols, geochemical cycles in polar region (Pomor)


Professor, Department of Physical Geography & Landscape Design


Phone: (812) 323-39-13

Education, scientific degrees and titles

  • 1989, soil scientist, Leningrad St. University, Dep. of Soil science and soil geography;
  • 1993, PhD in soil science, «Mineralogy and micromorphology of soils on the local moraines»;
  • 2006, DSc in geography sciences , «Geography and genesis of soils on the red-colored parent substrates in the European part of Russia»

Research IDs

Research interests

soil clay mineralogy, soil geography and genesis, weathering and soil formation

Key publications

  1. Rozanov A., Lessovaia S., Louw G., Polekhovsky Y., de Clercq W. (2017) Soil clay mineralogy as a key to understanding planation and formation of fluvial terraces in the South African Lowveld. Catena, 156, 375–382 (Q1);
  2. Lessovaia S.N., Dultz S., Plotze M., et al. (2016) Soil development on basic and ultrabasic rocks in cold environments of Russia traced by mineralogical composition and pore space characteristics. Catena, 137, 596–604 (Q1);
  3. Lessovaia S., Plötze M., Inozemzev S., Goryachkin S. (2016) Traprock transformation into clayey materials in soil environments of the central Siberian plateau, Russia. Clays and Clay Minerals, 64 (5), 668–676 (Q2);
  4. Lessovaia S., Polekhovsky Y., Dultz S., Goryachkin S., Plötze M. et al. (2014) Mineralogy and pore space characteristics of traprocks from central Siberia, Russia: prerequisite of weathering trends and soil formation. Applied Clay Science. 102, 186-195 (Q1);
  5. Lessovaia S., Dultz S., Polekhovsky Yu. et al. (2012) Rock control of pedogenic clay mineral formation in a shallow soil from serpentinous dunite in the Polar Urals, Russia. Applied Clay Science. 64, 4-11 (Q1).

The Head of Current Research Fundings

  • 2020-2022, RFBR (a) “Shallow stony soils from the cold bio-climate environments: genesis, characteristics, transformation of solid rock in the soil profile, clay mineralogy”

Awards and honors

  • 2017, medal of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
  • 2017, diploma of the winner “For scientific publications”, St.-Petersburg St. University

Other professional activities

  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Earth Sciences$
  • Dokuchaev society of soil scientists; vice chair of Commission VII (Soil mineralogy), 2010-2017;
  • International Union of Soil Sciеnces (IUSS), vice chair of Commission 2.4 Soil Mineralogy, 2018-2022, chair since 2022;
  • Deutsch Ton-und Tonmineralgruppe (DTTG)

Russian version