ICOBTE 2017 Talk

We attended ICOBTE 2017 in ETH Zurich

Last July (July 16-20th, 2017), two members of our group (Lur Epelde, Carlos Garbisu) attended ICOBTE 2017 (14th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements), held in ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Carlos Garbisu gave a talk on the “Impact of aided phytostabilization on the biomass, activity and diversity of soil microbial communities” and co-coordinated a Symposium entitled “Improving soil biodiversity, functionality and ecosystem services of trace element-contaminated soils under interacting effects of (phyto)management and climate change”. We also presented a poster (“Plants, earthworms and bacteria: an integrated approach to assess and recover the health of soils contaminated with chromium VI and lindane”) as part of our on-going collaboration with the group of Prof. Becerril from the University of the Basque Country. During the Conference, we agreed to apply for a LIFE proposal on mine restoration with colleagues from France, Portugal and Spain.

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Presentation of the results obtained in NATUR-BIDEAK and REMEDISOST

Tomorrow we will present the results obtained in the recently finished NATUR-BIDEAK (about “Nature-based solutions for the ecological regeneration and restoration of urban and periurban areas in Donostia/San Sebastián”) and REMEDISOST (entitled “Design of a methodology to assess the sustainability of remediation plans for contaminated soil”), in a meeting organized by IHOBE, the Basque Environmental Management Agency. For more info: Jornada de Ecoinnovación

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Phytosudoe Workshop

Workshop Phytosudoe-Interreg SUDOE project

During the last Phytosudoe Workshop (27-28 April, 2017), Prof. Michel Mench from INRA organized a visit to different field sites currently being phytomanaged in the Bordeaux region.  The main objective of the Phytosudoe project is to restore degraded sites by applying phytomanagement techniques that promote biodiversity, enhance ecosystem functionality and enable the sustainable use of resources. We aim to establish and monitor a network of field demonstration trials in contaminated or degraded sites in order to demonstrate that phytomanagement can provide or restore vital ecosystem services.

The PhytoSUDOE consortium brings together experts in the fields of micro-organism ecology (archaea, bacteria and fungi) and soil fauna (protozoa, microarthropods, nematodes and oligochaetes), plant ecology and agronomy, geology and soil science, landscape planning and risk assessment.

Dr. Carlos Garbisu currently leads the research on soil structural and functional microbial diversity, as a key aspect of the PhytoSUDOE project.

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ICEST 2017: 8th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology

ICEST 2017 was recently held (June 12-14, 2017) in the Computer Science School, Technical University of Madrid (Spain). ICEST aims to bring together innovative academics and industrial experts in the field of Environmental Science and Technology to a common forum. During ICEST 2017, Dr. Roberto San José (Technical University of Madrid), Dr. Carlos Garbisu (NEIKER, Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development) and Dr. R.J. Haynes from The University of Queensland attended the conference as keynote speakers. In addition, Dr. Satya Harpalani from Southern Illinois University (USA), Dr. José M. Cela from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain) and Dr. Frederic Cegla from Imperial College London (United Kingdom) attended the conference as plenary speakers.

Carlos Garbisu gave a talk (keynote speaker) entitled “Reflections on the phytoremediation and phytomanagement of degraded soils”.

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SESA 2017: Environmental Health

We participated in the XIV Congress on Environmental Health (Zaragoza, Spain, 21-23 June 2017), invited by the Spanish Society of Environmental Safety. In the Session on Contaminated Soils, Carlos Garbisu gave a talk (keynote speaker) on the use of microorganisms as biological indicators to assess the impact of contaminants on soil health, as well as the efficiency of the different remediation methods.

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Ecosystems and integrated land management at the 3rd Euskampus-Bordeaux Symposium

The 3rd Euskampus-Bordeaux Symposium has recently been held (26-27 June 2017) at Bordeaux University, within Week 26-International and Innovation Week. This symposium was co-organized by the University of Bordeaux and the Euskampus Community (University of the Basque Country, Tecnalia and the Donostia International Physics Center, DIPC) within the framework of the Bordeaux-Euskampus Euro-regional Campus of International Excellence.

We participated in this event, leading one of the different Scientific Workshops organized within such symposium: Workshop on “Ecosystems and integrated land management” coordinated by Dr. Michel Mench and Dr. Carlos Garbisu. The aim of these scientific workshops is to establish and consolidate collaborative initiatives focusing on specific themes related to research, promotion and training.

We identified the following research domains of mutual interest: Ecological restoration and conservation; Plant exposure/Food safety/Human health; Landscape resilience; Rural and Urban interactions; and Integrated land management. Finally, we prioritized the following topics: (1) Phytomanagement/remediation of degraded/contaminated soils; (2) Exposure/Bioavailability (nutrients, contaminants); (3) Structural/functional biodiversity, biotic interactions; and (4) Ecosystem services: methods and tools.

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2017 Bioinformatics Research and Education Workshop (BREW)

Last week, Anders Lanzén participated with an invited keynote talk at the Bioinformatics Research and Education Workshop in Bergen, Norway. BREW is organised annually by and for PhD students in bioinformatics from a network of universities mainly in Germany and the Nordic countries. Although only a handful of lectures except for Anders’s was dealing with environmental genomics or microbial ecology, it was a very interesting selection of presentations of very high quality. Two funny facts are that not a single speaker exceeded her time slot and that Anders, probably for the first and last time ever, looks like the shortest person on the group photo. We hope to participate in this event again in the future, and I especially recommend it for any PhD students using bioinformatics at Neiker or elsewhere that want to improve their international experience and give an oral presentation in a friendly and smallish environment of like-minded.

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A new study on the impact of sewage sludge on the dissemination of antibiotic resistance

This week we have started sampling several agricultural soils from Navarra, as part of a new study carried out in collaboration with Sandra Blázquez from EDAR Arazuri (Navarra). In this case, we will study the potential impact of the application of sewage sludge on the presence of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic elements in agricultural soil. To this purpose, we will use high-throughput qPCR to simultaneously analyse a great variety of antibiotic resistance genes. This is a new field for SMEG. Exciting!!

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