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29th International Conference on Environmental Geochemistry and Health - Report from Toulouse

08 September 2013


The 29
th International Conference on Environmental Geochemistry and Health was held in Toulouse from July 8th to 12th 2013. More than 160 scientists from 36 countries attended the conference and presented their work to their colleagues. Moreover more than 90 new SEGH members were made during the week. Prestigious keynote speakers such as J. Nriagu, M. Cave, A. Kappler and R. Mason contributed to the high level of the conference, most of them participating actively in our three special sessions dedicated to arsenic in the Environment, mercury biogeochemistry and metal bioaccessibility. Springer and the SEGH awarded several students for their outstanding oral and poster presentation. Follow them soon on the SEGH website to (re-) discover their work!


The social events like the icebreaker, the typical South West banquet diner, the student off events and two exciting excursions in the Pyrénées Mountains completed the French tableau for a full experience and a successful conference.

We would like to thank once again all the wonderful people who helped us realising this conference as well as the delegates whom travelled from all around the world to share with us their new discoveries.

"Follow the Toulouse SEGH members on their facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/PastEnvironmentToulouse

See you in 2014 in Newcastle!

Picture 1: Listening to keynote J. Nriagu’s keynote on the Green Revolution

Picture 2: enjoying an animated outdoor poster session

Picture 3: The conference diner: foie gras and jazz !

 By F. De Vleeschouwer

Photos by N. Markovic

 

 

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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

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    Abstract

    The paper presents the results of the model experiment on spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown in polluted soil. The influence of separate and combined application of wood biochar and heavy metal-tolerant bacteria on morpho-physiological, anatomical and ultrastructural parameters of H. vulgare L. has been studied. The joint application of biochar and bacteria increased the shoot length by 2.1-fold, root length by 1.7-fold, leaf length by 2.3-fold and dry weight by threefold compared to polluted variant, bringing the plant parameters to the control level. The maximal quantum yield of photosystem II decreased by 8.3% in H. vulgare L. grown in contaminated soil, whereas this decrease was less in biochar (7%), bacteria (6%) and in combined application of bacteria and biochar (5%). As for the transpiration rate, the H. vulgare L. grown in polluted soil has shown a decrease in transpiration rate by 26%. At the same time, the simultaneous application of biochar and bacteria has led to a significant improvement in the transpiration rate (14%). The H. vulgare L. also showed anatomical (integrity of epidermal, vascular bundles, parenchymal and chlorenchymal cells) and ultrastructural (chloroplasts, thylakoid system, plastoglobules, starch grains, mitochondria, peroxisomes, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, vacuoles) changes, revealed by light-optical and transmission electron microscopy of leaf sections. The effects were most prominent in H. vulgare L., grown in polluted soil but gradually improved with application of biochar, bacteria and their combination. The use of biochar in combination with metal-tolerant bacteria is an efficient tool for remediation of soils, contaminated with heavy metals. The positive changes caused by the treatment can be consistently traced at all levels of plant organization.

  • Earthworms and vermicompost: an eco-friendly approach for repaying nature’s debt 2020-01-23

    Abstract

    The steady increase in the world’s population has intensified the need for crop productivity, but the majority of the agricultural practices are associated with adverse effects on the environment. Such undesired environmental outcomes may be mitigated by utilizing biological agents as part of farming practice. The present review article summarizes the analyses of the current status of global agriculture and soil scenarios; a description of the role of earthworms and their products as better biofertilizer; and suggestions for the rejuvenation of such technology despite significant lapses and gaps in research and extension programs. By maintaining a close collaboration with farmers, we have recognized a shift in their attitude and renewed optimism toward nature-based green technology. Based on these relations, it is inferred that the application of earthworm-mediated vermitechnology increases sustainable development by strengthening the underlying economic, social and ecological framework.

    Graphic abstract