News 2011

BEES to host Soil Biodiversity Conference

Wed, 2 Feb 2011

Soil Biodiversity Conference Logo 

The School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences will host a half day symposium on The Functions and Relevance of Soil Biodiversity.


The symposium will be held on Friday March 4th 2-6pm in Kane G19, University College Cork.


The fertility/health of our soil is a key factor for life on the planet with most (~99%) of the world’s food being produced in a terrestrial environment. A quarter of the earth’s biodiversity is found in soils. Biodiversity is the variation of biological activity which exists and is a valuable resource which is under threat from factors including an expanding population, intensive agriculture, pollution, and climate change.  The impact of these factors on soil biodiversity is becoming an increasing concern. As part of the International Year of Biodiversity (United Nations) in 2010 the biodiversity of soil was highlighted for the first time.  Last year also saw the launch of the European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity by the EU. The European Commission has also proposed a Soil Framework Directive to address soil degradation across the European Union, and to repair the damage that has already been done. This symposium will highlight the importance of conserving and protecting the biological diversity while also looking at ways at improving our scientific knowledge of soil interactions and its potential in terms of medicine, food security.


We have a limited number of opportunities for anyone interested in presenting an oral presentation (only) at this meeting. If you would like to present a talk please submit an abstract to Dr. Barbara Doyle Prestwich ( by Friday 11th February 2011. Abstract should be no more then 200 words and should include the title, list of authors, address and contact details of presenting author. 

Registration to attend the symposium is free but spaces are limited. If you would like to register please send your name and contact details to Dr. Barbara Doyle Prestwich ( by Friday 18th February 2011.

This symposium is part of the VALORAM project which is funded under the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 (Grant No: 227522, 01/02/2009-31/01/2014). The overall objective of VALORAM is to promote the sustainable development of potato-based systems in the inter-Andean valleys and Altiplano areas to focus on cropping systems that will make use of natural microbial resources as inputs to improve production of high quality potato crops.  For more details check out the project website: 

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School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

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