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IUSS Alert 202 (April 2022)

IUSS Alert 202 (April 2022)


Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)


WCSS 2022 Preliminary Scientific Programme available

The WCSS22 organisers are working hard to build an exciting congress programme. The first view is now available online and details the Plenary, Divisional and Interdivisional sessions, initial timings and which sessions will be available online. Over the coming weeks, this programme will be developed to provide information on each session, the speakers and detail the accepted oral presentations. Watch this space for more information!

Read more: https://22wcss.org/programme/scientific-programme/


WCSS 2022 Policy Programme 2 August 2022

Join policymakers from the UK and internationally on Tuesday 2 August to discuss Sustainable natural systems and effective global policies: how to protect a resource that supports life on earth. The full-day event will include Jack Hannam, Carmen Sanchez-Garcia and Erik Button from the Welsh Government Soil Policy Team, Cranfield University, Swansea University & Bangor University. The event is free of charge for registered delegates.

Read more: https://22wcss.org/programme/policy-programme/

[News on the WCSS 2022 are from the British Society of Soil Science Newsletter, 7 April 2022]


IUSS Division 2 WCSS Travel Award

This programme will provide fellowships to graduate students or early-career researchers (within 5 years of PhD) presenting papers (oral or poster) on the divisional sessions related to the IUSS Division 2 at the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS), July 31-August 5, 2022 in Glasgow, UK. Travel awards will be provided up to $500 per person for up to 35 individuals. The money will be transferred to the winner’s bank account after the presentation will be completed.

Final Submission by May 30, 2022 – noon UTC

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/iuss_division_2_wcss_travel_award_final.pdf


Call for contributions to IUSS Bulletin 140

The IUSS Secretariat (iuss@umweltbundesamt.at) kindly invites all IUSS members to submit their contributions for our next IUSS Bulletin 140 (to be published in June 2022) no later than 15 May 2022. In particular, the Secretariat would welcome conference/meeting reports and reports on activities dedicated to the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), and any other information you would like to share with the international soil science community. National soil science societies are encouraged to present their recent activities. Please make sure to send high-resolution photos only together with captions and the copyright information (owner of the photos).


Call for Nominations for the Richard Webster Medal 2022

The Richard Webster Medal is an award by the Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences. The award is for the best body of work that has advanced the discipline of pedometrics: the application of mathematical and statistical methods to problems in the understanding of soils in space and time, and the provision of information for their better management.

The Richard Webster Medal will be awarded at the 2022 World Congress of Soil Science. The award is judged by the Pedometrics Commission Awards Committee on the basis of nominations received.  

Nominations should be sent to the Committee Chair, Professor Murray Lark at murray.lark@nottingham.ac.uk. Anyone considering sending a nomination should examine the guidelines for the award carefully at http://pedometrics.org/the-richard-webster-medal/ and make sure that their proposed candidate is eligible, and is willing to be nominated.  Note that the requirements for the written evidence will be strictly adhered to, and any nomination which consists only of a curriculum vitae for the candidate, with no covering statement as requested, will be discarded.

Nominations must be received by the Committee Chair no later than midday British Summer Time on 31st May 2022.


Patrick H. Walker (1929-2022)

It is with sadness that we advise the passing of Dr, pioneering Australian soil scientist. Dr. Patrick H. Walker has passed away after a short illness on the Central Coast of NSW, aged 93. Pat will be remembered as a perceptive, dedicated and generous researcher, administrator and mentor who made an enduring contribution to our understanding of Australian soils. After beginning his career at the NSW Department of Agriculture in 1951, he spent many years as a senior researcher and later an Assistant Chief at the CSIRO Division of Soils in Canberra. He was a visiting Professor at the Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra from 1991-1993, is a past Prescott Medallist and State President of the Australian Society of Soil Science as well as a recipient of many awards and professional affiliations. Soil Science Australia would like to acknowledge Pat’s industrious contribution to soil science and SSA and offers its sincere sympathy to Pat’s family and friends.

From an obituary written by Associate Professor Vanessa Wong CPSS, Federal President


News from national soil science societies

News from the British Society of Soil Science

Our 2021 Annual Report is now available, setting out the significant achievements we have made over the past year. This includes organising 26.5 training hours for members, sending 27 email updates, responding to five consultations and representing members as a Non-Governmental Organisation at COP 26. The Annual Report demonstrates the impact which our activities are having and the progress we are making against our strategic goals.

Read more: https://soils.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Final-Annual-Report-2021.pdf

Our Science Note: Soil Carbon is featured in the Spring edition of Science in Parliament. The article, Is Sequestering Carbon in Agricultural Soils A Viable Option for Climate Change Mitigation?, outlines some key messages and recommendations to policy makers.

Read more: https://soils.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/email-sip-SPRING-2022.pdf


News from the Soil Science Society of China

The most recent newsletter of the Soil Science Society of China – Vol.3 is available online. Starting out with policy highlights it features news on the Dan Yaloon and IUSS Von Liebig awardees, information on new research and recent publications.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/newsroom/newsletters/soil-science-society-of-china-sssc-newsletter/


General News

Innsbruck Nature Film Festival: Special awards for soils and agricultural biodiversity

Soils are not only the foundation of our lives and the provider of ecosystem services, they are the themes and actors of amazing films. Since 2015 the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival (INFF) honors the cinematic representation of this non-renewable resource with a special prize on the topic of soils. Also in 2022, a prize worth 2.000 € will be awarded. Register now and submit your films until May 10th.

Further, a special prize on films concerning agricultural biodiversity is awarded.

For more information see: https://naturefestival.eu/en/film-2/#prizes

Submit your film via Filmfreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/INFF. The INFF would be grateful to receive recommendations for suitable films (prod. year 2020-2022), please mail nina.feistmantl@inff.eu


Photocontest on #Soils4Nutrition

Are you a professional, occasional or aspiring photographer? Join the contest and send us your photos that will compete for public voting during the Global Symposium on #Soils4Nutrition.

Deadline: 10 July 2022

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/areas-of-work/soil-fertility/photocontest-on-soils4nutrition-guidelines/en/

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 39, April 2022]


Call for Papers: Special Issue on “Soil biodiversity at the basis of ecological intensification for sustainable agriculture”

Agriculture currently faces several challenges, including the need to (i) increase crop production to respond to the rising demand for agricultural products, (ii) manage sustainably agroecosystems and natural resources, (iii) increase crop productivity to limit further land conversion from forest and natural ecosystems into cropland, (iv) reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, and v) make agricultural systems more resilient to climate change. To meet these challenges, soil ecological intensification is a promising solution based on the management of ecosystem services provided by organisms that make a direct or indirect contribution to agricultural production and other ecosystem services, and reduce its environmental footprint. 

In this special issue, the editors aim to gather studies that contribute to the mechanistic understanding of how soil biodiversity influences soil functions that are necessary for sustainable and intensified crop productivity. In particular, the editors In particular, welcome studies on:

  • soil microorganisms (symbiotic or not, notably within the rhizosphere),
  • microfauna (protists, nematodes),
  • mesofauna (Collembolan, mites), and
  • macrofauna (earthworms, etc.)

Submissions close on 31 July 2022.

Read more: https://www.springer.com/journal/11104/updates/20087556

[From GSBI Newsletter – April 2022]


ESDAC datasets

The European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) offers access to many, mostly EU-wide datasets. These include the European Soil Database, data on soil threats (soil erosion, soil organic carbon, landslides, soil biodiversity, diffuse contamination, etc.), LUCAS point data and derived products, soil functions. All datasets are free to download. ESDAC is an integral part of the European Soil Observatory.

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/resource-type/datasets

[From ESDAC Newsletter 140 (April 2022)]


Soil Biodiversity Conservation literature and legally binding instruments

This meta database includes a review of 54 articles addressing soil biodiversity conservation at the EU or Member States level. In addition, we present Member States policy documents which address Soil Biodiversity Conservation. These can be either strategies for soil protection at the Member State level or legally binding instruments (binding/hard law) implicitly and explicitly addressing threats to soil biodiversity. More information can be found in the published study.

Access the meta database: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/soil-biodiversity-conservation-literature-and-legally-binding-instruments

[From ESDAC Newsletter 140 (April 2022)]


World Ranking of Agricultural scientists

This 1st edition of top scientists ranking for Plant Science and Agronomy was published by Research.com, one of the major websites for Plant Science and Agronomy research offering credible data on scientific contributions since 2014. Some soil scientists are included in the ranking, with Rattan Lal, former IUSS president, occupying the 2nd rank in plant science and agronomy.

Read more: https://research.com/scientists-rankings/plant-science-and-agronomy


Are legumes more than the sum of their nodules?

Marie Schaedel, University of Minnesota, USA, discusses her new paper in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. The authors reviewed articles published within the past fifteen years that investigated legume-microbe interactions, with a specific focus on associations with non-rhizobia bacteria. The authors found strong evidence suggesting that legume root zones enhance microbial abundance and diversity compared to non-legume plants such as grasses.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2022/4/5/are-legumes-more-than-the-sum-of-their-nodules

[From GSBI Newsletter – April 2022]


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

Due to the Corona pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions many of the events planned for 2020 and 2021 had to be cancelled or postponed. For a current list of upcoming events, please consult the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/


Zoom into Soil: Soils, A Record of Our Past

4 May 2022, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM GMT

The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is delighted to announce the latest webinar in the lunchtime series of Zoom into Soil. Zoom into Soil: Soils, A Record of Our Past will take place on Wednesday 4 May from 12.00 to 1.00pm and is free of charge for all delegates. We are delighted to welcome Dr Ria Mitchell from the University of Sheffield to present ‘Palaeosols (fossil soils) as records of environmental, climatic and evolutionary change through geologic time’. Fossilised soils, or palaeosols, are preserved in the geologic rock record for the past ~3 billion years. Therefore, they provide insight into ancient environmental, climatic, and evolutionary changes over this time and have become a well-documented proxy in the literature. They provide a unique perspective of these Earth-wide processes because they form at the interface between the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere, often preserving specific geochemical signatures of conditions at their time of formation.

Registration: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2756396908048070926


Soils, Our Planet and the Climate Crisis

17 May 2022

Webinar, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm BST (UTC +1)

Read more: https://www.ep-scotland.org.uk/events/?event_id1=12113


Smart and Circular Agriculture towards Sustainability Congress (SCAS 2022)

21-22 July 2022

Porto, Portugal

Hybrid conference

Abstract submission is open until May 31, 2022

This conference aims to address topics related to: i) Research, Innovation & Training in Agriculture 4.0, ii) Circular Agriculture and Food Systems, iii) Vertical Farming and urban agriculture: where do we stand?, and iv) Pests and disease control for more sustainable agriculture: the challenging 2030 targets.

Read more: https://scas2022.com


Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 to Friday, 29 July 2022

Virtual, 12:00-15:00 CEST

Abstract submission deadline: 31 May 2022

The Symposium will bring science and policy together to review the status and challenges of soil fertility in relation with crop, animal and human nutrition. Read more: https://www.fao.org/events/detail/symposium-soils-for-nutrition/en

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 39, April 2022]


ISCRAES 2022: The 2nd International Symposium on Climate-Resilient Agri-Environmental Sytems

Sunday, 28 August 2022 to Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Dublin, Ireland

Deadline of abstract submission: 17 June 2022

Read more: www.iscraes.org

Download flyer: https://www.iuss.org/media/iscraes_2022_flyer_23-03-22.png


For the complete list of upcoming events, please see the event calendar on the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/


New publications

MultiScale Biogeochemical Processes in Soil Ecosystems: Critical Reactions and Resilience to Climate Changes

Edited by Yu Yang, Marco Keiluweit, Nicola Senesi, Baoshan Xing, first published 9 March 2022, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. – IUPAC Series on Biophysico-Chemical Processes in Environmental Systems. Print ISBN:9781119480341, online ISBN:9781119480419,

Multi-Scale Biogeochemical Processes in Soil Ecosystems: Critical Reactions and Resilience to Climate Changes is an up-to-date overview of recent research in soil biogeochemical processes and applications in ecosystem management. Organized into three parts, the text examines molecular-scale processes and critical reactions, presents ecosystem-scale studies of ecological hotspots, and discusses large-scale modeling and prediction of global biogeochemical cycles. This book is essential reading for scientists, engineers, agronomists, chemists, biologists, academic researchers, consultants, and other professionals whose work involves the nutrient cycle, ecosystem management, and climate change.

Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781119480419


Soils in Urban Ecosystem

Edited by Amitava Rakshit, Subhadip Ghosh, Viacheslav Vasenev, H. Pathak, Vishnu D. Rajput. First edition published in April 2022 by Springer, XV, 335 pages, 8 b/w illustrations, 72 illustrations in colour, Hardcover ISBN 978-981-16-8913-0, Softcover ISBN 978-981-16-8916-1, eBook ISBN 978-981-16-8914-7; price hardcover EUR 186.99 (incl. VAT), eBook EUR 139.09 (incl. VAT).

DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8914-7

This book is a compilation of latest work in the field of urban soil management. It explores the global status of urban soils and puts forwards methods for sustainable utilization of urban soils and green spaces. Urban soil study is a new frontier of soil science. Urban soils research is challenging due to complexity of classification, spatial-temporal variability, exposure to pollution and the predominant effect of the anthropogenic factor on soil formation. Management of urban soils and green spaces is an important aspect for developing sustainable spaces. This is a comprehensive collection of information for the students, researchers, landscape architects understanding and maximizing the benefits of soils in urban ecosystems.

Read more: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-16-8914-7


Job offers

If you are interested in working in soil sciences and related fields of expertise, please see current job offers at: https://www.iuss.org/jobs/



financially supported

WET-2 Sensor – Measures moisture and nutrient content in the root zone


  • Accurate soil water content, pore EC, and temperature
  • Minimal soil disturbance
  • Comprehensive set of calibrations for soils and substrates
  • Available in kit form with instant readout meter and case The Delta‐T Devices WET-2 Sensor has crucial applications in soil science research and precision horticulture, and is usable in both soils and growing substrates.

It is exceptional in its ability to accurately measure pore water conductivity (ECp) – the EC of the water that is available to the plant.

More information on the WET-2 Sensor


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