Last week, Carlos Garbisu participated in the Environmental Agrobiology Master – University of the Basque Country (academic course 2018-2019), giving several talks related to the use of microbial parameters as biological indicators of the effectiveness of bioremediation (biostimulation, bioaugmentation) initiatives.
One more year, we collaborate in the “Research in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Course” organized by the University of the Basque Country within the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Master. In this course, Carlos Garbisu gives a talk entitled “Nature´s helpers: microorganisms in contaminated soils”.
In collaboration with the University of the Basque Country, we are developing a field assay on (i) the long-term impact of the application of sewage sludge on soil health, and (ii) the remediation of such soil by a combination of phytoremediation (with alfalfa and Brassica), bioremediation (via bioaugmentation) and vermiremediation (with Eisenia fetida). In addition, we will study the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in this sewage-contaminated site.
We participated in the Final Workshop of the Interreg PhytoSUDOE project (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, October 11th, 2018). PhytoSUDOE´s main objective has been the management of degraded environments and their restoration by means of applying novel phytoremediation techniques that promote biodiversity, enhance ecosystem functionality and enable the sustainable use of resources. By implementing phytomanagement techniques, we have restored the functionality and provision of ecosystem services from currently contaminated or degraded natural sites. During this Final Conference, we have presented our results to stakeholders (administrative bodies, regulators, private companies, general public, scientific community, etc.). In particular, during the Final Workshop, Carlos Garbisu presented our results on the beneficial effects of phytomanagement on soil biodiversity, with special emphasis on soil microorganisms.
We participated in the University of the Basque Country Summer Course on “New Trends in Restoration of Degraded Soils III: Trace Elements, Organic Pollutants and Constructed Wetlands” that was held in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), October 9th and 10th, 2018. The course focused on the latest trends used for soil decontamination, with special attention to phytoremediation practices. A session on artificial wetlands for the clean-up of contaminated water and a session for lindane-contaminated sites were also included. Field visits to contaminated and degraded sites of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Gravestones of Lasarte, Júndiz Industrial Area) were a very interesting part of the course.
We attended the 15th International Phytotechnology Conference (IPS) in Novi Sad, Serbia (October 1-5, 2018). IPS Conferences are a great opportunity for scientists all over the world to present their research on phytotechnologies, or uses of plants and associated microorganisms in managed landscapes to address environmental issues and provide ecosystem services. We presented our results on “Beneficial effects of phytomanagement options on soil structural and functional microbial biodiversity” and “Long-term phytomanagement influences structural diversity of microbial communities in a cu-contaminated soil at a wood preservation site”.
We attended the third conference on the Ecology of Soil Microorganisms recently held in Helsinki (Finland) (16-21 June 2018). This interesting conference addresses questions related to individual microbes, microbial communities and microbial networks. We presented the following two communications: “Rhizoremediation of mixed contaminated soil using Brassica napus and a bacterial consortium” and “Antibiotic resistant genes in agricultural soil amended with sewage sludge”.