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Agreement with the Centre for Environmental Studies from Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain)

We have recently signed an agreement with the Centre for Environmental Studies from Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) to carry out research on the recovery of degraded and contaminated sites around the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). We will focus our research on the design and implementation of phytomanagement strategies to recover soil functionality and the provision of essential soil ecosystem services in degraded sites around the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

TEDx talk on antibiotic resistance

Carlos Garbisu gave a TEDx talk in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4QAo6mWPoE) on the well-known problem of the dissemination of antibiotic resistance among bacteria. He focused his talk on the need to carry out research on Microbial Ecology to better understand the behaviour of bacteria in their natural environment, so that we can then design more effective strategies to fight bacterial pathogens and, alternatively, to learn from the incredible metabolic capacities found in the bacterial world.

Biodiversity, Function and Ecosystem Management

One more academic year (2018-2019), we have participated in the Master on Biodiversity, Function and Ecosystem Management (University of the Basque Country, Spain), coordinating a course on rehabilitation and bioremediation of contaminated soils. This year we have (1) paid special attention to microbial speciation processes and (2) discussed the concepts of top-down vs. bottom-up biology, and systems biology. We have also emphasized the need to incorporate a network perspective to studies on soil microbial communities.

First meeting of the Iberian Ecological Society

Last week we attended the 1st Iberian Ecological Society Meeting. The conference was the kickoff of SIBECOL (Sociedad Ibérica de Ecología) a new scientific society, joining ecologists from Iberian countries, whatever the system or approach they work on. The Asociación Española de Ecología Terrestre (AEET), the Asociación Ibérica de Limnologia (AIL), the Sociedad Española de Etología y Ecología Evolutiva (SEEEE) and the Sociedade Portuguesa de Ecologia (SPECO), as well as a group of Iberian Marine Ecologists, support this initiative.

It was a conference full of inspiring talks that we hope to apply in our future work in SMEG. We also presented two posters related to our work with the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in agriculture and the utilization of arbuscular mycorrhiza as biostimulants.

Long live to SIBECOL, see you in Aveiro 2022!