programme Programme – Organic Phosphorus in the Environment:  Solutions for Phosphorus Security


Keynote Speakers 

Session 1: Organic P flows in the environment in context with other nutrient cycles: Integration across ecosystems 

Leo Condron

Prof. Leo Condron

Keynote Talk: Historical perspective on the nature and dynamics of organic phosphorus in the environment

Leo Condron is a professor of biogeochemistry in the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University, New Zealand. His research interests include the biogeochemistry of organic carbon and major nutrients in natural and managed ecosystems, with an emphasis on the nature, dynamics and bioavailability of organic and mineral forms of nutrients in the soil-plant system in relation to soil management and land use.  His project areas include organic matter and nutrient dynamics in grassland and forest soils, soil chronosequence dynamics, rhizosphere processes and nutrient acquisition, relationships between soil microbial diversity and function, and the nature, and the bioavailability and mobility of phosphorus in terrestrial environments.

Session 2: Methods of evaluating organic P stocks, concentration and speciation

Barbara Cade-MenumDr. Barbara Cade-Menun

Keynote Talk: Methods to characterize and quantify organic phosphorus in environmental samples: past successes and future directions

Dr. Barbara Cade-Menun is a research scientist specializing in nutrient cycling with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre in Saskatchewan. She was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, and has a BSc in Biology from Queen’s University (Kingston, ON, Canada), an MSc in soil biology from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in soil chemistry/forest soils from the University of British Columbia.  She did her postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, and then worked as a research scientist at Stanford University before moving to Swift Current in 2008.  She also holds Adjunct Professorships at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, and the University of Northern British Columbia. Throughout her career, she has worked to develop the use of 31P-NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy to characterize phosphorus (P) forms in soils and other environmental samples (including marine and lake sediments, water, manure and sewage sludge).  Her current research projects include: management practices to minimize nutrient loss in runoff water from agricultural lands; P utilization and improved use efficiency by agricultural crops; and the influence of land use on soil microbial populations and their production and use of soil P forms.

Session 3: Biotic interactions in organic P cycling – Plants

Marie SpohnDr. Marie Spohn

Keynote Talk: How are organic carbon and phosphorus mineralization connected in the rhizosphere?

Dr. Marie Spohn is a junior research group leader at the Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research at the University of Bayreuth. She studied biology at the University of Oldenburg and at the University of Jena, and earned her PhD from the University of Oldenburg in 2011. After a two-year postdoc at the University of Göttingen, she worked as an academic assistant at the University of Bayreuth. Currently, Marie Spohn is starting her junior research group at the University of Bayreuth funded by the German Research Foundation through the Emmy Noether Program. Her main research interest is the interaction of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling in soil.

Mark SmitsDr. Mark Smits

Keynote Talk: Plant-fungus interactions with apatite: ideas versus observations of mycorrhizal fungi-induced apatite weathering 

Mark Smits has been working since his PhD at Wageningen University (the Netherlands, 2001) on fungal weathering. His work ranges from nanoscale observations and pot experiments to field scale studies (in subsequent postdoc positions at Sheffield University, UK and Lund University, Sweden). His work focuses on linking fungal scale observation via mechanistic understanding to field scale processes. In the last 6 years he worked on the interaction between mycorrhizal fungi and soil organic matter dynamics at Hasselt University. At his current position as researcher at BVB-Research, he is developing disease resistant substrates for horticulture and mushroom culture.

Session 4: Biotic interactions in organic P cycling – Microbes

Federica TamburiniDr. Federica Tamburini

Keynote Talk: Insights into the biological cycle of P (with a little help from oxygen isotopes).

Federica Tamburini is a researcher at ETH Zurich. She studied geology at the University of Urbino (Italy), and then marine geochemistry for her PhD at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). For her post-doctoral training, she worked at the WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA), and then returned to Switzerland to work at ETH Zurich. Initially she worked in the Geological Institute, on P geochemistry in marine sediments, and then in the Group of Plant Nutrition (Institute of Agricultural Sciences), where she is now responsible for the stable isotope analytical facility. Since 2007, her research has focused on the use of oxygen stable isotopes of phosphate in the soil/plant system, with particular emphasis on the role of biological processes on the P cycle. She is also actively working on optimising sample preparation for isotopic analysis.

Anna RoslingDr. Anna Rosling

Keynote Talk: How mycorrhizal associations effects phosphorus cycling in deciduous forest soils.        

Anna Rosling is a researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden where her group explores fungal soil interactions. She is interested in soil as a biological system, how microbial processes shapes soil development and how soil fungal communities assemble and adapt to the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of soil. Soils remain an unexplored universe with tremendous diversity and important processes yet to be explored. Her group conducts research on the role of microbial processes in biogeochemical cycles and on diversity and function of fungal communities. Particularly focusing on phosphorus cycling and root symbiotic fungi. For her PhD at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Anna studied the role of ectomycorrhizal fungi in weathering of soil minerals. She did her post doc in Jill Banfield’s group at UC Berkeley before returning to SLU as a junior research fellow studying niche partitioning in soil fungal communities. During 2010-2012 Anna was a visiting scholar at Indiana University in Bloomington where she worked with Rich Phillips studying soil phosphorus cycling along a natural mycorrhizal gradient in deciduous forests. Since 2013 Anna is a researcher at Evolutionary biology, Uppsala University. She was recently granted an ERC starter grant to start studying the genetics of symbiotic stability of AM fungi.

Session 5: Organic P in soil and waters: Stocks, Flows and impact of scale

Erwin KlumppProf. Dr. Erwin Klumpp

Keynote Talk: Specification of nano-particulate phosphorus in terrestrial systems

Erwin Klump is the vice-director of the Agrosphere Institute at the Jülich Research Centre. He has an MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Physical and Colloid Chemistry from the Technical University Budapest (BME). Following his PhD, he continued to work at the University for two years in the Institute of Applied Physical Chemistry. He then moved to the Jülich Research Centre where he worked as a researcher, and is now vice-director of the Agrosphere Institute. He is also a Professor (apl) at RWTH Aachen University. His main research interests include biogeochemical interfaces and colloids: formation & function, material cycles and dynamics (e.g., C and P) in terrestrial systems and pollutants and nanoparticles in the environment. 

Session 6: Global challenges for Organic P research

Ben Turner

Dr. Ben Turner

Ben Turner received a PhD in Geography in 2000 from the University of London and worked at the University of Durham, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the University of Florida.

He has been a Staff Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama since 2004, where he uses natural and experimental gradients to understand how soils and associated nutrients influence the ecology of tropical forests.