GUEST SPEAKER: Prof Nanthi Bolan, Leader for Program 3,Soil CRC, University of Newcastle
Soil health, as measured by the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of soil, determines the yield potential of many crops and other ecosystem services.
This presentation will review the literature on the influence of biochar application on soil physical, chemical, and biological fertility, and present the results of a metaanalysis of these data from publications. A treatment effect size estimator commonly employed in meta-analysis is the magnitude of an experimental treatment (i.e., with biochar application) mean, relative to the control treatment (i.e., without biochar application) mean. A typical effect size metric is the response ratio or the relative impact on a measured parameter (e.g., soil bulk density) following biochar application compared to that in control treatment. The meta-analysis indicated that biochar application modulates physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, and the extent of biochar-induced changes depend on the nature and level of biochar application, and soil type.
Professor Nanthi Bolan’s teaching and research interests include agronomic value of manures, fertilisers and soil amendments, nutrient and carbon cycling, greenhouse gas emission, soil remediation, and waste management. Nanthi is a Fellow of American Soil Science Society, American Society of Agronomy and New Zealand Soil Science Society and was awarded the Communicator of the Year award by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Sciences. He has supervised more than 50 postgraduate students and was awarded the Massey University Research Medal for excellence in postgraduate students’ supervision. He has published more than 350 book chapters and journal papers and is one of the Web of Science Globally Highly cited researchers for 2018 and 2019.
The workshop was run by Dr Maryam Esfandbod, Business Development Manager for ANROWM, and received 25 attendees from industry, QLD state government and consultancy agencies at 8 October in Chancellor Board meeting room, Nathan Campus, Griffith University. It opened by Pro Vice Chancellor of Griffith Science, Prof Andrew Smith. Program running sheet attached in this document.
Discussion session was chaired by Dr Georgina Davis. It was very interactive among attendees and made a very informative contribution. Here are highlights from program and discussion session:
The characterisation of different organic wastes (food waste, biosolid, green waste, commercial compost and effluents) showed that Heavy metals are one of main issues in most of organic wastes while PFAS/PFOS has failed in few samples. Prof Chen is still working on more organic waste samples. There is a need for further study in addressing how contamination entered organic wastes and helping industry to removing this contamination.
The method for measuring microplastic in soil, solid wastes and effluents was well developed by Dr Mehran Rashti. The results showed that most of the samples had significant amounts of microplastics which needs further study for their interaction with soil organisms and plants as well as their off-site impacts on water quality.
In discussion session, attendees addressed some new emerging contaminants. Dr Georgina Davis proposed few questions and asked attendees to address the questions so we could keep the conversation open for more discussion and understanding of industry challenges and needs.
The 2nd National Symposium on the Beneficial Use of Recycled Organics will be held 20 – 21 June at the Brisbane Riverview Hotel.
Hosted by the Queensland Government and Griffith University, the symposium will see over 100 delegates from universities and government agencies, as well as environmental consultants, land managers and farmers.
To better understand the beneficial use of recycled organics in our environment, the symposium will examine learnings from its application to agriculture, mining, urban environments and infrastructure.
Speakers will discuss research into the use of recycled organic products to enhance agricultural production in degraded and marginal landscapes and enable the environmental rehabilitation.