Microbial Cycling of Volatile Organic Compounds: Biogeochemistry to Biotechnology 2022 – a view from Twitter

Posted on June 9, 2022   by Kimberley Ndungu

On 26—25 May 2022, the Society hosted the first Focused Meeting of the year, Microbial Cycling of Volatile Organic Compounds: Biogeochemistry to Biotechnology 2022. Here, we look at Twitter for some of the highlights of #VOCmicrobes22.


With a full scientific programme prepared to address recent advances in the field of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOC) microbiology, we were looking forward to hearing from a range of speakers and poster presenters and being able to welcome our delegates in person! 


We were pleased to see our delegates were just as excited to attend…


…as were our sponsors, NCIMB, Humane Technologies Limited, Kore Technology and Constant Systems.

The first talk came from our Keynote Speaker, Chris Greening (Monash University, Australia), who presented his lecture on atmospheric carbon monoxide oxidation.


Continuing the session on the overview, production and degradation of terpenes, Colin Murrell and Leanne Sims (both University of East Anglia, UK) each gave talks focusing on isoprene’s involvement in current climate changes.


Then, Phillip Pichon (University of Essex, UK) shared research on the microbial degradation of acetaldehyde in freshwater and marine environments.

The second session of the day moved the focus over to biotechnology and signalling molecules. Paolina Garbeva (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Netherlands) discussed the recent advances in understanding the natural roles of volatiles in microbial interactions.

Sara Cantera (Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands) then explored the current limitations of CO2 and CO conversion biotechnologies whilst introducing new strategies to treat waste gasses.


Continuing the discussion on waste, Raquel Lebrero (University of Valladolid, Spain) reflects on how the emergence of the circular economy has changed our perception of waste and presents research on how we could turn VOCs into valuable products to improve sustainability.


Day one was then concluded with an excellent poster session, which showcased the diversity of research within microbial cycling of VOCs.


The second day of #VOCMicrobes22 highlighted research on the biogeochemistry of BVOCs and related compounds. The first talk of the day came from Lucy Carpenter (University of York, UK) and explored the role of the sea surface microlayer in atmospheric chemistry.


Hendrik Schäfer (University of Warwick, UK) presented his team's work which asks whether carbon monoxide-degrading bacteria in the phyllosphere are a significant sink in the CO cycle.


Later in the session, Linnea Honeker (University of Arizona, USA) shifted the focus to soil microbes, whilst looking at the effect drought has on their ability to cycle VOCs.


Finally, it was time to announce the poster prize winners. Huge congratulations to Marta Sudo, Louis-Francois Mey and Wenxin Bay!

Thank you to everyone who attended #VOCmicrobes22, contributed to its success and joined the conversation on Twitter! We hope to welcome you again to another conference in our events series.