Micro-organisms play a pivotal role in agriculture, from cycling nutrients in soils to the treatment and disposal of wastes arising from the agri-food industry. This conference will focus on the diverse roles played by micro-organisms across this sector, from increasing farming efficiency to safe environmental management, and the production of value added products from agri-food and bio-based waste streams. An understanding of new approaches and biotechnological possibilities will improve our ability to harness microbial processes to provide solutions for more efficient and sustainable agri-food systems with better environmental stewardship. This meeting will thus be of interest to academics, industry and government institutions.
Allied to the conference will be a one-day workshop on Irish phosphorus sustainability aimed at bringing together regulators, researchers and industry to discuss needed solutions for agricultural sustainability and food security especially in the context of phosphorus (P) management. Through keynotes, panel discussions, and stakeholder/researcher breakout groups we will: a) discuss scenarios for effective P management; b) increase awareness of existing P recycling technologies and envision their implementation within the agri-food and waste treatment sector; and c) develop a market understanding for technological/management gaps requiring further research.
This Focused Meeting took place on 21–23 June 2017 at the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, UK.
Organising committee: John McGrath, Vincent O'Flaherty, Katrina Macintosh, Jason Chin and John Quinn.
The meeting ran over three days, with the All Island Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop on day one followed by the conference on days two and three. Delegates had the option to attend the workshop and conference either in their entirety, or as standalone events.
Approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD, this event may be counted as 70 CPD credits.Download programme book
For any inquiries, please email email@example.com
Updates on Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security can be found using the hashtag: #AgriFoodSec17
Abstract submission is now closed.
A PDF of the abstract book can be downloaded below:Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security abstract book
Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words. The Society has produced a guide to give delegates some tips from the session organisers on how to write a great abstract, which can be downloaded below:How to... write a great abstract
Please note that the abstract is the only information session organisers use when deciding whether to accept your work for presentation as an offered oral or poster. If accepted, it will also be published in the abstract book for the conference – so think carefully about what needs to be included.
Those who are presenting a poster must ensure that their work is presented as below. We cannot accommodate incorrectly formatted posters during the meeting.
For tips on how to best prepare a poster presentation please click on the following link.How to... give a poster presentation
In order to ensure your presentation runs smoothly, you are asked to comply with the following:
For tips on how best to prepare an oral presentation please click on the following link.How to... give an oral presentation
Each year, the Young Microbiologist of the Year Competition recognises and rewards excellence in science communication by a Microbiology Society Member who is a postgraduate student or postdoctoral researcher, having gained their PhD in the last two years.
To enter this competition, applicants must tick the appropriate box during online abstract submission for the Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security meeting. Finalists will be notified in early summer if they have been selected, and will be invited to give a 10-minute oral presentation (plus 5 minutes for questions) at the final at the Society’s Annual General Meeting.
Registration is now open.Register now
Please note: online registration made after midday on Thursday 15 June 2017 will need to be confirmed onsite to receive a name badge and delegate bag.
Book before Wednesday 14 June 2017 to take advantage of the early bird rates.
|Full Member||Student Member||Non-Member|
|All Island Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop – 21 June 2017||£150||£100||£200|
Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security – 22–23 June 2017
Rates after Wednesday 14 June 2017
|Full Member||Student Member||Non-member|
|All Island Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop – 21 June 2017||£160||£110||£210|
|Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security – 22–23 June 2017||£160||£110||£210|
What's included in your registration fee?
*All food will be provided by NATIVE and produced locally. Join us on Thursday night for a taste of local food and craft ales to celebrate some Northern Irish artisan producers of quality food and exquisite ale and cider.
Society Conference Grants will be available to support eligible members wishing to present at this Focused Meeting. Support is also available for members requiring support for caring costs associated with conference attendance. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 25 May 2017. You can apply for a grant before receiving notification about the outcome of your abstract submission. A conditional grant offer can be made without evidence of abstract acceptance if unavailable at the time of application, however evidence must be provided to claim any grant offered.
Upon registration you should receive an automated confirmation email. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if after 24 hours this has not been received.
If you need a letter of invitation for a visa application, we will be happy to supply this after we have received full payment.
To find out if you need a visa to visit the UK, please visit the UK visa and immigration website.
Please note that all conference delegates are responsible for their own travel and visa arrangements; the Microbiology Society will not take any responsibility for travel or visa problems.
All registration fees must be paid in full BEFORE arrival at the meeting. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before admittance will be granted to the meeting.
Refunds will not be provided.
Substitutions of attendees can be made at any time by contacting email@example.com.
International speakers are invited to present their work in this field of microbiology. Each person below is highly recognised.
Barbara is a project manager within the Environmental Research Institute, part of the UHI-North Highland College. The ERI undertakes high quality, vibrant research that seeks to address emerging issues related to improving understanding of the natural environment. With a background in marine ecology, Barbara has extensive experience in wildlife conservation, regulation and land use, as well as managing EU funded projects. Joining the ERI in 2011, she has contributed to research, knowledge exchange and commercial activity. This has included responsibility for outreach activity and for delivery of TURNKEY project (Atlantic Areas Programme 2007–2013) as Lead Partner. Currently Barbara is managing ERI’s contribution to Phos4You project and sits on the Partner steering group.
Jason is a Postdoctoral Research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast who studied the microbial metabolism of phosphonate compounds during his PhD. Since then he has worked on a range of phosphorus issues including exploring different triggers for bacterial accumulation of phosphorus as polyphosphate and chemical phosphorus capture methods. His current research focus is the microbial community of a novel anaerobic digester design to try to understand what drives phosphorus cycling and removal within the system.
Dana leads and undertakes international and Australian sustainability research projects on phosphorus and food futures at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS. She leads the collaborative P-FUTURES project across Australia, Vietnam, the US and Malawi, which aims to identify together with local stakeholders how urban food systems can cope or transform in response to the emerging global phosphorus challenge. In 2008 Dana co-founded the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI) to facilitate research, networking and public debate among policy-makers, industry, scientists and the public regarding the risks and opportunities for food systems associated with global phosphorus security. As a global food security expert, Dana is frequently invited to provide expert opinions and interviews, from the United Nations to BBC to Australia’s Chief Scientist. Dana’s research contributions have led to numerous prestigious recognitions including one of Australia's top science prizes — the Eureka Prize for Environmental Research and a position in 100 Women of Influence.
Kari is a Professor in Applied Soil Ecology in the School of Environmental Sciences, and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Microbiology of Agro-Ecosystems at the University of Guelph. A graduate of the University of Calgary, (BSc Microbiology 1995) and the University of Saskatchewan (MSc Plant Science 1999; PhD Soil Science 2002), she also did postdoctoral research at the University of Maine (2003). Kari’s research program focuses on assessing anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem services, in particular focusing on the microbial communities in the soil and the soil-water interface. Kari was awarded an Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award in 2011 for her research focused on the impact of agricultural practices on the diversity of soil microbial communities, and on source water quality. She currently serves as a co-Editor-in-Chief for the Canadian Journal of Microbiology.
Lionel's research focuses on quantitative techniques for root soil microbe interactions. He gained his PhD in finite element modelling of root soil mechanics in 2004 (University of Bordeaux) and undertook his postdoc in cellular modelling of plant tissue morphogenesis in 2007 (University of Cambridge). Since then, he has been a researcher at the James Hutton Institute, within the Plant Systems Modelling lab.
John, Director of Agriculture with Devenish Nutrition, is highly respected and recognised as an excellent participant and communicator in the Agri Food and Sustainable Land management Sectors. He has been an award-winning Farmer in Ireland and in the UK; an Innovator and Farm Leader; while at the same time, he has been a policy adviser for Devolved, National and European Governments. Just retired as a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Rural College and SAC Consultancy in Edinburgh, positions he held for the last seven years, John was formerly President of the Ulster Farmers Union during the 2001 outbreak of Hoof & Mouth; Vice Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission; and Chair of the UK’s Rural Climate Change Forum. He currently runs his family’s 180ha, arable and willow farm in N. Ireland, while also being a member of the EU Commission’s Expert Industry Panel on Mixed Farming Systems; and currently, chairs N. Ireland’s Expert Working Group, which has just published N. Ireland’s first Sustainable Land Management Strategy for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, in Belfast.
Phil is a Professor of Soil and Water Science and leads the Sustainable Catchments Research Challenge for Lancaster University, with personal research at the interface between soils and freshwaters, with a focus on phosphorus. His research involves studying the mechanisms by which soils retain phosphorus for food production, but critically defining conditions that prevent the unwanted leakage to fresh-waterways. Phil is well known for developing the phosphorus “transfer continuum” model and the practical impact of this has been to influence the UK Government, and others around the world, develop policies to optimise plant uptake of nutrients but minimise losses to water. This involves efforts to reduce runoff energy, which can have dual benefits for both diffuse pollution and flood control. Specific current lines of research and impact include: development and maintaining 'Demonstration Test Catchments' that can help provide a focal meeting point for policy-makers, farmers and researchers; a focus on plant types that have benefit traits, such as the potential to be efficient users of phosphorus or rooting qualities that 'soak up' runoff water; and a consideration of what may happen to phosphorus under future climate chance scenarios, which predict warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers.
Penny leads a group working on soil microbiology and molecular ecology at Rothamsted Research, the longest running agricultural research institute in the world. Research on nutrient cycling in arable systems focuses on N and P and the relationship between the soil and crop plant microbiomes, applying metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, in addition to more conventional approaches. Over the years, she has worked with fungi and bacteria, on rhizosphere interactions and other microbial activity in soil that supports plant health and productivity, including nitrogen cycling. This is combined with long experience on the extraction, amplification and bioinformatics analysis of DNA and RNA sequences derived from soil and the rhizosphere. The long-term field experiments at Rothamsted have provided valuable resource for applying these techniques to determine agronomic impacts on soil and plant.
Brent is a Research Director in climate change adaptation at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Brent’s background is in agricultural science with broad experience in agricultural systems and eco-physiology of crops and pastures gained through teaching and research conducted at universities in Australia and in the South Pacific. Brent has a decade of experience in public sector policy and research in the areas of natural resource management, structural adjustment and development of assistance packages to accompany natural resource reforms. Brent’s current research interests include transformation, vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities to support climate change adaptation and he leads the Adaptive Communities Node of the NSW Climate Adaptation Research Hub.
Christian started his professional career as Head of Laboratory and Vice Production Manager in the chemical industry in 2003. He joined the German EPA in 2008 where he promoted the development of a national strategy for sustainable P management. Being in favour of facts instead of rumours, he initiated the national sewage sludge ash monitoring campaign finally conducted between 2013/2014. In 2011 he moved to the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water as program manager for resource recovery from waste (water) and coordinated the EU project www.p-rex.eu (2012–2015) dedicated to demonstration and assessment of P recovery and recycling routes. The spin-off P-REX Environment (2017) continues the know-how transfer into practice and builds cross-sectoral bridges between nutrient recovery and recycling. Christian is co-founder of the ESPP and DPP and member of the ifs, DWA and engaged in various European and German working groups and bodies dealing with sustainable nutrient management in a circular economy.
Tim is a Professor of Earth System Science and Climate Change at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on understanding the behaviour of the Earth as a whole system, especially through the development and use of Earth system models. He is particularly interested in how life has reshaped the planet in the past, and what lessons we can draw from this as we proceed to reshape the planet now – as described in his books Revolutions that made the Earth (with Andrew Watson) and Earth System Science: A Very Short Introduction. Tim’s work identifying the tipping elements in the climate system won the Times Higher Education Award for Research Project of the Year 2008. He has also received a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2004, a European Geosciences Union Outstanding Young Scientist Award 2006, the Geological Society of London William Smith Fund 2008, and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award 2013.
Katrina is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, working on an EPA funded project investigating phosphorus recovery from wastewater in terms of novel technologies for advanced treatment and re-use. She is also involved in the NERC-funded SLURRY-MAX project investigating the networks of policy, decision support tools and practices that inform livestock manure management within the UK, and how these can best be integrated into farm-level practices. Katrina gained her PhD from the University of Ulster researching the distribution and dynamics of iron in streams and its effects on aquatic ecology. At Ulster, she worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher developing targeted ecosystem modelling tools for lake resource management and validated the use of flow-proportional passive sensors for phosphorus and nitrogen in Irish rivers. Katrina has been the driving force behind the ‘Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop’ and works closely with the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, the American Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance and associated stakeholders in relation to sustainable phosphorus management.
Richard is the Chief Scientist for the NZ Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, a Principal Scientist at AgResearch and Professor of soil and water quality at Lincoln University. He has degrees from Lincoln and Cambridge Universities. Before joining AgResearch 15 years ago, he was employed by the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service and was involved in water quality research and aiding in policy development. He is a fellow of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science, has received a few awards, and has written a few (~300) articles on soil and water quality issues. He has a special interest in providing options and tools to mitigate water quality contamination (from a variety of land uses) while maintaining profitable primary production enterprises (and no interest in talking about rugby).
Fabiana gained her PhD in 2012 from the University of São Paulo through work on microbial groups linked to nutrient cycling in Amazon rainforest soils. In her first postdoctoral project at National University of Ireland Galway, she was an Irish Research Council fellow, working in collaboration with Monaghan Mushrooms, in an enterprise partnership program. Since Fabiana joined NUIG, she has been involved in different projects, including studies of complex communities and pure cultures. Fabiana is interested in responses of soil microbes to different nutrient inputs. She is also studying phosphorus uptake by methanogenic archaea as part of a SFI project to investigate phosphorus recovery in anaerobic reactors.
Anna is a Professor and external collaboration specialist in Bioenergy at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She presently also holds a position as a guest professor at Linköping University in Sweden. Her work aims to find links between microbiology and methane production with the goal to find solutions for optimised gas production with higher yields and improved process stability. The research is accomplished in the laboratory as well as in industrial biogas processes and the work is often performed in cooperation with national and international universities, as well as with industry and branch oriented organisations. Anna is head of the biogas team at the department of microbiology and she has published around 80 per-rewired papers in the area of biogas.
Kimo works for the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP), a platform organisation working on nutrient stewardship by bringing together different stakeholders including governments, research institutes, industry, non-governmental organisations and farmers. Additionally, he participates in the Dutch Nutrient Platform and other nutrient networks. In the last years he did research on nutrient management and phosphorus (P) security at Wageningen University. He analyses the present P flows in Europe (EU-27) at the country level, develops dynamic nutrient flow models, and simulates potential future P use by scenario analyses. In the past he did scientific studies for the Dutch government about the options for sustainable P use in the Dutch, West-European and European society. Furthermore, he was involved in analysing P flows and future nutrient management options at the local level in cities (Rotterdam and Wageningen).
In 2009, Patricia graduated from Pablo de Olavide University with a BSc in Environmental Sciences. Since then she had spent a year working as an Ecosystem Analyst at EGMASA, followed by three years as a Coastal and Transitional Water Project Manager at Omicron Amepro (Seville). In 2014, Patricia graduated with a MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, developing her thesis on Veolia’s recycled fertilisers. Her thesis resulted in Veolia producing the first fertiliser made out of recycled phosphorus. Patricia has been a part of Veolia’s team since June 2014.
Fiona is a Research Officer in Soil Microbiology in the Department of Environment, Soils and Land-Use in Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, where she leads the Soil Microbiome sub-programme. She holds an adjunct Lecturer position in the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) and is a principal investigator in the Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre (PABC). She completed a BSc in Environmental Biology (University College Dublin) and a PhD in Microbiology (NUI Galway) prior to holding postdoctoral research positions within Teagasc and INRA (The French National Institute for Agricultural Research). Prior to her current appointment she was a Lecturer in Microbiology in NUI Galway and a Research Scientist in the James Hutton Institute, Scotland. A key focus of her research team is on soil-plant interactions in agronomic systems, recycling of organic amendments, and on understanding the role of functional microbial communities in soil biogeochemical cycles and greenhouse gas emissions.
Thomas has worked in the water industry since graduation from the Queen's University of Belfast in 1996 as a Civil Engineer. He spent 10 years working on direct civil engineering projects, being involved in design, site supervision and project management on a range of water and sewerage projects. Shortly after NI Water was formed in April 2007, Thomas transferred to the Regulation team and was responsible for capital investment reporting and supporting the opex efficiency assessment team deriving special factors etc. as well as pioneering energy benchmarking within the business. In November 2016, Thomas took up the role in Asset Management and is currently the Head of Asset Lifecycle planning managing a team setting strategic direction of the company including developing a new Sludge Strategy for NI Water.
Andrea has over 17 years of experience in the water industry, both in consulting firms and technology start-ups. Prior to joining Ostara in April 2016, Andrea led the innovation agenda for a high-growth professional services firm. In 2005, Andrea set up a platform known as TAG – the Technology Approval Group – to accelerate routes to market for start-up companies in the water sector. Andrea has held management and business development roles in several start-up businesses focused on the development of biosolids and organic waste treatment projects.
Kees is Vice President Business Development at ICL. From 2003–2006, he was the Managing Director of Amsterdam Fertilizers, then from 2006–2012 he was President and CEO of ICL Fertilizers Europe, heading a group of 2,500 on sites for fertiliser, feed phosphate and potash production in Europe. Kees currently heads the global M&A strategy group for phosphates, preparing JVs, exploring new mines, and developing strategic projects.
Kieran is a Senior Scientific Officer with the Water Management Unit of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) which is part of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). He graduated from the University of Ulster in 1989 in Environmental Science and also in 2005 with an MSc in Environmental Management. Since then he has worked in a number of government departments, specialising in agricultural regulation and environmental management. He has been closely involved in the development and implementation of the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations and the Phosphorus Regulations in Northern Ireland with particular interests in promoting the efficient use of nutrients by the agricultural industry to achieve environmental, economic and social outcomes.
Alan is a Senior Countryside Management Adviser within the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). He has almost 20 years’ experience in providing environmental management advice to farmers and others allied to the agriculture industry. Throughout his career, Alan has had a particular interest in issues affecting water quality on farms. He has had lead role in developing a number of training programmes for farmers and advisers in connection with improved farm nutrient management and pollution control. Alan co-chaired the Nitrates Guidance Group in connection with the current Nitrates Action programme. As lead author, he was responsible for producing the most recent DARD ‘Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the prevention of pollution of Water, Air and Soil.’ Alan has also worked outside the UK as an EU ‘Short Term Expert’ in Poland on a water resources protection project – Water Resources Protection vis-à-vis agricultural impacts.
Working in Asset Planning in Asset Management, Ted has responsibility for the direction Irish Water takes in terms of wastewater treatment, including the development of asset standards and policies, and incorporating innovative technological advances into the asset base. Key to this is the development of wastewater investment requirements to meet national priorities for the provision of wastewater services. Prior to joining Irish Water, Ted was involved in the establishment of Irish Water through the Irish Water Programme. Before that, he worked on a number of technology development projects in water and wastewater treatment, as well as lecturing and postgraduate supervision. A chartered engineer, his background is in wastewater treatment and technology development and has completed BE, MEngSc and PhD degrees in civil and environmental engineering.
Raymond is a graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He spent five years working as a laboratory analyst in Eclipse Scientific in the UK before taking up a new role as Chemist with the Environmental Protection Agency in the Castlebar Regional Inspectorate in 1996. His initial role was as analyst with responsibility for the implementation of laboratory accreditation in accordance with ISO 17025. In 2005, Raymond took up the role of Regional Chemist with responsibility for the management of the Castlebar laboratory team before taking up a similar role in the EPA’s Monaghan Regional Inspectorate in 2011. He has extensive experience working with and managing teams involved in the monitoring of surface waters, groundwaters, industrial effluents, wastewater discharges etc for a range of physico-chemical and microbiological parameters. He has responsibility for the assessment and reporting of data in accordance with various requirements including the Water Framework Directive.
We have been able to secure a discount on selected 3* and 4* hotels. Please see the rates below, available for delegates attending our meeting in June.
Delegates will receive a 10% discount off the best available rate on the day of the booking. To get your discounted rate quote promotional code GQUNA when registering online or over the phone.
Please book directly by phone or email quoting the conference name ‘Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security and Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop’. Please note the discount is only valid for bookings made before 10 May 2017.
Please book directly by phone or email quoting the conference name ‘Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security and Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop’. Please note the discount is only valid for bookings made before 10 May 2017.
Please check each hotel's website for their terms and conditions, and what is included in your stay.
The conference will be held at the Metropolitan Arts Centre, right in the heart of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.
Metropolitan Arts Centre
10 Exchange Street
Exhibition at this event will provide exposure to over 100 delegates and the Irish market for nutrient removal and recovery. The All Island Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop will host the water utilities across Ireland (north & south) along with regulators and agri-food companies. Delegate refreshments will be served in the exhibition area, allowing up to eight hours to network with delegates and technology providers.
|Fees||Rate (incl. VAT)|
All Island Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop registration, exhibition space, insert in delegate packs & option for soapbox style presentation (21 June 2017)
Includes one person to man the stand for one day
Conference registration, exhibition space and insert in delegate packs (22–23 June 2017)
Includes one person to man the stand for 1½ days
Workshop and Conference (21–23 June 2017)
Includes one person to man the stand for 2½ days
The exhibition fee includes:
Please note that stands will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. You will be sent information on access and set-up approximately one month before the date of the conference.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss pricing and your requirements.