STARS International Conference 2019: Future global challenges for soil science

Aims and Overview

The STARS 2019 conference took place in January. The aims of the conference included providing a platform for STARS researchers to showcase their research, both to their peers and the wider community, including stakeholders and policy makers. Researchers had the opportunity to reflect upon how their work fits into the wider soil science picture and beyond.  It provided an opportunity for strengthening of existing ties, and for building new ones. The conference included Keynote speeches, from eminent soil scientists, oral and poster presentations along with workshops and structured opportunities to network and build new links and collaborations. 

This exciting time for the STARS CDT, was a unique opportunity to bring together all its PhD students and supervisors to celebrate the diversity and depth of soil science research in the UK. We met in the Low Wood Bay Hotel on the banks of Windermere. 

The conference was structured around the four STARS themes:

· Understanding the soil root interface

· Soils & the delivery of ecosystem services

· Resilience & response of soil functions to global changes

· Modelling the soil ecosystem at different spatial & temporal scales

Since the first cohort of STARS students were approaching the concluding stages of their PhD research, this was the perfect time for them to share their research experience with their peers and celebrate the successes of all the STARS students.

STARS continues to make new connections and establish new collaborations with soil science researchers, stakeholders and policy makers. If you would like to know more about STARS or future conferences please contact the STARS office. 

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The full conference programme is available here and the Conference handbook is available here

Professor Steve McGrath opened the conference with an event entitled “Working with global challenges”. 

Keynote speakers included, Richard Bardgett – University of Manchester, Steven Banwart – University of Leeds, Saoirse Tracy – University College, Dublin and Kate Buckeridge – University of Edinburgh. 

Professor Phil Haygarth introduced a call for contributions to the STARS EJSS Special issue. 

Further guest speakers took part in workshops throughout the event.