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Soil Security: Is biodiversity the missing link?

February 20, 2013

International scientists will gather at CSU to plan the 'First Assessment of the World's Soil Biodiversity.'

Tuesday, February 26
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lory Student Center Theatre

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES), the secretariat of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative at Colorado State University, will team with the European Commission – Joint Research Centre to host an international workshop of scientists and policymakers who will plan for an unusual challenge: a scientific assessment of earth’s soil biodiversity.

The role of soils in global services

There are millions and millions of organisms in the soil under your feet that play a critical role in maintaining a multitude of global services. With recent advances in molecular techniques, global surveys and communication between researchers, scientists can now link this unseen diversity with key ecosystem services. 

The Assessment will specifically summarize current knowledge on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services with topics critical to sustainable development (desertification, food security, biodiversity and climate change).

To launch the workshop there will be an Opening Session and Panel Discussion open to the public, February 26, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Lory Student Center Theatre. The session will feature prominent biodiversity scientists explaining new tools and evidence that led many international scientists and policymakers to call for an assessment.

Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) is open to anyone interested in developing a platform for promoting the translation of expert knowledge on soil biodiversity for the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services.

Opening session

Soil Security: Is biodiversity the missing link? - 9 a.m. to noon

Featuring talks by:

  • Luca Montanarella, Ph.D., D.G., European Commission-Joint Research Centre, Italy
  • Richard Bardgett, Ph.D., professor of ecology, Manchester University, UK
  • Johan Six, Ph.D., professor of agroecology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Panel discussion

Global Science Policy and the Soils Challenge - Noon to 1 p.m.

  • Moderator: James Cooney, Ph.D., Vice Provost, International Programs, CSU

The panel features international biodiversity experts:

  • Luca Montanarella, Ph.D., D.G., European Commission-Joint Research Centre, Italy
  • Katarina Hedlund, Ph.D., Lund University, Sweden
  • Edmundo Barrios, Ph.D., World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya
  • Gerlinde de Deyn, Ph.D., Wageningen University, the Netherlands

For questions regarding the session or the workshop, please contact Kelly Ramirez, Ph.D., at or (970) 491-7647.

Contact: Kelly Ramirez, Ph.D.
Phone: (970) 491-7647