Soil systems: Analytical methods for integrating the chemical, biophysical interface in soils (3 ECTS)

Soil systems: Analytical methods for integrating the chemical, biophysical interface in soils (3 ECTS)

Soils are one of the most complex systems on earth in terms of their physical structure, chemical constitution and biodiversity. Until recently, soil science has been mainly operated on the basis of rather separate disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology. However, there is now an increasing awareness of the need to integrate these disciplines into a soil system view, i.e. looking at biogeochemical and biophysical interactions in soils. More specifically, soils are integrated complex adaptive system where macroscopic properties depend on interactions at smaller spatial scales. Recent technological advances are now available to discover interactions in the natural soil habitat, i.e. at nano- and micro-scales. Exploring this minute universe and the interactions therein may have profound implications for our understanding of soil functions at field, catchment and regional scales.

The aim of this course is to (i) provide an introduction to soil system sciences, (ii) give an overview of emerging micro-analytical techniques and their application to environmental samples; (iii) present examples of soil system sciences to study ecosystem services and (iv) to discuss challenges and the future of this research discipline.

Target group

This course is primarily intended for PhD students participating in the Focus on Soils & Water graduate school, but is also open to other PhD students working in related research areas. Researchers are also very welcome to participate in lectures and discussions, if places available. There are no specific prior knowledge or requirements.


The course consists of two parts:

1)                  The course will consist of three literature group meetings prior a one-week workshop and one final group meeting after the workshop: 5th and 19th of October, 2nd of November and a concluding meeting on the 30th of November. During these meetings, we will review selected research and review papers. In the concluding meeting, students will give an oral or poster presentations of their research.

2)                  A workshop at Ultuna will be held between 14th-18th of November with participation of international leading scientists in this research area for further information see attached workshop program).

Participation in the workshop and group meetings are compulsory! Though there is no need to be present in Uppsala for the group meetings as we can set up a video-link.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the course.


Time: 2016-10-05 - 2016-11-30
City: Uppsala
Organiser: FoSW
Last signup date: 21 September 2016
Additional info:

Course organizer: Anke Herrmann 

Registration for course: Stina Stiernstrom