CCRI researchers Julie Ingram, Jane Mills and Kamilla Skaalsveen contributed to the Soil Functions for Society day at the Wageningen Soil Conference Understanding soil functions: from ped to planet last week (28th August).
Kamilla’s presentation from her PhD research ‘Assessing the impact of no-till on water related soil functions and the role of farmer networks in knowledge exchange and implementation: results from interdisciplinary research’ was well received by the audience and stimulated a number of questions. Her analysis showed the significance of social networks to farmers learning about no-till in the absence of other external support.
Julie, who is on the scientific committee for the conference, co-convened a Masterclass Applying a participatory approach in understanding soil functions with Francesca Bampa, Lilian O’Sullivan and Jane Mills with contributions from Kamilla Skaalsveen.
The Masterclass demonstrated and offered hands-on examples of the application of participatory approaches and methods in relation to soil functioning and land management. The session drew on the experiences of a number of EU projects that CCRI has been involved with: SoilCare RECARE, VALERIE, SmartSOIL where participatory methodologies were used, as well as LANDMARK in which Francesca and Lilian are partners.
Julie said “This was a great opportunity to share a range of approaches and methods already tested in research projects. Discussions showed that researchers are already collaborating with stakeholders, to help them learn how to deal with synergies and trade-offs in managing soil functions. Building capacity in participatory techniques in the research community will further support such learning and equip them to meet future research challenges with soil management.”
A special issue of the European Journal of Soil Science has also been published that included a number of papers that were presented at the conference. Julie and Jane have both published extensively on the top of Soil Science, and many of their articles can be accessed via the University of Gloucestershire’s research repository.