Tuesday August 29   |    Soils for Society 

Keynote: Prof. dr. Peter Groffman

Soil is a vitally important resource supplying numerous ecosystem services such as provision of food, water purification, nutrient regulation, and biodiversity. Soil-based ecosystem services support resilience to global challenges such as land use change and climate change. The capacity of soil to accumulate and store carbon is critical for climate change mitigation and carbon neutrality. The impact of soil on green infrastructures and human health is essential for urban planning and sustainable development. At the same time soil is vulnerable to erosion, contamination, sealing and other natural and anthropogenic threats. Sustainable soil management is considered an important target by national regulations and international agreements. Joint efforts of scientists, policymakers and practitioners are needed to protect soil health and soil resources for future generations.  

We welcome contributions covering trans-, inter- and multidisciplinary research on soil functions and ecosystem services in natural, agricultural, and urban environments. Topics of interest include the effects of land management on soil functionality, interrelations between soil health and human health, and soils in resilient agro- and urban ecosystems. Sharing experiences in communicating soil knowledge to society by different means (e.g., political debates, education programs or art) is also a valuable contribution to this topic. 


Wednesday August 30   |   Advances in measuring and modelling soil processes

Soil is an open dynamic system. Processes of heat, water and substance transfer between solid, liquid, gaseous and life phases drive soil formation and functioning. Soil interactions with plants, biota, groundwater and atmosphere contribute to carbon, nutrientand energy fluxesUnderstanding soil processes is important to support decision-making for rational soil and land management. Advanced measurement techniques and process-based modeling approaches allow the quantification of water, gas and heat transport, carbon turnover, nutrient cycles, and other soil processes. Linking soil processes to land use change and climate change scenarios enables projecting future dynamics in soil health and functionality. 

We invite contributions related to (but not limited by) the following topics: 1) measuring soil physical, chemical and biological properties at different scales and by a variety of tools; 2) analytical, empirical and numerical modeling of water, carbon, and nutrient fluxes in soils and landscapes; 3) measuring and modeling soil-plant interactions and soil microbial functions. Presenting studies utilizing advanced measuring and modeling techniques, such as proximal sensing, internet of things or digital twins is also encouraged.


Thursday August 3  | Mapping and evaluating soil functions across scales

Keynote: Dr. Madlene Nussbaum

Soils are variable in time and space. Capturing this spatiotemporal variation is important for environmental studies and land use planning. Exploring relationships between soil-forming factors, soil properties, functions and ecosystem services across scales is a fundamental challenge, addressed by a variety of monitoring, mapping and modeling approaches. Remote and proximal sensing provide new opportunities to collect soil data with high spatial and temporal resolution and relatively low cost and generate ‘big data’ sets of soil information. Advanced techniques of statistical spatiotemporal modeling such as geostatistics and machine-learning allows transforming soil data into high-resolution maps and decision-support systems.

We welcome presentations focusing on assessment, mapping and evaluation of soil properties and functions, soil quality and soil threats, soil ecosystem services and disservices. Studies on novel geostatistical methods, digital soil mapping, remote and proximal sensing, hierarchical modeling, and uncertainty analysis will make a valuable contribution to the discussion. 


Friday September 1   | Soils for nature-based solutions 

Keynote: Dr. Carlo Calfapietra

The concept of nature-based solutions (NBS) promotes working with natural ‘tools’ to address societal challenges, to protect and sustainably manage natural and modified ecosystems. Soil provides important ecosystem services, which are essential contributions to NBS. Carbon sequestration in soils contributes to climate mitigation. Soil hydraulic conductivity and cation exchange capacity are important properties that influence the filtering and purification of surface- and groundwater and mitigate flooding.  Soils can be biogeochemical barriers to immobilize potentially toxic elements. Diversity and functionality of soil biota are highly relevant for sustainable land management projects, including revitalization of degraded lands, nature conservation or biodiversity-positive food systems. Agricultural soils are the core for food provisioning, whereas urban soils support blue-green infrastructures and contribute to the quality of life in cities.

We welcome an interdisciplinary discussion on the role of soils in NBS for climate change mitigation and adaptation, water management, food production, nature conservation and infrastructural support. Practical examples of soil NBS implementation from scientists, policymakers and practitioners (e.g., farmers, landscape engineers or urban planners) are highly appreciated. 


Evening Programme 

The conference will host an engaging and inspiring evening program with a variety of activities for all the conference’s participants. Monday, August 28th, the day before the official start of the conference, an opening event with drinks and snacks will be hosted by the municipality in the centre of Wageningen. On Tuesday, August 29th, a fun human bingo will facilitate people to know more about each other and network from personal and scientific points of view. Wednesday, August 30th, we will enjoy Ph.D. students’ pitches of their research during the “Rising soil stars” competition. During the last evening, on Thursday, August 31st, we will engage in an inspiring and insightful activity exploring the different perspectives and relationship with soils during the “Bridging science and society” event. Afterwards, we will continue the conversation and the networking at the official conference dinner, enjoying some delicious food with the colleagues met during the conference. Cherry on the cake: during one of the evenings, we will enjoy and dance with some live music from a local band. You cannot miss this!


Key Dates WSC 2023
Call for abstracts published January 26 2023
Preliminary program published February 2023
Closing of abstract submissions April 17 2023
Early-bird registration opens March 29 2023
Updated program published April 2023
Early bird registration closes May 30 2023
Regular registration closes July 3 2023
Wageningen Soil Conference 2023 August 28 – September 1 2023