Phylogenetic distribution, biogeography and the effects of land management upon bacterial non-specific Acid phosphatase Gene diversity and abundance


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Structural equation modeling for the estimation of interconnections between the P cycle and soil properties

Marcus Nutrient cycling titleMarcus Nutrient Cycling

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Symposium on Phosphorus in Plants and Soils (10-13th September 2018).

We would like to announce The Symposium on Phosphorus in Plants and Soils. The symposium will be held from 10-13 September 2018 in Leuven and will be hosted by the KU Leuven. More information is available at the website: www.psp6symposium.comIf you have more questions, you can contact Kris Dox ( or Erik Smolders ( , who is the chair of the organizing committee.
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New Administrator

I would just like to say a quick hello as the new administrator of the soil phosphorus forum. If you have any posts or requests please get in touch.

Many thanks


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Doctoral and postdoctoal opportunities at Environmental Biogeochemistry Laboratory at the University of Delaware

The Environmental Biogeochemistry Laboratory ( at the University of Delaware has openings for two graduate students and a postdoctoral researcher. A short description of the positions and benefits is included below:

  1. Graduate students
  2. i) Source tracking of phosphorus in a watershed. It requires general background in soil chemistry, biogeochemistry, and watershed scale processes. Experience on stable isotopes (P and N) or nutrient cycling in a watershed is a plus.
  3. ii) Residual and recalcitrant phosphorus in soil. It requires background on soil sciences/chemistry, geochemistry or related discipline.

Candidates are for PhD degree. A 12-month research assistantship of ~$25,000 will be paid to graduate students. Graduate application has be made through UD ( Successful candidates are anticipated to start late summer or Fall.

  1. Postdoctoral associate 

Fate of phytate in the environment. Phytate and other inositol phosphates in soils: detection, quantitation, and degradation and address the longstanding question on accumulation vs decomposition of phytate in the environment. A recent Ph.D. in soil sciences, chemistry or related discipline from an accredited university is required. Candidate must have knowledge and experience in one or more of the following research techniques: ion chromatography, stable isotopes, 1 and 2-D NMR spectroscopy, stereochemistry, and enzymology, and a proven record through scientific publications. Candidate must be willing to learn other research technique from his/her own expertise.

A 12-month salary of $48,000 will be paid to the postdoctoral associate. University of Delaware offers a generous health insurance and other benefits.  See for complete details of the benefit package.

Interested candidates for both positions are advised to contact Deb Jaisi ( for further information.

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9th International Symposium on Ecosystem Behavior

August 20-24, 2017
Litomyšl Chateau, Czech Republic

You are cordially invited to BIOGEOMON 2017, to be held next summer at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Litomyšl, Czech Republic.

The symposium will focus on biogeochemistry in an era of global change. Long-term trends in ecosystem functioning and stoichiometry of biogeochemical processes in upland and wetland soils will be emphasized, along with catchment monitoring/modelling, and translocations of nutrients, micronutrients and trace metals in forest ecosystems, grasslands and extreme environments. We look forward to seeing you in the lovingly restored 16th century town of Litomyšl.


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Studentship opportunity: organic phosphate cycling in soils

The biodiversity of organic phosphate (phytate) cycling in soils (BREARLEY_UBIO17EE) – CASE studentship with AB Vista/AB Enzymes

 Project Supervisor: Dr Charles Brearley (

School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia

Project description (more information here)

Phytate (inositol hexakisphosphate) is one of the most abundant organic phosphates in the environment and is of great importance to the global P-cycle. Synthesized by plants, the amount harvested in beans, grains, tubers and other organs is equivalent to the amount of phosphate fertilizer applied to soils per annum. That not harvested enters soils where it undergoes biological and geochemical transformations. We do not know which organisms are responsible for recycling phytate phosphate in the environment, it likely depends on the soil type, but we have strong evidence that microbial phytases are responsible.

Project aims
To study the role of bacteria in phytate/phosphate recycling in soils, particularly to identify the species and the enzymes they express that are responsible for phytate recycling, and so to provide lead enzymes for our industrial partner’s next generation phytase discovery programmes.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 14/15 February 2017.

Successful candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award. In 2016/17, the stipend was £14,296.

  • Start date October 2017
  • Programme PhD
  • Studentship Length 3.5 years

more information here

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