EGU2020 BG Sessions in the spotlight: Biogeosciences’ past achievements and current challenges

EGU2020 BG Sessions in the spotlight: Biogeosciences’ past achievements and current challenges

The EGU 2020 abstract submissions are open until January 15. Today we highlight two of the more general BG-sessions for those of you working with big questions linking biology and geology, current and past.


First, BG1.13: Past achievement and future challenges of Biogeosciences. This session is convened by Giuliana Panieri, Ariel D. Anbar, Hiroshi Kitazato and Kurt Konhauser.

The convenors say:

Since its first definition by Vernadsky in 1929, the term Biogeosciences has embraced new concepts that result from emerging interdisciplinary views of established interactions. As a consequence, it is now widely accepted that biology has to be integrated into scientific studies of the Earth and other planets, and that biogeoscientists cut across the boundaries between biology, chemistry, physics, geology and other disciplines. This session welcomes showcase the dramatic evolution of biogeosciences over the past century, including the field’s main achievements and their wider effects on science and society. Future challenges in the field will also be highlighted: How and when did life begin? What were the drivers of biological innovation? How will organisms and ecosystems adapt to environmental and climate changes? How will humans affect global change? Is there life beyond Earth? We would like to bring together world-leading scientists from different disciplines to discuss these directions and how they build on the tremendous legacy of the past. This session is co-organized by EGU, AGU and JpGU.


Then, BG1.3: Do geochemical background values still exist? This session is convened by Stefano Albanese, Ariadne Argyraki and Gevorg Tepanosyan.

The convenors say:

The session aims at collecting contributions from all scientists daily faced with the need of discriminating between what is natural and what is the result of the interaction of humans with the surrounding environment, with respect to elemental concentrations. Commonly, geoscientists involved in environmental projects are requested to define local or regional reference concentration values for those chemical substances (mostly potentially harmful elements) and, recently, radioisotopes which can be originating from both geological materials and human driven processes.

To discriminate natural contributions from anthropogenic ones is a very complicated task and several scientists have applied different methods and multiple approaches (from statistics to the weight of evidence) in order to provide guidance and reliable solutions to government institutions and professional stakeholders.

Case studies on solid matrices (soil, sediments, etc.), natural water and other environmental media are of interest for the session together with more methodological studies mostly focusing on the proposal of innovative techniques for defining these values.



Are you taking on the challenge of discriminating between natural and anthropogenically influenced environments? Then, submit your abstract to BG1.3. Or is your work focused on life here and beyond Earth? Tell us more about the co-evolution of life in Earth’s past or even humankind’s current impact, submit your abstract to BG1.13.


Post written by Alexandra Rodler

Alexandra Rodler is a postdoctoral researcher at the Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is using (isotope) geochemistry for reconstructing paleo-environmental conditions at critical intervals of climatic change and links between the rise of oxygen levels and the evolution of complex life. Currently she is using mechanistic laboratory experiments analogue with natural samples to further investigate the potential of novel paleo-redox tracers. You can also find her on twitter @asrodler.

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