Soil System Sciences

ReSOILutions in Soil Science for 2021

ReSOILutions in Soil Science for 2021

On Thursday 4th February, the EGU’s Soil System Sciences (SSS) Division held its first ever Campfire. Launched across the EGU in 2019, EGU Campfires are small, informal events that are set up for members of a division, particularly the Early Career Scientists (ECS), to get to know one another, exchange ideas and views, fuel collaboration, build long lasting friendships, and strengthen professional relationships.

Hosted by the SSS division’s ECS team (Layla San Emeterio, Dan Evans, Olga Vindušková, and Danny Itkin), the Campfire on Zoom brought soil scientists from a range of institutions together into a shared virtual space. The group comprised a wide range of career positions and research interests (see the pie charts below).

Layla, the division’s ECS representative, welcomed the attendees and gave a brief presentation of some of the recent and upcoming SSS activities. She also invited the Division’s President Claudio Zaccone to introduce himself and say a few words ahead of this year’s EGU General Assembly 2021.



The theme of the first SSS Campfire was ‘ReSOILutions’ (a play on the word Resolutions). In small and interactive breakout rooms, campfire guests were invited to share some of their personal ambitions for 2021, and to discuss some resolutions that the discipline of soil science should focus on over the coming calendar year.

An eclectic mix of personal resolutions were suggested, including finishing PhD theses, submitting papers, organising scientific seminars, visiting field sites, and doing some soil mapping. Interacting with colleagues and networking with other soil scientists was a prominent theme; no doubt an activity sorely missed over the past twelve months as COVID-19 has compelled us to remain at home. It was little surprise, then, that networking and engagement was suggested as a potential resolution for soil scientists in general. Other 2021 resolutions for the discipline included continuing to encourage agricultural best practice, focusing on locations with a dearth of data, communicating the importance of soil to the public, and investing attention to other elements in the soil biogeochemical cycle as well as carbon.

The SSS division plans to organise more Campfire events in the future in order to bring soil scientists together from around the world. If you have an idea for a Campfire theme, or would like to help organise one, please do not hesitate to email the SSS ECS Representative, Layla San Emeterio, on

Here are a few of the personal ambitions and soil science resolutions discussed during the first SSS Campfire: 


Dan is a 75th Anniversary Research Fellow at Cranfield University’s School of Water, Energy and Environment. He is principally interested in solution-focussed research to enhance ecosystem service delivery in environments with degraded, shallow, or near-absent soils. His Fellowship is investigating the potential of weathered bedrock underlying rapidly eroding shallow soils to store and stabilize organic carbon, hold water and nutrients, and grow food. He is an Early Career Scientist co-representative for the EGU Soil System Science division.

Layla M. San-Emeterio is a PhD student at the Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville, Spain (Spanish National Research Council; IRNAS-CSIC). Her research focuses on soil organic matter carbon turnover rates in representative Mediterranean soils from southern Spain, which are highly endangered by anthropogenic factors such as climate changes and inappropriate agricultural practices. By coupling conventional analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and compound-specific isotopic analysis (Py-GC/IRMS), she sought to acquire geochemical knowledge about the main drivers that could affect SOM structure and turnover according to SOM main biogenic components. She is currently one of the main editors of the Soil Sciences System EGU Blog, which has been recently relaunched after a period of inactivity.


  1. Hello!

    Proud of you guys. Continuing planning more conferences/seminars. Perhaps, it takes time to plan to what we are going to talk or what will be the topic/subject. I remembered in our first conference (campfire…), everyone who participated introduced himself or herself, talked about what she/he did and what what she/he plans for the next step. Brief future ambitions.

    I wonder whether it’s a good way by talking to other to join us (EGU). That’s what I did. Thank you.

    Continuing sharing in Twitter, LinkedIn,…(last time conference)

    Stay safe!

  2. Very good read! The first two charts in particular are very interesting to me. Keep up the great work!

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