SEGH Articles

SEGH2019 Sponsored Attendees: Jaskaran Kaur

26 August 2019
Jaskaran Kaur, a PhD researcher at the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India shares her experiences of SEGH2019

First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Dr. Sanja Potgieter-Vermaak, Dr. David Megson and all other members for outstanding teamwork in organizing this lovely event. I had a rewarding and successful participation and an unforgettable stay in Manchester. It was a great honour for me to attend and participate in this respected conference.

It’s been a very fascinating and engaging 5 days. We had 5 quite different days. I gave an oral flash presentation and it was a great experience. There were many questions during poster presentation that created more scientific views and I think they motivated me to work more and harder to investigate my topic. There were fruitful discussions and findings.

This conference provided a platform for healthy scientific deliberations and interactions between various scientists, researchers, and students. This scientific meet focussed on the latest developments in the field of Geochemistry and Environmental Sciences and brought me to the attention of some of the pertinent issues concerning the ill-effects of environmental pollutants not only on human health but also on biodiversity.

Furthermore, I gleaned carrier guidance and tips for being a successful researcher from experienced mentors. Through discussions, I extracted knowledge about various fellowships and awards to carry forward my research after my PhD. This experience has enhanced my knowledge and built academic relations with fellow researchers and scientists, which will serve me well in the future.

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude towards the conference organizing committee and SEGH society for providing me with funding. Without it, I would not be able to attend this wonderful event. These things have encouraged me to carry forward my research. I am humbled to have been part of this event.

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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Soil contamination and human health: Part 1—preface 2020-01-27
  • The influence of application of biochar and metal-tolerant bacteria in polluted soil on morpho-physiological and anatomical parameters of spring barley 2020-01-27


    The paper presents the results of the model experiment on spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown in polluted soil. The influence of separate and combined application of wood biochar and heavy metal-tolerant bacteria on morpho-physiological, anatomical and ultrastructural parameters of H. vulgare L. has been studied. The joint application of biochar and bacteria increased the shoot length by 2.1-fold, root length by 1.7-fold, leaf length by 2.3-fold and dry weight by threefold compared to polluted variant, bringing the plant parameters to the control level. The maximal quantum yield of photosystem II decreased by 8.3% in H. vulgare L. grown in contaminated soil, whereas this decrease was less in biochar (7%), bacteria (6%) and in combined application of bacteria and biochar (5%). As for the transpiration rate, the H. vulgare L. grown in polluted soil has shown a decrease in transpiration rate by 26%. At the same time, the simultaneous application of biochar and bacteria has led to a significant improvement in the transpiration rate (14%). The H. vulgare L. also showed anatomical (integrity of epidermal, vascular bundles, parenchymal and chlorenchymal cells) and ultrastructural (chloroplasts, thylakoid system, plastoglobules, starch grains, mitochondria, peroxisomes, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, vacuoles) changes, revealed by light-optical and transmission electron microscopy of leaf sections. The effects were most prominent in H. vulgare L., grown in polluted soil but gradually improved with application of biochar, bacteria and their combination. The use of biochar in combination with metal-tolerant bacteria is an efficient tool for remediation of soils, contaminated with heavy metals. The positive changes caused by the treatment can be consistently traced at all levels of plant organization.

  • Earthworms and vermicompost: an eco-friendly approach for repaying nature’s debt 2020-01-23


    The steady increase in the world’s population has intensified the need for crop productivity, but the majority of the agricultural practices are associated with adverse effects on the environment. Such undesired environmental outcomes may be mitigated by utilizing biological agents as part of farming practice. The present review article summarizes the analyses of the current status of global agriculture and soil scenarios; a description of the role of earthworms and their products as better biofertilizer; and suggestions for the rejuvenation of such technology despite significant lapses and gaps in research and extension programs. By maintaining a close collaboration with farmers, we have recognized a shift in their attitude and renewed optimism toward nature-based green technology. Based on these relations, it is inferred that the application of earthworm-mediated vermitechnology increases sustainable development by strengthening the underlying economic, social and ecological framework.

    Graphic abstract