SEGH Events

36th SEGH International Conference: Geochemistry for Sustainable Development

06 July 2020
Eldoret, Kenya
SEGH is pleased to invite you to the 36th international conference from the 6-10th July 2020 in Eldoret, Kenya with the theme of Geochemistry for Sustainable Development.

An exponential growth of interest in Africa could see a quick rise in growth of SEGH memberships and activities owing to the need for multi-disciplinary research and connectivity between research challenges and in particular need to address the United Nations Strategic Development Goals (SDGs). The first SEGH international conference in Africa alongside Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia attracted large numbers of new members and interest in creating multi-disciplinary networks, particularly following the creation of an African regional group. To consolidate on this progress a second conference will aim to strengthen the presence of SEGH in Africa, a region that is rapidly developing for which its growing economic activities are centred on exploitation of natural resources through intensification of agriculture and fisheries, mineral extraction, rapid population growth and a predicted shift from rural to urban living over the next 50 years.  Such development can benefit from the ability of SEGH community to undertake research across disciplines to inform sustainable development.

 

Eldoret is a fast growing city with many world standard Hotel venues for conferences. Its climate and security are highly predictable and suitable for persons drawn from different climatic zones. Lying at 2300m above sea level it has a mostly balmy warm climate, safe and peaceful. It has good international air links from within and beyond Africa. It is a renowned home of the World’s best long distance runners and a home of two key National Universities (University of Eldoret and Moi University) and a number of tertiary level colleges, hence is a fairly young town. It is surrounded by a number of key tourist attractions for day trips including the Kakamega Tropical Rain Forest, the iconic Rift valley, Mount Elgon National park famous for the Kitum Cave elephants and Bogoria hot springs – a sanctuary for birds especially the pink flamingos.

The themes of the 36th International conference will be:

Urban & Industrial development

Agriculture & Fisheries

Health

Technology

The Boma Inn will provide the conference venue for oral and poster presentations, alongside exhibitors and sponsors from the 6-8th July.  The venue is owned by the Red Cross and will provide a professional venue for all activities, similar to the experience for those who attended in Zambia. Poster presentations will include a flash presentation as for the last two conferences, but with a twist.  For 2020, rather than 90 seconds they will last for 1 minute 59 seconds in recognition of the human endeavour to break the 2 hour marathon record.  Oral presentations will largely comprise of 12 minutes + 3 minutes for questions.  We ask interested delegates to start planning their abstracts and will aim for an earlier abstract deadline towards the end of January 2020 to allow for delegates to seek permission to attend and visa authorisation. 

Training day – on the 9th July we will host a training day at the University of Eldoret and anticipate some of the courses to include QGIS, R for statistics, Quality Assurance for laboratories, how to write/review a paper along with other topics to be confirmed. 

Field Trip – on the 10th July, the field trip will take in the Artisanal Gold Mining operation in Kakamega to view the operations and challenges facing miners and their families.  This will be followed by a trip through the Kakamega rainforest towards the tea estates of Nandi Hills and back to Eldoret.

 

Additional information about the conference will be released in the coming weeks and a website is in preparation for the submission of abstracts and registration.  We will provide more information regarding travel options and potential leisure activities for those who wish to take a holiday whilst in Kenya.  A number of hotel options exist within 1-2km of the conference venue, for which transport will be provided each day to the venue.  Prices range from $30-40 per night for budget options (Palmers), $40-80 per night for mid-budget (greatest number of rooms – Club Eldoret, Poa Place Resort, Noble Resort, Kenmosa Resort) and at the conference venue itself $120-150 per night (Boma Inn).  We will negotiate further discounts for the conference.

We aim to charge $250 for African and student delegates and $500 for all others, but will confirm costs in the coming weeks.  We aim to include cocktail drinks and snacks on the conference days for poster sessions in the evenings, as well as a conference dinner for 6-8th July within the delegate cost.  Subject to sponsorship, we are also aiming to include the field trip within the same cost and will provide the training day free of cost. More details on the conference themes, guides for the posters and presentations and logistics will be provided in a short while.

Conference lead

Professor Odipo Osano, University of Eldoret

Assisted by:

Conference Organising Committee

Dr Lydia Olaka, University of Nairobi

Dr Diana Menya, Moi University

Dr Chris Aura, Kenya Ministry for Fisheries Research Institute

Dr Michael Watts, British Geological Survey (President SEGH)

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Science in the News

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

  • Distribution of metal(loid)s in particle size fraction in urban soil and street dust: influence of population density 2020-01-18

    Abstract

    Assessment of street dust is an invaluable approach for monitoring atmospheric pollution. Little information is available on the size distribution of contaminants in street dusts and urban soils, and it is not known how the population density would influence them. This research was carried out to assess the size distribution of trace metal(loid)s in street dust and urban soil, and to understand how population density might influence the size-resolved concentration of metal(loid)s. Three urban areas with a high, medium and low population density and a natural area were selected and urban soil and street dust sampled. They were fractionated into 8 size fractions: 2000–850, 850–180, 180–106, 106–50, 50–20, 20–10, 10–2, and < 2 µm. The concentration of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, As, and Fe was determined, and enrichment factor and grain size fraction loadings were computed. The results indicated that the concentration of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Cr was highly size dependent, particularly for particles < 100 µm, especially for street dust. Low concentrations of Ni and As in street dust and urban soil were size and population density independent. Higher size dependency of the metals concentration and the higher degree of elemental enrichment in the street dust fractions than the urban soils indicate higher contribution of human-induced pollution to the dust. Findings also confirm the inevitability of size fractionation when soils or dusts are environmentally assessed, particularly in moderately to highly polluted areas. Otherwise, higher concentrations of certain pollutants in fine-sized particles might be overlooked leading to inappropriate decisions for environmental remediation.

  • Soil–plant system and potential human health risk of Chinese cabbage and oregano growing in soils from Mn- and Fe-abandoned mines: microcosm assay 2020-01-17

    Abstract

    In Portugal, many abandoned mines are often close to agricultural areas and might be used for plant food cultivation. Soils in the vicinity of two Mn- and Fe-abandoned mines (Ferragudo and Rosalgar, SW of Portugal) were collected to cultivate two different food species (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis (Lour.) Hanelt and Origanum vulgare L.). Chemical characterization of the soil–plant system and potential risk of adverse effects for human health posed by plants associated with soil contamination, based on the estimation of hazard quotient (HQ), were assessed in a microcosm assay under greenhouse conditions. In both soils, the average total concentrations of Fe and Mn were above the normal values for soils in the region and their concentration in shoots of both species was very high. Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis grew better in Ferragudo than in Rosalgar soils, and it behaved as an excluder of Cu, Mn, Fe, S and Zn in both soils. The HQ for Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn in the studied species grown on both soils was lower than unit indicating that its consumption is safe. The high Mn tolerance found in both species might be due in part to the high contents of Fe in the soil available fraction that might contribute to an antagonism effect in the uptake and translocation of Mn. The obtained results emphasize the need of further studies with different food crops before cultivation in the studied soils to assess health risks associated with high metal intake.

  • Concentration, fractionation, and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and phosphorus in surface sediments from lakes in N. Greece 2020-01-13

    Abstract

    The presence of phosphorus (P) and heavy metals (HMs) in surface sediments originating from lakes Volvi, Kerkini, and Doirani (N. Greece), as well as their fractionation patterns, were investigated. No statistically significant differences in total P content were observed among the studied lakes, but notable differences were observed among sampling periods. HM contents in all lakes presented a consistent trend, i.e., Mn > Cr > Zn > Pb > Ni > Cu > Cd, while the highest concentrations were recorded in Lake Kerkini. Most of the HMs exceeded probable effect level value indicating a probable biological effect, while Ni in many cases even exceeded threshold effects level, suggesting severe toxic effects. P was dominantly bound to metal oxides, while a significant shift toward the labile fractions was observed during the spring period. The sum of potentially bioavailable HM fractions followed a downward trend of Mn > Cr > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cd for most lakes. The geoaccumulation index Igeo values of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn in all lakes characterized the sediments as “unpolluted,” while many sediments in lakes Volvi and Kerkini were characterized as “moderately to heavily polluted” with regard to Cd. The descending order of potential ecological risk \(E_{\text{r}}^{i}\) was Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cr > Zn > Mn for all the studied lakes. Ni and Cr presented the highest toxic risk index values in all lake sediments. Finally, the role of mineralogical divergences among lake sediments on the contamination degree was signified.