Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

July 25, 2001

Scientists from around the world to gather at U of G

Some 600 scientists from 40 countries will be at the University of Guelph July 29 to Aug. 2 for the International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements (ICOBTE).

Biogeochemistry is an interdisciplinary science that links phenomena observed in the biosphere to physical and chemical reactions in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, said Les Evans, a professor in the Department of Land Resource Science. The conference provides a forum for professionals, regulators, and students to present and discuss their most recent findings with colleagues from around the world.

Conference participants are expected to discuss important trace element issues, such as the bioavailability of toxic metals to plants and animals, remediation of contaminated soils and sediments and problems associated with the application of biosolids to land. Trace elements, such as copper and zinc, are essential elements for life, whereas others, such as mercury and lead, are extremely poisonous, Evans said. Other conference themes include groundwater, transport in soils and waters, biomonitoring and ecotoxicology.

This is the sixth time the conference has been held, with previous venues including the United States, Taiwan, France and Austria. Future conferences are to be held in Sweden and Australia. The conference is sponsored in part by Ontario Power and Generation Company, along with various other government and industry partners. A program for the conference may be found at the web site

In addition to the conference, some 150 scientists will also be attending the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS) and the Canadian branch of the International Humic Substances Society (IHSS) Aug. 2 and 3 at the University. Both these societies share many common themes with those of ICOBTE, Evans said.


  • Prof. Les Evans,

    Department of Land Resource Science. Ext 3017 (ICOBTE)

  • Prof. Gary Parkin,

    Department of Land Resource Science. Ext 2452 (CSSS)

  • Prof. Paul Voroney,

    Department of Land Resource Science. Ext 3057 (IHSS)

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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