SOILdarity – Summer School

School period: 19/09/2022 – 23/09/2022

Free registration:

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The Soildarity Summer School is organized as an intensive course of 1 full week and targets young researchers and MSc graduate students from the University of Lisbon.

The course also involves external attendees with professional links and interest in the subject.

All the participants will have the chance to interact and share experiences during the activities with high-level experts on the subject (see program).

This is a great opportunity to share and practice their research and/or technical skills with their peers. Lectures related to precision agriculture cover the following topics: philosophy of precision agriculture: proximal soil sensing, proximal crop sensing, remote sensing, geostatistics, variable rate technologies, and socio-economic and environmental benefits of precision agriculture. There will be theoretical lectures and field demonstrations of the different sensing, modeling, and control technologies. The learning material for most lectures will be available online for all attendees.

No participation fees are required but registration is mandatory.

Please register at the following link:

SOILdarity at the EIP-AGRI Brokerage event

We were among the 80 selected participants attending the Brokerage Event organised by the EIP-AGRI on 8-9 June 2022. The focus of the event was the EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe.

It was a good opportunity to exchange views and ideas with experts and peer projects and do it in person.

We had the chance to go through the open topics on the EU Mission Soil, funded by Horizon Europe and engage in group discussions on the concept and implementation of living labs and lighthouses in the context of the EU Soil Mission.

Besides, we visited the fields of Praktijkpunt Landbouw Vlaams-Brabant (Practice Center for Agriculture in the Flemish Brabant), a governmental agency responsible for practice-oriented agricultural research.

This event offered matchmaking sessions through face-to-face meetings and networking amongst farmers, advisors, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders to support the preparation of proposals for the EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ call that was launched in May 2022.

Additionally, the activity created conditions for exchanging knowledge and innovative ideas and practices (living labs and lighthouses), that may inspire potential applicants to take part in the next EU Mission call.

We are sure it won’t be long until we will start seeing collaborations thriving!

Research excellence training programme on how to write scientific papers

Writing an effective scientific paper is not easy. Scientific writing and publication imply communicating the results of a researcher’s work. Effective scientific dissemination and communication is an important component of a researcher’s practice, and should be cultivated at an early stage of the career.

The aim of this course is to guide young researchers of FC.ID and CIÊNCIAS through all stages of the publication process, allowing them to plan their writing and publication methods, and ultimately improve their publication record, which is essential for their academic career, with much greater care. It offers a guide through all principles of publication, using a broad variety of tools and principles that can be used to take control of one’s publication strategies. This allows PhD students and young scientists to take off on a flying start: knowledge and skills that would otherwise be the result of a long process of trial and error are now ready-at-hand for them to use at the very beginnings of their scholarly career.

Programme |

8th June 2022 |

Instructor: Dr. Froeyman (UGENT)

Introduction and instruction; Theoretical course (recorded session)

  • How to pick a journal
  • How to write a paper
  • How to write an abstract
  • Paper written, what now
  • Paper published, what now
  • PhD papers & monograph
  • How to publish books
14th–15th June 2022 |

Instructor: Dr. Froeyman (UGENT)

Individual zoom session with Dr. Froeyman:

  • Theoretical content will be applied in the individual zoom-session.

Assignments to be carried out over 8–14 June:

  • Students will apply the learned method to their own paper based on the relevant activities
  • Students work on their own and each other’s abstracts
16th June 2022 |

Instructor: Prof. Mouazen and Dr. Munnaf (UGENT), Prof. Litaor (MIGAL)

Theoretical lectures

  • Preparation of figures & tables
  • Elements of statistics & methodology of scientific research.
  • Elements of result & discussion.

Assignments: Students will apply the learned method to their own paper.

The implementation of the course contributes to fulfil the task 3.1 of the project SOILdarity “Assessment of the cross-cutting needs and research excellence tools to improve skills in research management, specifically the research excellence intensive training course on how to write scientific papers.

Proximal soil sensing technologies for soil fertility assessment – SOILdarity intensive training course

The second SOILdarity specialised training course is getting started!

The concept of proximal soil sensing was established in 2011 and involves the application of soil sensors directly on the field. These techniques involve different disciplines, whose integration has allowed successful sensor application for the spatial diagnosis of soil fertility attributes.

The aim of the SOILdarity course “Proximal soil sensing technologies for soil fertility assessment” is to enhance the capacities of the researchers in applying proximal sensing technologies to assess soil fertility and increase the efficiency and profitability of agricultural production, while reducing negative environmental impacts. Proximal sensing technologies can help us identify the exact quantification and application of fertilisers without compromising crop yields.

The course is totally free of charge but
places are limited, so hurry up! Registration is open until 6 May 2022, 23:59 (Portugal Time).

The Content of the Course

Two world leading institutions in precision agriculture, MIGAL (Israel) and Gent University (Belgium), will lead the theoretical and practical sessions of the course that will take place at Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (Lisbon) from 9 to 20th of May 2022. The course will be held in English over face-to-face modules including theoretical sessions, practical challenges, informal discussions, and field trips.

The objective

The objective of the course is to train primarily early stage researchers, MSc students and scientists of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and then farmers and technicians engaged in precision agriculture and in its relationship with soil fertility. This aims at increasing the future adoption of precision agriculture by farmers and related actors.

When & Where

9-20 May 2022

Faculdade de Ciências- Universidade de Lisboa

How to participate

Would you like to participate or receive more information on the course?

Nothing more simple!

You can click here below

or copy and paste this into your web browser.

If you’d like to receive more information, you can email us at

amventura[at] | Ana Maria Ventura (FCUL)


ccruz[at] | Prof. Cristina Cruz (FCUL)

Here below you find a detailed programme schedule.

Programme | (GMT+1, Lisbon time)

9th May 2022 | (9:00 – 13:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Iggy Litaor (MIGAL)

Theoretical lectures

  • Electrical conductivity of soils
  • Electromagnetic Induction techniques
  • EMI survey techniques
9th May 2022 | (14:00 – 18:00, Lisbon time)

Instructor: Prof. Iggy Litaor and Assaf Israeli (MIGAL)

Theoretical lectures

  • Case Studies
  • Data analysis
10th May 2022 | (9:00 – 20:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Iggy Litaor and Assaf Israeli (MIGAL)

Practical Session

  • EM38 MK2 operation, calibration, and survey
  • Field trip and measurements
11th May 2022 | (9:00 – 13:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Iggy Litaor and Assaf Israeli (MIGAL)

Practical Session

  • Demonstration of data analysis and mapping techniques
12th May 2022 | (9:00 – 18:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Iggy Litaor (MIGAL)

Practical Assignments

  • Soil sample preparation
13th May 2022 | (9:00 – 13:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Iggy Litaor (MIGAL)

Final classroom session

  • Summary, results discussion and concluding remarks
16th May 2022 | (9:00 – 13:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Mouazen (UGENT)

Theoretical lectures

  • Optical techniques
  • Electrochemical technique
  • Gamma ray technique
16th May 2022 | (14:00 – 18:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Mouazen and Dr. Munnaf (UGENT)

Practical session

  • Demo of UGENT laboratory spectroscopy methods
  • Demo on UGENT sensing platforms
17th May 2022 | (9:00 – 13:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Prof. Mouazen (UGENT)

Theoretical lectures

  • Multi-sensor data-fusion
17th May 2022 | (14:00 – 18:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Dr. Munnaf (UGENT)

Theoretical lectures

  • Data analysis techniques
  • Mapping techniques
18th May 2022 | (9:00 – 19:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Dr. Munnaf (UGENT)

Practical assignments

  • Field trips & field measurement
  • Soil sample preparation
  • Spectra collection
19th May 2022 | (9:00 – 19:00, Lisbon Time)

Instructor: Dr. Munnaf (UGENT)

Practical assignments

  • Modelling of collected spectra
  • Mapping using Geostatistical software
20th May 2022 | (8:30 – 11:00, Lisbon Time)

Main Speaker: Prof. Mouazen (UGENT)

  • Discussion and conclusions

The implementation of the course contributes to fulfil the task 2.2 of the project SOILdarity “Specialized training module on the use of sensor-based technology, biofertilisers and precision agriculture techniques, specifically the module “Use of sensor-based technology to measure soil fertility parameters”.

WEBINAR – The impact of soil salinity on soil fertility

Soil salinisation has been increasing globally due to intensive farming, irrigation with poor quality water and climate change. These soil processes are multifactorial phenomena that have been accentuated because of intensification of farming activities, poor soil management practices, water scarcity that dictates usage of poor-quality water for irrigation, and excessive application of fertilizers. Moreover, climate change may intensify these processes which eventually will lead to poor plant growth, further salinization and sodicity that in-turn will cause soil degradation and irreversible decline in soil health. Currently, over 100 Mha of soils have been affected by salinity and sodicity. Recent overview of these processes in Europe revealed that all countries along the Mediterranean coast exhibit some degree of soil salinization and sodicity. Future research should aim on carbon dynamics of saline soil, further exploration of proximal and remote sensing of soil properties and the development of new and innovative technologies to monitor these processes in-situ and real-time. SOILdarity has assembled a group of four leading scientists, who have been working in this field in Israel and abroad over the last three decades, to host a webinar specifically focused on soil salinity.

The purpose of the webinar on the impact of soil salinity on soil fertility is to summarize the knowledge gained in Israel, one of the countries most affected by soil salinization due to decades of intensive farming coupled with water scarcity that required the use of treated wastewater as the main source for irrigation. The webinar will take place on 9 March 2022, according to the following schedule.

How to register | by 8th March 2022

DEADLINE for registering: March 8, at 5:00pm (Lisbon Time). The Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants.

The event is coordinated by the the Migal Institute and the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes – cE3c through the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, having as partners, the University of Gent and euknow.

Lisbon timeLecturerTitle
9:00 – 9:15Prof Iggy LitaorIntroductory remarks
9:15 – 10:00Dr Uri NachshonSalt transport and accumulation at root zone under varied conditions of root growth and soil properties
10:00 – 10:45Dr Guy LevyEffects of long-term irrigation with treated wastewater: The Israeli experience
10:45 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:45Dr Avner SilberIrrigation with desalinated water: An attractive step to amplify water use efficiency and crop productivity
11:45 – 12:30Prof Naftali LazarovitchThe effect of the atmospheric demand on plant sensitivity to salinity
12:30 – 12:45Discussion

Treated wastewater as a source for alternative fertilizers

Despite the uncertainties and limitations due to the covid-19 pandemic, the SOILdarity team has successfully carried out the hands-on learning activities of the course on “Optimization of the use of treated waste waters as a source for alternative fertilizers” in Lisbon.

Phosphorous, a non-renewable resource, has been applied extensively in fields to increase crop yield, yet consequently has increased the potential of waterway eutrophication. Hence, the course results from the need to develop and take up new methods of P capturing, recycling and reuse that will sustain agricultural productivity while concurrently reducing the level of P discharge from and to agricultural settings.

The course, led by MIGAL’s Prof. Michael (Iggy) Litaor, demonstrates the applicability of the widely produced by-products of drinking water utilities and desalinization plants, known as Aluminum-based Water Treatment Residual (Al-WTR) and Iron-based Water Treatment Residual (Fe/WTR) respectively. Al- and Fe- WTR are known as an excellent P adsorbent and could be used to recover P from agricultural wastewaters; subsequently, it could be applied to the fields as a P fertilizer.

Al-WTR and Fe-WTR behave as sinks and will adsorb inorganic P (Pi), along with organic P (Po), dissolved organic matter (DOM) and other constituents from agro-organic wastes.

The workshop objective were: 1) to develop a thorough understanding of the sorption mechanisms of Pi and Po onto the Al/O-WTR and Fe/O-WTR; and 2) to critically evaluate the performance of the composite WTRs as a fertilizer using selected plants grown in screenhouses and in test-fields.

World Soil Day 2021 – Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity

The WSD ceremony will be held virtually on 3 December with the participation of Dr Qu Dongyu  – FAO Director-General and thousands of soil enthusiasts. Artistic performances and keynotes will animate the ceremony. The winners of the Glinka World Soil Prize and King Bhumibol WSD award will also be announced. An interactive quiz will put your knowledge of salt-affected soils to the test. 

Register here | Download the draft agenda 

This year, WSD is devoted to raise awareness on the need to halt soil salinization. This can be natural due to the release of salts from rocks, infiltration and evaporation of seawater, or the deposition of salts due to their proximity to coastal areas. Natural salt-affected soils (SAS) harbour rich ecosystems that need to be conserved and protected.

However, salt accumulation can also be caused by unsustainable human activities such as irrigation with poor quality or insufficient water, deforestation, the unsustainable use of fertilizers, or the overexploitation of aquifers in areas prone to marine intrusion, among others. These practices have severe impacts on some of the ecosystem services that soils typically provide, which are critical for sustaining human life and biodiversity, such as reduced agricultural productivity, increased soil erosion, reduced buffering, and filtering capacities against contaminants, and decreased soil fertility and micronutrient availability. SAS contain salts and exchangeable sodium at levels that adversely affect the growth and development of many plants, either directly (due to toxicity), or indirectly (due to effects on soil’s physical properties that restrict root growth and water percolation).

SAS are found all around the world and impact some 833 million hectares of land. This value may grow significantly in the coming years, exacerbated by climate change and unsustainable human activity, so that areas without SAS may be hit. Efforts must be made to understand the processes that lead to the development of SAS, prevent human-induced soil salinisation and sodification, and safeguard  soil health for better production, nutrition,  robust environments and health – so that no-one is left behind.  

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish

SOILdarity Workshop – How soil science contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

What can soil science do to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Well, lots of things. The achievement of SDGs heavily depends on ecosystem services and many of these results from key soil functions.

The research team holds a workshop on soil science and SDGs on 28 October 2021 (in English) 9:30 – 16:30 (GMT+1).

In the online workshop How Soil Science contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SOILdarity would like to invite stakeholders from research, business, civil society to discuss and review the key issues revolving around the decrease in availability of resources (e.g., water, land, nutrients) and our capacity to increase food production while sustainably managing our natural resources. Furthermore, issues such as land degradation, soil erosion, and loss of organic matter are deeply intertwined with decline in environmental quality and threaten the livelihoods of millions of people around the world. Soils are at the heart of the SDGs and are fundamental towards achieving them.

The sphere of influence of soils in reaching the SDGs. (source:

Programme | (GMT+1, Lisbon time)

Program will be updated with more information on invited speakers

1st session | (9:30 – 11:30, Lisbon Time)

Soil science as a major contributor to the implementation of the UN SDG: interface with agriculture activity (including live-stock and forests) and food production; Land use management; ecosystem services and water supply and quality.

Moderator: Teresa Dias

9:30-9:45 | Opening session: Prof. Iggy Litaor: Soil science in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (MIGAL & THC)

9:45-10:00 | Prof. Giora Rytwo: Optimization of water treatment (MIGAL & THC)

10:00-10:15 | Dr. Aviv Asher: Center for animal husbandry (MIGAL)

10:15-10:30 | Dr Liora Shaltiel-Harpaz: The Black Soldier Fly’s contribution to circular economy: sustainable reduction of organic wastes (MIGAL & THC)

10:30-10:45 | Dr Assaf Chen: Smart farming (MIGAL)

10:45-11:00 | Dr Eric Palevsky: Soil amendments and soil conservation for conserving and augmenting beneficial microbiota and mesofauna (ARO)

11:00-11:30 | Q&A session

11:30-11:45 | Coffee break

2nd session | (11:45 – 13:00, Lisbon time)

Implementing the Green Deal: Goals and conditions. Moderator: Uri Marchaim

11:45-12:15 | ISERD Representative(s) – Hagit Schwimmer: The European framework program, Horizon Europe, as a tool for implementing the Green Deal strategy – open opportunities in Cluster 6

12:15-12:45 | Dr. Miguel Viegas– CAP and Cohesien Policy: challenges to face SDGs (U.Aveiro)

12:45-13:00 | Q&A session

13:00-14:00 | Lunch

3rd session | (14:00 – 15:45, Lisbon Time)

The measurement, the evaluation and the dissemination of soil sciences contributions for SDGs : Gaps, solutions and networks. Soil monitoring programs. The cases of Belgium, Israel and Portugal. Moderator: Maria Amélia Martins-Loução

14:00-14:20 | IL: Dr Gil Eshel: Can we make productive agriculture while restoring soil health and the adjacent ecosystem? The model farm as a field lab (ARO – Israel)

14:20:14:40 | BE: Prof. Abdul Mouazen– The potential of online soil sensing in optimizing the precision application of farming input resources.

14:40-15:00 | PT: Dr. Corina Carranca

15:00-15:20 | Eng. Margarida Mota: How can farmers contribute to the soil monitoring programs

15:20-15:30 | Coffee break

15:30-15:45 | Q&A session, debate

Final remarks | (15:45-16:00, Lisbon Time)

Prof. Margarida Santos Reis and Prof. Cristina Cruz

How to register | by 27 October 2021

To register, please fill out the form below.
DEADLINE for registering: October 27, at 5:00pm (GMT+1). The Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants on October 27, evening.

The event is coordinated by the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes – cE3c through the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Portugal), having as partners the Migal InstituteUniversity of Gent and euknow (BE).