Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute among presenters at World Congress of Soil Science in Scotland

Dr Lulie (third right) speaks while others look on at the WCSS 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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KUCHING, Aug 8: The Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (Tropi) participated in the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Glasgow, Scotland, held from July 31 until Aug 5.

The delegation led by director Dr Lulie Melling comprised Dr Ken Wong Guan Xhuan, Nur Azima Busman, Frazer Midot, Nicodemus Ujih, Yazid Imran and Amelia Jackob — researchers from various backgrounds of expertise in chemistry, environmental science, molecular and microbiology and data management.

During the Congress, Nur Azima, who is currently undergoing her PhD studies at Nagoya University, Japan, delivered her findings entitled ‘Long-term monitoring of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from different types of tropical peat swamp forests’.

“The presentation highlighted the need to consider forest type in estimating carbon dynamics in tropical peatland. The international research community recognised the work of Tropi in tropical peatland,” Dr Lulie said in a statement today.

The others also presented their findings via poster presentation, namely Frazer Midot on ‘Deep sequencing of metagenomes from tropical peat to understand and catalogue microbial land use or, in short, who are they and what they do’ while Nicodemus and Amelia presented ‘Understanding the effect of liming on the peat soil pH and micronutrient content in peat soil and plants (oil palm)’.

Meanwhile, Dr Lulie and Dr Ken presented ‘Mechanical Soil Compaction: An Important Agro-environmental Management Practice on Tropical Peatland: Investigating the effect of compaction on soil bulk density and soil moisture’, while Yazid presented ‘Understanding the dynamics of fluctuation of peat swamp forest across different forest types, especially in relation to its water table’.

Dr Lulie explained that the presentations aimed to advocate science, gain recognition for Tropi’s research work, and broaden research networking.

At the same time, Dr Lulie was invited to participate in a plenary discussion entitled ‘Rock dust — a reverse weathering mechanism for tropical soils: physical and economic aspects’ by Prof Suzi Huff Theodoro from the University of Brazil.

She was also invited to do a presentation during the IUSS Research Forum meeting entitled ‘Challenges in Tropical Peat Soil Management’.

At the forum, she proposed to the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) to establish a Peat Soil Working Group to seek global attention on the importance of peat research, mainly because of the importance of peat as one of the most important terrestrial carbon sources and being part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement for developing Carbon Credit for Carbon Trading.

In the same statement, Dr Lulie informed that Tropi researchers have been able to successfully publish a good number of scientific publications in high-impact journals which has high citations.

“Tropi has done extensive research, especially regarding the GHG fluxes and responsible management and conservation of tropical peat and peatland,” she said.

Tropi also attended WCSS in 2014 in Jeju, Korea, and in 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. — DayakDaily