- From Molecular Processes to Global Cycles
Ascona, Switzerland, March 3-8, 2013
Monte Verità Conference, Centro Stefano Franscini
co-sponsored by the
ESF Research Networking Programme FIMIN
Iron is an essential element for life and the fourth-most abundant element in the Earth's crust. The biogeochemical cycling of iron is coupled to the cycles of many other elements including carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, and trace elements such as arsenic. Iron is a redox-active element, and therefore, it is involved in many redox processes in the environment. Many microorganisms gain energy by reducing or oxidizing iron, and these processes have important implications for biogeochemical cycles and the speciation and solubility of other elements. The redox state and mineralogy of iron in rocks, sediments, and (paleo-)soils can also be used as indicators for past climate. Large progress was made in recent years in many aspects of iron biogeochemistry. Some examples include the structure and reactivity of nano-crystalline iron minerals, electron transfer processes between bacteria and the surfaces of such minerals, ecology of iron reducing and oxidizing bacteria, iron mineral transformations, and biomineralization of iron.
The conference brought together world-leading experts, young researchers, and PhD students interested in various aspects of iron biogeochemistry and its applications in related research fields. The conference featured 17 invited keynote lectures, 13 contributed presentations by younger scientists and two poster sessions. The program allowed for ample discussion time and individual exchange between the participants, with the aim to stimulate new interdisciplinary and international collaborations.