“Secrets of the Soil Sociobiome” – Dr. Christine Jones

March 30th 2021
Dr. Christine Jones presents “Secrets of the Soil Sociobiome”

Links to articles mentioned in the Q&A are found below
1. Re-visioning soil foodwebs

Editorial by Mark Bradford, published in the Journal of Soil Biology & Biochemistry (2016). There are 14 other articles linked to this.

https://bradfordlab.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/bradford-m-a-2016-re-visioning-soil-food-webs-soil-biology-biochemistry-102-1-3.pdf

2. Techniques for assessing functional diversity in soils can be found in section 1.6 of the following article, entitled ‘Microbial Signaling in Plant—Microbe Interactions and Its Role on Sustainability of Agroecosystems’

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313731425_Microbial_Signaling_in_Plant-Microbe_Interactions_and_Its_Role_on_Sustainability_of_Agroecosystems

3. Enhancement of drought tolerance in crops by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944501315300380?via%3Dihub

4. The following article is also illuminating ….

Rolfe, S.A, Griffiths, J, Ton, J. (2019). Crying out for help with root exudates: adaptive mechanisms by which stressed plants assemble health-promoting soil microbiomes. Curr Opin Microbiol. 49:73-82. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2019.10.003.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1369527419300578?via%3Dihub

How to Grow a Planet

Professor Iain Stewart tells a stunning new story about our planet. He reveals how the greatest changes to the Earth have been driven, above all, by plants

The Secret Language of Bacteria – An ASM “Microbes After Hours” Event

No bacterium lives alone — it is constantly encountering members of its own species as well as other kinds of bacteria and diverse organisms like viruses, fungi, plants and animals. To navigate a complex world, microbes use chemical signals to sense and communicate with one another.

Live streamed on Monday, January 28th, 2013, from 6-7:30 p.m. at ASM’s headquarters, 1752 N St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University

Bonnie Bassler Ph.D. is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. The research in her laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. This process is called quorum sensing. Bassler’s research is paving the way to the development of novel therapies for combating bacteria by disrupting quorum-sensing-mediated communication. Dr. Bassler was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2002. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002 and made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004. Dr. Bassler was the President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2010-2011; she is currently the Chair of the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors. She is also a member of the National Science Board and was nominated to that position by President Barak Obama. The Board oversees the NSF and prioritizes the nation’s research and educational priorities in science, math and engineering.

Dr. Steven Lindow, University of California, Berkeley

Steven Lindow Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of California, Berkley where his research focuses on various aspects of the interaction of bacteria with the surface and interior of plants. Dr. Lindow’ s lab uses a variety of molecular and microscopy-based methods to study the ecology of bacterial epiphytes that live on the surface of plants as well as certain bacteria that are vascular pathogens of plants. They also study bacteria that live in and on plants that are fostered by consumption of the alkaloids produced by endophytic fungi. The longer-term goal of their research is to improve plants’ productivity by achieving control of plant diseases through altering the microbial communities in and on plants. Dr. Lindow is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and was elected to fellowship in both the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World

In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.

Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Meadows’ Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

Barber explores the evolution of American food from the ‘first plate,’ or industrially-produced, meat-heavy dishes, to the ‘second plate’ of grass-fed meat and organic greens, and says that both of these approaches are ultimately neither sustainable nor healthy. Instead, Barber proposes Americans should move to the ‘third plate,’ a cuisine rooted in seasonal productivity, natural livestock rhythms, whole-grains, and small portions of free-range meat.

The Diversity of Life

In this book a master scientist tells the story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse and why that diversity is threatened today as never before. A great spasm of extinction — the disappearance of whole species — is occurring now, caused this time entirely by humans. Unlike the deterioration of the physical environment, which can be halted, the loss of biodiversity is a far more complex problem — and it is irreversible. Defining a new environmental ethic, Wilson explains why we must rescue whole ecosystems, not only individual species. He calls for an end to conservation versus development arguments, and he outlines the massive shift in priorities needed to address this challenge. No writer, no scientist, is more qualified than Edward O. Wilson to describe, as he does here, the grandeur of evolution and what is at stake.

Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture

Permaculture Two delves deeper into the concept of “consciously designed agricultural systems.” Author, Bill Mollison, describes new approaches and solutions that have evolved around the world. Ways in which plants can modify climate and many forms of pollution are discussed. Highly productive, low-energy systems, are made clear, in this fascinating book that offers some concrete solutions for saving Mother Earth.

“…If there is a single claim, that I could make, in order to distinguish Permaculture from other systems of agriculture, with the notable exception of keyline concepts, it is that Permaculture is primarily a consciously designed agricultural system … a system that combines landscape design with perennial plants and animals to make a safe and sustainable resource for town and country. A truly appropriate technology giving high yields for low energy inputs, and using only human skill and intellect to achieve a stable resource of great complexity and stability.”

Permaculture Two is about design, not gardening or livestock per se but as elements in a system intended to serve man, and the ends of good ecology … Good teachers have nothing to give but enthusiasm to learn; they cannot with the best will in the world, give their students knowledge. Thus it is ‘how’ to design, rather than designing your site which I am attempting here …”

“… both individual and competitive enterprise, and ‘free’ energy have faiIed us. Society is in a mess; obesity in the west is balanced by famine in the third world. Petrol is running out yet freeways are still being built. Against such universal insanity the only response is to gather together a few friends and commence to build the alternative on a philosophy of individual responsibility for community survival.”

Contents
Design in Landscape
Soil Improvement
Broadscale Techniques
Design for Difficult Climates
Structures
Waterworks
Free Range Poultry Design
Permaculture and Community

Solidarity Session #11 – Indigenous thinking with Tyson Yunkaporta

Chat with Tyson Yunkaporta – author, academic, maker, and Indigenous thinker of the Apalech clan in North Queensland. We talk about the need for Indigenous thinking in our food systems, decolonising agriculture, and how non-Indigenous growers and eaters can work in solidarity with First Peoples.

Tyson’s work examines global systems from an Indigenous perspective. It explores how we we learn, look at, and talk about patterns of creation, and how we can learn to live within those patterns again.

We talk to Tyson about what this means for the food sovereignty movement – which itself was born out of Indigenous and peasant struggles, and in which advocating for the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples is a core principle. We explore how we can build solidarity-based communities that respect and work with Indigenous knowledges, and build food systems based around those principles.

Essentials of Forest Ecology

An excellent slideshow by Dr. Trygve Steen concerning Pacific Northwest ecosystems. Dr. Steen discusses many aspects of northwest forests, rainfall, soils, fire regimes as well as various floras of these areas. Also, he emphasizes the inter-relatedness of the many seemingly disparate components of forest ecosystems.
Finally Dr. Steen concludes the presentation with slides of destructive logging practices.