Inorganic and organic contaminants released in natural environments may undergo multiple processes of abiotic and biotic transformations, which determine their environmental fate and persistence in the ecosystems. Microorganisms have evolved multiple strategies to respond to contaminant toxicity and to detoxify their intracellular and extracellular environment. The metabolic capacities of the microorganisms to transform complex and hazardous compounds in less toxic, less persistent and less bioavailable structures play a determinant role in contaminant fate and have great potential to treat and restore polluted ecosystems.
This session welcomes studies at laboratory-scale or in-situ field-scale trials focusing on the role of microbial species and communities on contaminants dynamics and bioremediation in natural environments. Specifically, we invite contributions of doctoral and postdoctoral students developing innovative projects that focus on: i) studies of microbial processes that determine contaminant speciation, sequestration and biotransformation; ii) bioremediation of contaminated soil, sludge or aquatic environments, iii) molecular biology applications to bioremediation. Works that explore the current challenges in the field by integrating innovative chemistry, microbiology, ecological approaches and modelling are particularly welcomed.
Keywords: chemical speciation, environmental fate, bioavailability, detoxification, ecosystems restoration