RTE’s New Research Database Director Spreads Word about Remineralization at Australia-Brazil Conference

Above: Multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Australia-Brazil Alumni Conference.

Lucas showing how an adequate management of mining tailings based on reuse can be an environmental friendly and also profitable alternative for companies.

The 4th Australia-Brazil Alumni Conference was held in São Caetano do Sul, at the Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, from May 17th – 18th. Aiming to engage former scholarship recipients from Australian and Brazilian government programs, the two-day conference brought together a multidisciplinary team of researchers and students to explore ways to strengthen the scientific bonds among the two countries, stimulating international cooperation.

From biologists to lawyers, participants had the opportunity to give a presentation in the TED Talk format and show others what they were actually working on. As the new coordinator for the research database at RTE, I chose the theme of soil remineralization. In my presentation, I showed other researchers the importance that soil remineralization could bring to our daily lives.

Lucas Pozzobon de Bem with his family.

Though my background is primarily in geology, I mainly spoke about how remineralization could have an impact on human health by enhancing the nutritional quality of food. To show that geology affects nutrition, I engaged the audience with a simple explanation of how mineral weathering and nutrient release occur in the soil. I briefly compared the distribution and similarities among soils of Brazil and Australia to emphasize why scientific cooperation on remineralization between the two countries should be enhanced.

After my presentation, some of the participants claimed that they had never heard about remineralization before but were amazed by the potential benefits of adding rock dust to our local soils. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. My first public speech was a success. The word had been spread, and just like rock dust added to soil, remineralization might slowly be incorporated into the scientific community from Brazil and Australia and will hopefully contribute to trigger bigger changes in these countries’ societies.

 

Lucas Pozzobon de Bem received his BS in Geology at the University of Brasília in Brazil with the same rigorous academic curriculum of scientists such as Suzi Huff Theodoro, Eder Martins and Othon Leonardo. Taking their career as an inspiration, Lucas followed any research he could related to remineralization on his own for a couple of years. In 2019, Lucas received a scholarship to join the first latu sensu post-graduate course about remineralization in Brazil, at the Federal University of Pará. This will be an opportunity to develop his own research, in which he wants to study how remineralization could enhance and re-establish local soil ecosystem services. With that in mind, Lucas aims to promote and to keep on building our research database, following the path that has been a tremendous contribution of our previous director, Veronika Miranda Chase.

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