What's going on at the Soil Ecology Laboratory?
*Our current research focuses on the effects of vermicompost aqueous solutions ('teas') on plant growth, pathogen suppression, plant parasitic nematode suppression, and arthropod pest suppression.
*We have exciting recent data on the use of vermicomposts and aqueous solutions from vermicomposts to suppress plant parasitic nematodes, plant pathogens, and arthropod pests. Two papers describing the results of vermicompost aqueous extracts ('teas') on the suppression of aphids, mealy bugs and spider mites; and on cucumber beetles and tobacco hornworms, have just been submitted to Crop Protection and Pedobiologia.
*Dr. Edwards is currently working on the 4th Edition of his well-known book, 'Biology and Ecology of Earthworms' (currently in its 3rd Edition: C.A. Edwards and P.J. Bohlen, publ. Chapman and Hall, 1996, 283 pp.)
*Also in the works is the first comprehensive volume on Vermiculture and Vermitechnology, to be published in autumn 2009 by C.R.C. Press. This volume, edited by C.A. Edwards, N.Q. Arancon, and R.Sherman, includes more than 30 chapters written by experts from around the world concerning all aspects of vermiculture, and covering recent vermicomposting activity and developments around the globe.
*In February 2009, Dr. Edwards traveled to Hong Kong to present a talk entitled 'The Science of Vermiculture: The Effects of Vermicompost on Crop Productivity and Pest and Disease Suppression' at a Symposium at the University of Hong Kong in association with the Agricultural Technology Promotion Association, attended by 90 participants, including organic farmers.
*Dr. Edwards will be traveling to London in June 2009 to present an invited lecture, 'Understanding Earthworms: indicators of soil quality and guidelines for remediation' at the Linnean Society Conference on "Trees, Roots, Fungi, Soil (Part 2): Towards a model of good soil practice for arboriculture"
*In June 2007, Dr. Edwards and Dr. Norman Arancon organized an Indo-U.S. Workshop on 'Vermiculture in Human Welfare' in Coimbatore, India (June 4-8), which was attended by 150 participants. June 2007 also saw the development of a vermicomposting program in Hong Kong (in collaboration with SunBurst Technologies) to turn all the food and paper wastes from 250 McDonald's restaurants into vermicomposts.