The International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements (ICOBTE)

What is ICOBTE?

The ICOBTE is a non-profit conference series founded and organized by scientists and other professionals whose main interest is in trace element (metals and metalloids) research. The organizers and supporters are volunteers from academia, government and other professional organizations.

Trace elements (TEs) play an important role in the biogeochemical cycle of the whole environment. In various ecosystems TEs are enriched, while the sources can be either natural (geogenic) or anthropogenic (human-induced). Natural processes releasing TEs into the biosphere include mineral weathering, volcano eruptions, and natural erosion. Anthropogenic inputs are mainly related to industrial activities, such as mining, smelting, electroplating, wastewater discharge, and aerial deposition of industrial fumes, as well as agricultural diffuse sources including the use of sewage sludge (biosolids) and other wastes, fertilizers, and human-induced erosion. Doubtless, anthropogenic activities are the major causes of TE accumulation in the biosphere, particularly in the geographical vicinity of polluting industrial activities. Concerns have been raised about the accumulation of TEs in all environmental compartments because they can harm humans and the environment.
The ICOBTE aims to pursue a better understanding of the complex processes controlling TE mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity in ecosystems, including the diverse interactions between all environmental compartments such as soils, sediments, plants, water, air, organisms and humans.

The covered topics include, but are not limited to:

  • TE biogeochemistry and environmental sustainability;
  • Natural abundance and behavior of TE in the environment;
  • TE contamination, environmental and human health impacts;
  • Advances in toxicology and risk assessment;
  • Heavy metal and radioactive element contamination; and
  • Advances in remediation technologies for TE contaminated sites.