Soil is literally the foundation on which we build our lives. It offers us many services. We use it for water storage, it has a self-cleaning capacity, we build our houses on it and healthy soil is where we cultivate our crops and where nature flourishes. Although delta areas such as the Netherlands are known as the most fertile and biodiverse areas, they are also the most densely populated areas. This causes conflict in space claims between nature, recreation, water management, infrastructure and living. Also, the pressure to produce enough food can be very taxing on the soil.
With intensive farming, the use of heavy machinery and a disregard for the relation between type of soil and crops, we can exhaust our soil. This will have an effect on our environment and on humans and animals. Therefore, one of our greatest challenges is to make soil management 'healthy' again, ecologically as well as economically. This calls for an integral approach and a concentration of forces between knowledge institutions, businesses and governments.
Emiel Elferink studied Biology at the University of Groningen. Because of his interest in sustainability issues regarding agriculture and food production, he chose Energy and Environmental Sciences as his specialisation. After graduating, he did a doctoral research in the sustainability of animal food products.
In all his different kinds of research and projects the leitmotif has always been ‘integrated work’: connecting subjects and themes, collaborating with other disciplines and companies and looking for solutions together with clients. His focus has moved more and more towards the interface between agriculture, biobased economy and soil. In 2014 at Bioclear, Elferink had the opportunity to advance his work and broaden it with the microbiological aspects of soil and the role that soil plays in the biobased economy.
If you would like to know more about (the projects of) the professorship, then contact Emiel Elferink via [email protected]
VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL)
PO box 9001
6880 GB Velp