In July 18—22, 2022, the 6th International Summer School 3MUGIS (Monitoring, Modeling and Managing Urban Soils and Green Infrastructure) was held within the Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems of the RUDN University. The school was organized with the support of the Russian Science Foundation and under the umbrella of the International Union of Soil Scientists and the Institute of Urban Soils of New York in collaboration with universities, scientific organizations and research groups from around the world. The partners of the school were Brooklyn College (USA), Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Federal University and many others. All the organizers and partners of 3MUGIS are united by the desire to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience at the international level.
SUN lab researchers in collaboration with Australian and German colleagues studied the role of contact with nature during and after COVID-19 pandemic in Moscow. Scientists from RUDN University, the University of Western Australia, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research and Wageningen University conducted the research that aims to explore the pathways and implications of human-nature interactions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and how health problems and pandemic challenges can be mitigated through contact with nature.
The finding will help to find out what novel actions and adaptation strategies can be established that can have positive outcomes for both humans and nature. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant; the results were published in the journal Land in May, 2022.
Russia is a white spot on the tea bag index map: an approach to extend the network of global soil decomposition monitoring
The tea bag approach (http://www.teatime4science.org/about/the-project/) for measurement of microbial decomposition of soil organic matter has been applied for mountain, coastal, forest and arctic ecosystems, while for urban ecosystems located in various biomes such experience is not widely distributed. In Russia there are few amount of sites for which was provided the soil organic matter decomposition assessment by tea bag approach.
Smart Urban Nature team together with colleagues from the Kola Science Centre RAS, Institute of Geography RAS, Southern Federal University, Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science, RAS, the Central Chernozem Reserve, have decided to extend of the global map of the tea bag index and organized monitoring of the microbial activity of various soils in the European Russia with financial support of RSF No. 19 -77-30012.
SUN Lab scientists have created maps of distribution of concentrations of heavy metals nickel and copper in the upper soil horizon. This was made possible through data obtained by unmanned aerial vehicles. The essence of the method is to search for statistically significant relationships between point data on the concentrations of hazardous elements in the upper horizon and the parameters of the relief and soils. The approach has been successful in a technogenic wasteland area on the Kola Peninsula, and as expected, in the future, the technology will help scientists more quickly predict soil pollution in vast and remote areas. The results of the study, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, were published in the journal Land Degradation & Development.
The research center “Smart technologies for sustainable development of urban environment under global changes” of RUDN University announces a job opening for a Postdoctoral position within the PhD program “Green Infrastructure & Sustainable Development”.
An international scientific seminar “IoT technologies for ecosystem monitoring: towards a new era in urban ecology”, organized by Smart Urban Nature Research Center of Agrarian and Technological Institute of RUDN University will be held on May 11, 2022.
SUN Researchers have found that transport pollution increases the number of microorganisms potentially dangerous to humans on plant leaves
Scientists from the Smart Urban Nature laboratory, in collaboration with colleagues from the Netherlands and Italy, have shown that microbial communities living on the surface of leaves are sensitive to transport pollution. With the approach to highways, the activity of microorganisms increases, their species diversity decreases, and the proportion of conditionally pathogenic forms increases. These changes are associated with an increased concentration of pollutants (mainly Zinc) and microclimatic conditions near the roads: low humidity, high temperature and ultraviolet radiation. It is important to note that the study of plant microorganisms will help assess the ecological state of nature in the city and their possible impact on human health. Article published in Plants (Q1) journal. The research was partly supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) and Russian Science Foundation (RSF).
On February 8, 2022, the Museum of Contemporary Arts named after S.P. Diaghilev presented an exhibition accompanied by an interview film about the interdisciplinary science-art project “To be the wind for the tree” by Natalya Fedorova, a media artist and lecturer at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The project is inspired by the Herbarium of the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg State University and was created in external partnership with the Smart Urban Nature laboratory of RUDN University, the laboratories of the Art & Science program of ITMO University, the Department of Gardens and Parks of the State Russian Museum and the Forestry Engineering Academy.
In January 2022, the first experimental international winter school for young scientists “Urban Climate and Air Quality Winter School (UCAWS-2022)” was successfully held at the Khibiny educational and scientific base of Moscow State University in Murmansk region. The school was designed for senior students, masters, graduate students and young scientists under 40 who are interested in the problems of urban climatology, urban air quality, urban studies, urban ecology in relation to the cities of the Eastern and Western Arctic. This topic is extremely promising in recent decades, especially in the light of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023.
The last month of 2021 was so busy that we did not have enough time to sum up the results of the whole year. Now we had a rest and, looking back, we would like to share some of our achievements.
The year 2021 gave us new results and new colleagues, allowed us to implement interesting projects and become part of the projects of our partners. Despite the continuing restrictions on travel to other countries, we do not stop our international cooperation and contacts, but on the contrary we multiply and strengthen them.