Soil: Exploring Tiny Things

ASCUS Art & Science is excited to be hosting multiple workshops throughout The Festival of Creative Learning as we invite you to our open lab where you can learn about the microscopic world around you and the impact it has on everyday life! The Festival of Creative Learning is a year-long festival focusing on creative learning and innovation at the University of Edinburgh, culminating in a curated programme of events every February.

Photo by Dr Jiri Jirout – Diversity of soil microorganisms extracted from one gram of soil

Soil: Exploring Tiny Things
3:00-5:30 & 6:30-9:00pm, Monday 19th Feb 2018

Are you curious about the invisible life in soil? Want to understand more about soil’s complex composition and how this broad diversity of microorganisms depend on a fine balance of organic matter, mineral particles, air and water? Soil is crucial to almost every aspect of life on land and this dirt beneath our feet is also an exceptionally high source of biodiversity: some estimates suggest that at least one quarter of all species live in or on the soil. Soil hosts microorganisms such as bacteria, archaea, actinomycetes, fungi, algae, and protozoa, living and fighting with each other in an endless microbial war while also relying on particular nutrients (e.g. oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur). Levels of microorganisms in soil affect soil structure and fertility. Up to 10 billion microbial cells and 30,000 species might inhabit each gram of soil, this wide variety of microorganisms in soil help to maintain it’s balance.

Do you want to see the difference between bacteria and microscopic fungi? Come along to ASCUS Lab where we can show you how to study and get creative with soil microorganisms. You will see the differences in the communities of soil microorganisms from various environments, including from a field to the bottom of your shoes.

Check out what else is happening in ASCUS lab during this years Festival of Creative Learning Week where we have a a range of workshops that explore the small and hidden world around us!

What will be covered:


About the researcher

Dr Jiri Jirout works at the ASCUS Lab as lab technician. He has experiences in soil biology research at the Institute of Soil Biology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences. His research was mainly focused on the community composition of soil microorganisms, their roles in soils and their interactions with larger soil animals.

Here’s how it went…

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