ISMOM 2024

4th Congress, International Academy of Sportology


Dear Colleagues
A warm welcome to the 9th international symposium on the interactions of soil minerals with organic matter and microbes (ISMOM 2024), which will be held in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan from October 15th to 18th, 2024.

This symposium is part of a series of international symposia organized by the Commission 2.5 (Soil chemical, physical and biological interfacial reactions) of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and aims to provide a platform for fruitful discussions between scientists and students from a wide range of disciplines, including soil sciences, biogeochemistry, ecology and environmental sciences.

Key processes such as climate change mitigation, C sequestration in soil, enhanced rock weathering, and the modelling soil C and N dynamics are directly or indirectly affected by the interactions between soil minerals, organic matter and microbes (ISMOM) that take place at different scales. Important, frequently used, concepts (e.g., soil C saturation, microbially-driven soil C formation, soil C-aggregate relationships) are hampered by our limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

Following the interdisciplinary spirit of ISMOM, the ISMOM 2024 will focus on “soil structure/aggregate” as a critical physical constraint on biogeochemical processes, and on how our understanding of ISMOM and other soil processes can be applied to land management and C policy making. We also welcome various topics related to ISMOM from all types of soils and ecosystems, including aquatic sediments. The number of participants is limited to <200 to allow for single sessions, with ample time for poster sessions, social gatherings, and fruitful discussions and exchanges.

We also invite you to join us on a post-conference field trip (Oct 18-20), visiting Buddhist temples (Nikko World Heritage Site), Bonsai Museum, a hot spring and, of course, Andisol and Paddy soil profiles. October is a beautiful season to explore nature and culture of Japan.

So, exciting scientific sessions and a field trip are lined up. We are looking forward to welcoming you in Tsukuba, Japan!

Rota Wagai (Chair of ISMOM 2024)
on behalf of the Organizing Committee

Rota Wagai


Session titles (tentative)

-Fundamental aspect of ISMOM: challenges & opportunities
-Soil structure as physical constraints of the interfacial reactions among minerals, organic matter, and microbes
-New concepts and approaches: Methodological and conceptual advances
-ISMOM and biogeochemical cycling across scales

Special session:

ISMOM as a basis for soil management and policy making

Invited Speakers

Denis Angers
Denis Angers is a Honorary Research Scientist with AAFC and Adjunct Professor at Université Laval in Québec City, Canada. He has over 35 years of experience in researching C and N cycles in soils, with the overall objective of reducing soil degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. He has worked on agricultural systems across Canada and internationally. He contributed to the development of the Canadian Agricultural GHG Accounting System. He is former President and Fellow of the CSSS, Fellow of the SSSA, Member of the French Academy of Agriculture, and was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Institut-Agro in France. He has contributed to the IPCC 6th Assessment Report.
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is the Director of the Office of Science for the U.S. Department of Energy. She is currently on leave from the University of California, Merced where she holds the Ted and Jan Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology; is a Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry; and served as Associate Dean for Graduate Education. Her research focus lies at the intersection of soil science, global change science, and political ecology with an emphasis on how the soil system regulates the earth’s climate and the dynamic two-way relationship between the natural environment and human communities. She previously served as the Chair of the U.S. National Committee on Soil Science and member of the Board of International Scientific Organizations at the National Academies; Leadership board member for the Earth Science Women’s Network; and founding a co-principal investigator in the ADVANCEGeo Partnership – a National Science Foundation funded effort to empower scientists to respond to and prevent harassment, discrimination, bullying, and other exclusionary behaviors in research environments.
Claire Chenu
Claire Chenu is Research Director at INRAE and professor of soil science at AgroParisTech. Her research deals with soil organic matter which provides essential ecosystem services and is essential to adaptation to and mitigation of climate change via carbon sequestration. She is very involved in the science-policy-practice interface and in awareness raising activities on soils. She has been nominated Special Ambassador of soils in 2015 by the FAO. She chairs the scientific technical and innovation committee of the French network of soil experts Rnest Sol, and is a member of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the 4 per 1000 initiative. In 2019, she was the EGU soil science medallist and received the INRA Lifetime Achievement Award. She coordinates the European Joint research Programem EJP SOIL on agricultural soil management, that joins efforts of research institutes and universities from 24 European countries.
Jon Chorover
Jon Chorover is a professor of soil biogeochemistry in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on how soil geochemical reactions - including mineral and metal(loid) transformations - are mediated by gas and water flows and associated biological activity. His work seeks to connect molecular to catchment scales of inquiry in critical zone science, and his team conducts coupled field and laboratory studies on systems that range from those that are relatively pristine to those that are highly disturbed and contaminated.
Sebastian Doetterl
Sebastian Doetterl is a Physical Geographer with a special focus on soil development. He is working as an Assistant Professor for Soil Resources at ETH Zurich and co-founder of the Congo Biogeochemistry Observatory. His research is oriented towards carbon and nutrient dynamics across geo-climatic gradients with a focus on the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on soil development. He is particularly interested in bridging the gap between process understanding from experimental data to model development and the spatial representation of biogeochemical cycles. He has been working on soil development and its consequences for biogeochemical cycles in a large variety of ecosystems, pedo-climatic gradients and chronosequences, with his latest focus being on tropical African landscapes and large scale geochemical transects in the Arctic.
Guillaume Guère
Head of the Agriculture and Resource Policies Division, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD
Anke Herrmann
Anke Herrmann is a soil biogeochemist working at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden. Since 2020, she is Chair Professor of the Soil Nutrient Cycling group. Her research focuses on the dynamics of organic matter in various terrestrial ecosystems with a special emphasis on the interactions between soil organic matter, the community composition of the soil biota and their microbial habitats. In recent years, she is pushing the realm of soil science into new territory by exploring the manifestation of physico-chemical theorems such as thermodynamic principles in eco-system dynamics.
Christina Kaiser
Christina Kaiser is a soil ecologist focusing on the interplay between soil microbial ecology, biogeochemistry and complex systems science. She uses spatially explicit, individual-based modelling and experimental approaches to study how microbial interactions at the microscale lead to emergent behaviour of soil microbial ecosystems at the macroscale. In addition, she has a deep interest in the mycorrhizal symbiosis which she studies from various perspectives. She is currently leading a research group as an Associate Professor at the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science of the University of Vienna.
Heike Knicker
Heike Knicker is a Research Professor at the “Instituto de la Grasa” (IG-CSIC) in Seville, Spain, where she is the head of the research group “Interactions between Soils, Plants and Microorganisms” of the Department of Food Biotechnology.
Most of her research is dedicated to soil biochemistry. During the last decade, the study of the structure of biochar and the impact of its use as soil amendment on soil biochemical processes and plant development became a major topic of her scientific activity. A further research topic represents the study of the impact of changing environments and climate change on the quality and quantity of soil organic matter (SOM). She is also highly interested in advancing analytical tools - in particular solid-state NMR spectroscopy - for an improved understanding of processes involved in SOM formation. In 2016, she was awarded the Philippe Duchaufour Medal of the European Geosciences Union for outstanding research in the field of SOM research.
Alexandra Kravchenko
Alexandra Kravchenko received her PhD in Soil Science in 1997 from the University of Wyoming, WY, USA. From 1997-2001 she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Univ. of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Since 2001 she has been at Michigan State University, MI, USA, first in Assistant, then Associate, and now in a Full Professor capacity. Dr. Kravchenko is a Fellow of Soil Science Society of America and of American Society of Agronomy, a recipient of Alexander von Humbold Research Award, and Don and Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award. Her research focuses on micro-scale physical processes driving soil microbial activities and soil C protection, as well as interactions between soil physical and biochemical processes at micro scales. She authored/co-authored >150 peer-reviewed works, including publications in Nature Communications, Nature Geoscience, and PNAS.
Francisco Javier Matus
Francisco Javier Matus is Agronomist (Chile). He earned his PhD at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands, specializing in plant nutrition and soil fertility. He served as Director of the Department of Agricultural Production at the University of Talca in Chile until 2006. In 2009, Carleton University and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada invited him as a postdoctoral fellow to join a government project to improve the nitrogen use efficiency in extensive crops, studies that led to a patent. His research focuses on the dynamics of nitrogen and organic carbon in volcanic soils and extreme environments (e.g., Antarctica). He is currently the director of the PhD Program in Natural Resources Sciences at La Frontera University and Director of the Laboratory of Conservation and Dynamics of Volcanic Soils.


Organizing Committee:

Maki Asano (Univ. Tsukuba, Japan)
Kazumichi Fujii (FFPRI, Japan)
Jumpei Fukumasu (NARO, Japan)
Natsuko Hamamura (Kyushu Univ., Japan)
Nagamitsu Maie (Kitasato Univ., Japan)
Satoshi Mitsunobu (Ehime Univ., Japan)
Atsushi Nakao (Kyoto Prefectural Univ., Japan)
Rota Wagai (Executive Committee Chair, NARO, Japan)
Noriko Yamaguchi (NARO, Japan)
Yuji Yamashita (Univ. Tsukuba, Japan)

Scientific Committee:

Deborah P. Dick (Univ. Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Mark Farrell (CISRO, Australia)
Xiaojuan Feng (CAS - Inst. of Botany, China)
Kate Heckman (USDA-Forest Service, USA)
Klaus Kaiser (Martin Luther University, Germany)
Carsten Mueller (Tech. Univ. Berlin, Germany)
Atsushi Nakao (Kyoto Prefectural Univ., Japan)
Naoise Nunan (CNRS/Sorbonne Université, France)
Rota Wagai (NARO, Japan)

Fees and Dates

Important Dates:

Feb 15: Tentative program announcement
March 4: Call for Abstracts & pre-registration (for abstract submission)
May 1: Abstract deadline
June 15: Acceptance/Rejection Notification
Registration open for conference* and field trip**
* We recommend to register early because we will have to close the registration when the attendee’s number reaches roughly 200.
** Field trip is limited to ca 25 people.

July 31: End of early bird registration
August 31: Registration deadline**
Sept 30: Final program announcement
Oct 14: Evening reception
Oct 15-18: ISMOM symposium
Oct 18-20: Field trip***
***The tentative field trip plan is to visit Andisol and Paddy soil profiles, temples (Nikko World Heritage Site), mountain landscape, and a hot spring in Tochigi, Japan


Student1 Regular
Early Bird ¥50,000 ¥70,000 ¥32,000
After August 1,
¥60,000 ¥84,000 ¥32,000

1Registration fee include welcome reception, lunch (Tues to Thurs), a gala dinner, coffee/snacks, and tax.
2For the post-conference field trip, please register separately (additional fee will be requested) .
3Travel support for students and scientists from low-income countries: we applied funding for this to IUSS. We will hear the results by the end of March.
4Visa may be required for participants from certain countries (e.g., China, India). Please check here if you need a visa or not. It is the participant’s responsibility to prepare visa. We can provide supporting documents but only after the completion of your registration. For further questions, please contact:

Abstracts & pre-registration (for abstract submission)


You can submit up to two abstracts. In this case, please register and make 2000 yen payment for each abstract separately.

March 4: Call for Abstracts & pre-registration (for abstract submission)
May 1: Abstract deadline


Tsukuba & surroundings

Tsukuba is known as a science city where many national and private research institutes and associated museums are located. You can also take a bus to Mt. Tsukuba, a popular hiking spot. Here are some tips for places worth visiting around Tsukuba. They are accessible by bus from Tsukuba center.

Tsukuba city 1 Tsukuba city 2
Mount Tsukuba
Mt. Tsukuba is an 877 m mountain located in the northern part of Tsukuba. You can reach the foothill of Mt. Tsukuba by bus from Tsukuba station. There are hiking trails popular for all ages including children. You can also take a cable car / ropeway, reaching to the top where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Kanto area and several restaurants and shops.
Mount Tsukuba
Tsukubasan shrine
Tsukuba shrine is located in the foothill of Mt. Tsukuba, so before starting to hike on the mountain trails you can stop by the shrine. Tsukubasan shrine is dedicated to the deity of family safety, harmony within marriage and matchmaking.
Tsukuba shrine
Tsukuba space center
Tsukuba space center, operated by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), has some space exhibitions. Take a bus from Tsukuba station to the space center (10 mins ride)
Tsukuba botanical garden
The Tsukuba botanical garden, one of the largest research gardens in Japan, is associated with the National Museum of Nature and Science. Both domestic and exotic plants spanning temperate and tropical regions can be observed. To get there, take a bus from Tsukuba center (9 mins ride).
Geological museum
The geological museum is associated with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. The museum displays the collection that totals some 150,000 rock, mineral, and fossil specimens. Take a bus from Tsukuba center to the bus stop near the museum (8 mins ride + 7 mins walk)

To find more information on activity around Tsukuba, see the following links:

Getting to Tsukuba

In the Tokyo area there are two international airports, Narita and Haneda. Both airports are then connected to Tsukuba by bus or trains. Note that Tsukuba (bus) center and Tsukuba (train) station are located in the same place. The hotel where the venue will take place is an 11-minute walk from Tsukuba center. Below are some tips on how to get to Tsukuba from the airports.

From Haneda airport to Tsukuba:
  • By bus: there is a direct bus service from Haneda airport to Tsukuba center but only twice a day (travel time: about 2 hours); therefore, taking trains would be more convenient.
  • By train: at the airport you need to take the Tokyo monorail to the last stop, Hamamatsucho station. Then change to the Yamanote or Keihin line bound for Tokyo/Ueno and get off at Akihabara station. At Akihabara station, take the Tsukuba express line to the last stop, Tsukuba station. Total travel time is approximately 2 hours.
From Narita airport to Tsukuba:
  • By bus: the most convenient way is to take a direct bus from Narita airport to Tsukuba station (6 services a day; travel time: 1 hour). Here is the bus time table:
  • By train: there are also ways to get to Tsukuba station by train. One option is to, at the airport, take the Keisei Narita sky access line heading toward Haneda airport terminal 1 & 2, and get off at Higashi-Matsudo station. Then take the Musashino line bound for Fuchuhommachi and get off at Minami-Nagareyama station. Then take the Tsukuba Express line to the last stop, Tsukuba station. The train trip takes about 2 hours.

Conference location

The venue will take place in the conference facilities of Hotel Grand Shinonome.
Address: 488-1, Onozaki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0034, Japan
Tel: +81 29-856-2211

The hotel is just an 11-minute walk from Tsukuba station/center. It is therefore close to downtown and has good access to major tourist attractions around Tsukuba by local buses available at Tsukuba center. Upon arrival at the hotel, you will see a beautiful, traditional Japanese garden.
For further information on access to the hotel, see the following link:

Some plans
  • Welcome Reception: evening on Oct 14, 2024
  • Gala dinner: served at Hotel Grand Shinonome on Oct 16, 2024
  • Japanese lunch: including sushi served at a restaurant nearby (on Oct 17, 2024)
Further information will be announced soon!
Hotel Grand Shinonome 1 Hotel Grand Shinonome 2

Conference guide

Contact us

For general inquiry:
Rota Wagai (and Jumpei Fukumasu)

For VISA information:
Rota Wagai (and Jumpei Fukumasu)

For field trip information:
Kazumichi Fujii (Rota Wagai, and Jumpei Fukumasu)

For P.M. Huang Prize:

Field Trip

World Heritage site(Nikko Toshogu) & Soils (volcanic & paddy)

We are preparing one post-congress tour to visit World Heritage site “Nikko Toshogu shrine”, Kegon Fall, two volcanic soil profiles, one paddy soil site, and the Bonsai museum on 18th to 20th October, 2024 (3days, 2 nights). The tour will provide amazing experience of the natural landscape (soil and hot spring) of volcanic region and introduce the history as well as the culture of Japan. The price is 60,000 JPY (approximately 500 USD, Food and accommodation costs are included). Capacity is limited to 25 persons on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants’ family can also join in field-trip.

Nikko National Park is characterized by landscapes created by past volcanic activities. Participants can observe two soil profiles (2 m deep and 10 m deep). Andisol or Andosol profile named “three color ice cream” is a historical one that changed soil classification systems because of the uniqueness of black soil derived from volcanic materials.
Nikko Toshogu shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. It was initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada was shogun. Beautiful and historical buildings, gates, and carvings are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Initial soil genesis nu moss and lichen can also be observed on rocks and lanterns.
Chuzenji lake and Kegon falls were formed through volcanic activities of Nikko mountains (Mt. Nantaisan) (lava flows). The main falls had a height of approximately 97 meters. Participants can also enjoy observing andesite weathering and hot springs in hotel.
Bonsai art museum (Omiya) is museum of Bonsai, the Japanese art of growing and shaping miniature pine trees in containers with volcanic soils. The excursion will finish at Omiya station before lunch on 20th October 2024.

Organizer: Kazumichi Fujii, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute

Oct 18
12:00 Departure from Tsukuba (Conference Hall) >> 14:00-16:00 Imaichi (Tochigi prefecture) Volcanic soil profile (three colored ice cream soil) >> 17:00 Oku-Nikko hotel (traditional dinner & hot spring) >> Discussion
Oct 19
9:00 Kegon Falls >> 11:00-14:00 Nikko Toshogu shrine >> 15:00-17:00 Great volcanic soil profile (approximately 10 m deep) >> 18:00 Hotel near Omiya station (Saitama)
Oct 20
9:00 Bonsai museum >> 11:00 Paddy soil site >> 12:00 Omiya station*
*From this train station (, you can access to major stations (e.g., Tokyo) and airports (Haneda and Narita) in 1-3 hours.

1We don’t have travel insurance for the tour. So please have your own travel insurance if you think necessary. But no serious outdoor activities are involved in this tour.
2All meals during the trip are provided.
3For the hotel in Oct 18th, we will stay in traditional Japanese rooms (4 persons/room) with Japanese futon on tatami floor.

Soils are waiting for your participation!

PM Huang Prize

In honor of Dr. P.M. Huang for his pioneering works and leadership in this field, prize is awarded every 4 years by IUSS Commission 2.5 significant contributions to advancing the understanding of the interactions between soil minerals, soil organic matter, and soil organisms.

The successful candidate will be elected in recognition of his/her scientific research, or a publication that is deemed to have made significant contributions to advancing the understanding of the interactions between soil minerals, soil organic matter, and soil organisms. The publication may be books, book chapters, review articles, or a peer reviewed research articles published in a scientific journal. The publication must have been printed (on the web or in print) for at least 4 years, so as to permit sufficient time for the Award Committee to evaluate its impact.

Preference will be given to young or mid-career candidates, and to candidates who have been active in ISMOM. The selected scientist will be awarded at ISMOM 2024 (October 15-18, Tsukuba, Japan).

To apply, please prepare the following items and send to the following address: (deadline: May 15, 2024)
Also please help us announce this opportunity. You can download the flyer here.

For more details on PM Huang Prize and the application process, please see the link below.

Note that candidates can apply without being nominated. However, we request the name of the nominator who recommends the candidate.