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Earth Institute member and Olaf Schmidt made lifetime member of Association of Applied Biologists

Published: Friday, 02 September, 2022
Professor Olaf Schmidt surrounded be trees in wet weather clothing holding a shovel
Professor Olaf Schmidt, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

Earth Institute member Professor Olaf Schmidt has been awarded Honorary Membership for Life by the Association of Applied Biologists (ABB), one of the first scientific societies founded in the UK to be devoted to the field of study.  The researcher, from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, received the honour in recognition of his career “working in the area of applied biology".

With a main research interest in soil, in particularly the biology, ecology and biochemistry interplay between soil–plant–animal in agricultural systems, Professor Schmidt has published several notable papers on the ecology of earthworms, including a recent one highlighting their use as a natural nutrient supplier that could offset the use and cost of mineral/synthetic fertilizers.

“I especially like earthworms as a study subject, I have been fascinated by their ecology for a long time and it never ceases to amaze me how much we still do not know,” he said.

“I also value inter-disciplinary research, for instance I contribute my expertise on stable isotope ecology to research on meat and milk authentication.  I enjoy such applied research because it uses knowledge and techniques developed for basic science purposes to solve real-world challenges such as soil protection and food labelling,” Professor Schmidt said.

First appointed as a lecturer at UCD in 2001, Professor Schmidt has been the Head of Subject of Agri-environmental Sciences in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science since 2017.  He is also the Director of the Biological Sciences Programme at Guangzhou Dublin International College of Life Sciences & Technology (GDIC), and a Visiting Professor at the Agricultural University in Krakow.

Founded in 1904, the Association of Applied Biologists (ABB) is an international professional society for all those working, studying or interested in applied biology.  With a membership that includes over 1,000 researchers and academics globally, it aims to “promote the study and advancement of all branches of Biology and in particular ... foster the practice, growth and development of applied biology, with a focus on the application of biological sciences in the production of food, materials and energy, and for the maintenance and improvement of earth’s environment.”

Honorary memberships is rewarded to those within its community who have made a significant participation toward AAB activities and Applied Biology in general.

UCD news item by David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations