These are exciting times for African development across many sectors, including rapid technological advancement in information technology and communications, agriculture, public health, mining and infrastructure development, alongside rapid urbanisation. The scientific fields represented by SEGH are presented with challenges and opportunities to provide scientific information to the general public, government, industry and donor stakeholders. The 34th SEGH International conference themes are therefore organised around four topics under the banner of ‘Geochemistry for Sustainable Development’.

Theme 1: Urban and Industrial development

Geochemistry for sustainable development –poverty alleviation, ecosystem services.

Soil and water contamination and air pollution.

Mining and legacy issues to inform future policy

Hazard assessment for land-use planning, mitigation of environmental degradation / climate change

Theme 2: Agriculture

Intensification versus subsistence farming e.g. pollution via runoff of fertilisers, chemicals, efficient delivery or macro-/micronutrients to crops.

Urban agriculture and Food Safety

Soil and water geochemistry influence on plant, animal and human health

Theme 3: Health

Epidemiology and endemic diseases associated with pollution and deficiency of essential nutrients for good health

Biomarkers for monitoring exposure to pollutants or health status

Science to policy – social impact, economics, ethics and policies

Population Health and Sanitation

Wildlife and livestock health – exposure to pollutants and poor nutrition

Theme 4: Technologies

Spatial tools, predictive models, remote sensing and communications

Isotope Tracers and Elemental Speciation

Technology fit-for-purpose – addressing economic and logistical challenges e.g. sensors, live data collation, tools for collation/delivery of data.

Laboratory method development for environmental and health studies

Statistics – sampling strategies, data interpretation tools for communicating science to policymakers and the general public



More detail will follow as invited speakers and keynotes are confirmed.  Schedules for each theme will be adjusted to demand.  The programme begins with an ice-breaker evening for registration on the 2nd July. A provisional programme includes:

3rd July 2018

Opening address from guest speaker – Principal Secretary for Ministry of Environment

Morning: Urban and Industrial development

Afternoon: Agriculture

Poster session on morning and afternoon themes.

4th July 2018

Morning: Health

Afternoon: Technologies

Poster session on morning and afternoon themes.

5th July 2018

All four themes to be covered across the day.


6th July 2018

Training day, with two key classes for a maximum of 20 attendees in each:

Morning: Introduction to statistics using R – implications for sampling strategy and data interpretation.

Afternoon: Introduction to QGIS.

Other informal sessions for a maximum of 10 attendees will include topics such as laboratory Quality Assurance, Ethics, Presentation skills, CV and job application skills, with others to be confirmed.  Delegates will need to pre-register for each topic to enable us to antipicate demand for each topic.  Delegates are free to suggest other topics.

The training day will be supported at no cost by researchers from a Royal Society-DFID funded capacity strengthening project on soil geochemistry to inform agriculture and health policies –

7th July 2018

Field trip excursion – to be confirmed.  The day will include visits to an agricultural research station, typical African village and contaminated land site.  The day will conclude with an optional sunset cruise on the Zambezi.


Important Dates

First Call for Abstracts 29th November 2017

Second call for Abstracts 5th January 2018

Final call for abstracts 2nd March 2018

Abstracts Submission by 9th March 2018

Decision on acceptance of Oral or Poster presentations by 16th March.

Early bird registration and payment by 30th March 2018

Late registration by 23rd April 2018 – this will incur an additional $100 on either payment category.

Registration Fee

Academic rate (international) £450

Residents in Africa and students £250

Zambian nationals will need to pay through the Zambian ‘local’ shop and elsewhere through the ‘International’ shop via SEGH’s own Sagepay secure online payment system. See SEGH2018 shop drop down menu for further details – top right of banner heading.

Guideline for Presentations


The time for oral presentations will be 12 minutes, allowing 3 minutes for questions and technical adjustments. Keynote and invited talks will have slots allowing for questions of 40 and 30 minutes, respectively. Equipment available for presentation will include a computer and overhead projector.

Presentations should be emailed to the day before the given presentation slot, although ideally at registration.

Speakers will be informed about the final order and schedule of the talks in each session and given on the conference website.


Posters will be displayed in two sessions: Urban & Industrial Development and Agriculture on Day 1, Health and Technologies on Day 2. Presenters should prepare a 1-2 slide powerpoint ‘flash’ presentation to introduce their poster lasting no more than 1 minute. Each poster will be given the number of the poster on which the poster should be mounted. The posters should be mounted in the early morning to allow viewing during coffee and lunch breaks.  Appropriate materials will be provided for mounting the posters.  Posters should be of A1 in size, portrait orientation.


Should there be sufficient demand, papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of Environmental Geochemistry and Health, the official journal of SEGH. Papers will undergo normal peer review. Authors are encouraged to prepare and bring along completed manuscripts to the conference to discuss with the editors.


The organising committee declines any responsibility whatsoever for injuries or damages to persons or their property during SEGH 2018.