Phos"Fate": Where have all the nutrients gone?

Jordan Phosphate Mines

Phosphate is a limited resource vital for global agriculture. Dr Iain Moyles and Dr John Donohue from MACSI discuss their work funded by Science Foundation Ireland on mathematical modelling of nutrient flow in soil. During the podcast Iain and John describe the phosphate crisis which acknowledges that phosphorus is a limited resource and only a few countries have significant reserves of it including Morocco, China, Algeria and Syria.


The Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI) is a network of mathematical modellers and scientific computational analysts based in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, at the University of Limerick, Ireland. MACSI was founded in 2006 by the largest single grant ever awarded to mathematics in Ireland (€4.34 million from the Science Foundation Ireland Mathematics Initiative). The MACSI industrial mathematics network is the first of its kind in Ireland. It is the initiation of a new era in Irish mathematics, where applied mathematicians underpin developments in the physical, biological and social sciences.


Image credit: Jordan Phosphate Mines NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team September 17, 2005