Project title: Twinning excellence on organic soil amendments effect on nutrient and contaminant dynamics in the subsurface 
Project acronym: TwinSubDyn 
Project coordinator: Prof. dr Snežana Maletić
GA Number: 101059546
Call identifier: Twinning Western Balkans HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-02
Start date of project: 01/08/2022
Duration: 36 months

Project partners:

ShortBeneficiary Role
1 UNSPMF   University of Novi Sad Faculty of SciencesCO
2 UNIVIE University of ViennaBEN
3 FZJ Forschungszentrum JülichBEN
4 MLU Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg   BEN
5 CSIC Spanish National Research CouncilBEN

Project concept

The Western Balkan is an integral part of Europe and a geostrategic priority for the European Union. In this area agriculture and food production is cited by government and stakeholder groups as one of the most prominent priority domains, and the most relevant for research and innovation. Globally, current agricultural practices result in harmful environmental effects, including three key problems: deterioration of soil as a key non-renewable resource in our lifetime, groundwater pollution, and increasing agricultural residues. In the northern part of Serbia, 82% of the area is used for agriculture. Therefore, it has been recognized the urgent need to shift towards environmentally sustainable food production. This may be achieved by focusing on integrated systems of crop and livestock production which enables optimum utilization of resources following concepts of circular economy. Thereby, a widespread use of organic soil amendments in agriculture is foreseeable. These amendments may include anaerobic digestate, manure, sewage sludge, compost, as well as biochar. The potential for the application of organic soil amendments is growing in the Western Balkan. This is mostly due to rapid increase of biogas energy production, installation of wastewater treatment plants, and to a smaller extent compost- and biochar production. These amendments will affect soil structure, element cycling, and nutrient composition in the soil. Organic soil amendments can be a source and/or a sink of nutrients as well as organic and inorganic pollutants (predominately pharmaceuticals, pesticides and microplastics). Thus, they are expected to affect soil and groundwater quality. Modulated organic matter dynamics caused by organic soil amendments are expected to affect contaminant and colloid fate, with additional implications for groundwater quality.


Twinning excellence on organic soil amendments effect on nutrient and contaminant dynamics in the subsurface (TwinSubDyn) aims to boost research excellence of University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences and establish a knowledge hub based in Serbia to address unresolved challenges on the impact of organic soil amendments on the fate of contaminants (pharmaceuticals, pesticides, microplastics), and nutrient dynamics in the soil subsurface and their implications for groundwater quality.

To significantly advance the roadmap of Research and Inovation and strengthen the research position in the defined field, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences will link with 4 cross-disciplinary leading partners University of Vienna, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Each scientific partner will be committed to transfer specific knowledge and expertise: (1) Bridge knowledge on soil organic matter dynamics and its effect on nutrient, contaminant mobility and transformation with hydrogeological modelling and state of the art analytical techniques. (2) Build-up the capacity to elucidate element cycling via isotopically labelled substances with a special focus on soil organic matter, which governs many processes in the subsurface. The overarching goal of the project to step up and stimulate both the scientific excellence and innovation capacity and institutional research support and administration will be reached through 4 specific objectives:


To network for excellence through knowledge transfer and exchange of best practice between University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences and renowned leading partners University of Vienna, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - through short-term scientific missions of qualified and early-stage researchers. Strengthening research management and administration capacities at University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences. Establish long-lasting strategic partnerships with leading European institutions in the field.


To significantly raise reputation, research profile and attractiveness of University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences and its staff - through delivering lectures by experts, organization of workshops and summer schools, establishment of a virtual knowledge platform at University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, development of Science and Innovation Strategy and action plan for University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences.


To increasing scientific competence via a strategic collaborative research project on the impact of organic soil amendments on contaminant and nutrient dynamics in the soil subsurface and implications for groundwater quality.


To considerably expand scientific knowledge through dissemination, and outreach activities to the national and international academic community, while promoting activities directed to relevant stakeholders and the general public.











Dear Colleagues,
Horizon Europe project TwinSubDyn is delighted to invite you to WEBINAR hosting an expert in Proposal Writing in collaboration with the TwinSubDyn partner University of Vienna
TOPIC: Proposal writing workshop series – grant conceptualization and consortia building
Speaker: Sarah Hale, Senior Researcher

This webinar is the second in a series of three which will focus on (i) identification of promising funding schemes (held in September 2023), (ii) grant conceptualization and consortia building and (iii) proposal writing and project planning. The webinar will focus on how to mature an idea to a concept with viable results and then how to shape this in a proposal to meet the demands of a call. The webinar will also look at how to bring together the necessary partners to ensure success. These topics will be discussed by drawing upon examples in the Horizon Europe program. The webinar will end with a question and answer session providing attendees with the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the presenter. Additional details can be found here

Announcement of TwinSubDyn Summer School

It is a pleasure for the TwinSubDyn team to announce and host the Summer School on Sustainable organic amendment application from a soil and ground water management perspective: scientific basis, challenges, and perspectives that will be held at Novi Sad in June 2025.
Main topics of the Summer School are:
• organic amendment application
• soil management
• ground water management

Stay tuned for more details as the program unfolds.
We welcome your valuable input! If you have any suggestions regarding topics or wish to provide feedback on our knowledge HUB, please feel free to share your insights at: knowledge-hub.pmf.uns.ac.rs

TwinSubDyn is inviting you to submit your abstract for the EGU General Assembly 2024 - Session SSS9.12 “OPTIMIZING SOIL HEALTH THROUGH ORGANIC SOIL AMENDMENTS”.

Explore soil health's enhancement through organic amendments: Submit abstracts on diverse materials, application methods, nutrient management, carbon sequestration, environmental benefits, and future tech in soil health optimization.

Soil health is one of the vital components of sustainable agriculture and ecosystem quality. Organic soil amendment application has emerged as a crucial practice to enhance soil fertility, structure, and microbial activity, foster nutrient cycling, and mitigate environmental impacts. This conference session aims to explore the latest research findings, innovative strategies, and practical applications related to optimizing soil health through the sensible use of organic soil amendments. We welcome abstracts on the current state of knowledge and emerging issues examining: (1) the diverse range of organic materials that can be used as soil amendments; (2) innovative methods and technologies for applying organic soil amendments; (3) effective nutrient management through the use of organic soil amendments; (4) how the application of organic soil amendments can contribute to carbon sequestration in soils; (5) the environmental benefits of organic soil amendment application, such as soil remediation; (6) future prospects in developing technologies and research areas with the potential to further advance our understanding of soil health optimization through organic soil amendments.

You can find more information on the conference and session on the following links:
Deadline for abstract submission is 10th January 2024. TwinSubDyn Team

Successful Conclusion of the Second TwinSubDyn Workshop: A Collaborative Endeavor

The second edition of the TwinSubDyn workshop has officially ended, marking another milestone in collaborative knowledge exchange and innovation. We express our sincere gratitude to our esteemed partners at University of Vienna for their invaluable collaboration throughout this enriching experience.

The workshop provided a platform for an inspiring exchange of knowledge and ideas, fostering a dynamic environment that encouraged participants to share insights and expertise. The collaborative spirit that permeated the event contributed to its success, and we are grateful for the active involvement of all participants.

A special shoutout goes to projects Phytoremediation for in situ treatment of agricultural soil and surface waters polluted with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – research on PFOS and PFOA as model compounds (PhytoPFAS), Twinning to address the PFAS challenge in Serbia (PFAStwin), Project GREENLand microplastic free environment, Twinning for Smart Water – Thinking and Rethinking Wastewater Management in Circular Economy Frame (SmartWaterTwin), and Twinning for enhancing the scientific excellence of Faculty of Technology Novi Sad for innovative solutions to protect environmental resources from contaminants of emerging concerne (TwiNSol-CECs) for their outstanding contributions and engagement in the thought-provoking brainstorming sessions. These interactions not only sparked creativity but also laid the foundation for potential future collaborations and projects.

As we bring the second TwinSubDyn workshop to a close, we eagerly anticipate the prospect of reconnecting next year. The success of this workshop sets the stage for future endeavors, and we look forward to introducing fresh workshops and events that will continue to push the boundaries of knowledge and innovation.

In conclusion, the TwinSubDyn workshop series stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the exchange of ideas. We extend our gratitude to all participants for their enthusiasm and dedication, and we eagerly anticipate the exciting opportunities that the future holds for our community. Until next year!

TwinSubDyn Team

“Highly cited researchers”: Soil scientist Bruno Glaser is one of the most cited researchers in the world

We are delighted to announce that one of our TwinSubDyn team member Prof. Dr. Bruno Glaser of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg has achieved global recognition by making it onto the prestigious "Highly Cited Researchers 2023" list, according to a report by Clarivate.

The analysis, which identifies researchers with exceptionally high citation rates, highlights Glaser's groundbreaking work in biochar and various biogeochemical processes in soil, earning him a spot among the world's most influential scientists for the first time.

As one of five scientists from MLU in the new edition of the ranking, Glaser's 27 years of research on the "Terra Preta phenomenon" and biochar have significantly contributed to understanding how charring organic materials at high temperatures can stabilize carbon and mitigate its release as carbon dioxide, thus addressing concerns related to global warming.

Professor Glaser emphasizes the multifaceted benefits of biochar, stating, "Biochar can not only bind carbon dioxide in the soil but also enhance soil properties, enabling it to retain more water and facilitate the slow release of nutrients to plants, making it a crucial tool in building soil resilience against climate change."

Born in 1966, Glaser, who has been a professor of soil biogeochemistry at MLU since 2010, boasts an impressive track record with over 220 scientific publications, including contributions to esteemed journals such as "Science," "Nature Geoscience," and "Biochar Journal," solidifying his position as a leading figure in soil science.

A total of 6,849 researchers from 67 countries are listed in this year's edition of "Highly cited researchers". The ranking of "Highly cited researchers" is published annually and includes the one percent of researchers worldwide who have been cited more frequently in specialist journals in the past ten years than their colleagues in the same field.

Link to the current edition of the rankings: https://clarivate.com/highly-cited-researchers/

TwinSubDyn Team

Dear Colleagues,

Horizon Europe project TwinSubDyn is delighted to invite you to WEBINAR 6 hosting an accomplished EU grant expert from the University of Vienna, Department for Environmental Geosciences. Join us for a webinar: EU Grants and lessons learned Speaker: Dr Frank Von Der Kammer, Senior Scientist & Lecturer Key details can be found HERE.

Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from the expert and discover the invaluable lessons which will elevate your grant applications to the next level!

We're excited to welcome you to an engaging and knowledge-packed event!

TwinSubDyn Team

Read more

Celebrating one year of remarkable progress with #TwinSubDyn! It's been an incredible journey filled with growth, collaboration, and unforgettable experiences thanks to our project partners Forschungszentrum Jülich, University of Vienna, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville. Over the past year, we've embraced the power of innovation through our immersive 6-month secondments, where knowledge flowed freely, sparking creativity that knows no bounds.

Our 1-month visits were like windows to new worlds, enriching our perspectives and igniting fresh ideas that continue to drive us forward. And who could forget the engaging webinars that connected us across distances, fostering insightful discussions and connecting our minds?

The hands-on, on-site trainings were the cornerstone of our growth, where theory met practice, and skills transformed into expertise. As we reflect on this incredible year, we're not just celebrating milestones, but the lasting bonds we've formed and the indomitable spirit of Team TwinSubDyn. Here's to another year of innovation, collaboration, and unwavering determination!

#TwinSubDyn in numbers:

Twinsubdyn has achieved an impressive milestone in its inaugural year, comprising 3 insightful webinars, 5 enriching six-month secondments, 5 productive one-month visits, and 4 comprehensive onsite training sessions.



Project Laucher









We have chosen our project partners from EU institutions we have previously collaborated with or with which we currently have on-going research collaborations. In addition, there is only one partnering organization with which we have established cooperation only recently, and we want to strengthen our links with that group. All partners were chosen carefully to help us unlock our research potential in the specific research areas we have identified as our specific scientific objectives.


read more

The Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad is a leader of the project TwinSubDyn. University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences has been the country's strong base of science and teaching in fundamental sciences since its founding in 1969. The Faculty of Sciences participated in more than 200 domestic and international projects that contributed to the development of expertise for a flexible and quick response to the main emerging scientific and technological problems, opportunities and needs that appear in the field of environmental protection. The Chair of Chemical Technology and Environmental Protection at University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, has long been a regional leader in environmental science with over 40 years of R&D experience. Current expertise and research focus on sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds onto soil/sediment organic matter as the major process determining the bioavailability of hydrophobic organic pollutants in sediments and soils, biodegradability and phytotoxicity of these pollutants in environmental media, sequestration and aging of organic pollutants in porous media, characterization and application of carbonaceous materials such as biochar and carbon nanomaterials for contaminant removal.

Snezana Maletic     e-mail:snezana.maletic@dh.uns.ac.rs


read more

University of Vienna, was founded in 1365 and is one of the leading research institutions in Europe. It is associated with 21 Nobel prize winners with currently 7,538 scientific staff with extensive experience in managing international large projects. To date, University of Vienna has been awarded over 250 Horizon projects, including 102 ERC grants. Within University of Vienna, the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science was founded to conduct excellent research at an internationally leading level, aiming to solve pressing environmental problems of today and tomorrow. In the centre the division of environmental geosciences (EDGE) deals with research topics that include nanogeosciences, pollutant dynamics, isotope geochemistry, biogeochemistry, environmental chemical analytics, and modern hydrogeology. EDGE takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate aquatic and terrestrial processes that control the environment. Chemical, physical, biological, and geoscientific concepts and methods are applied in all research practices: starting from field observations and experimental work to arrive at a molecular scale mechanistic understanding and quantitative modeling.

Sigmund Gabriel     e-mail: gabriel.sigmund@univie.ac.at


read more

Forschungszentrum Jülich works on key technologies for the grand challenges facing society in the fields of information, material, brain, energy and environmental research. With more than 5,500 employees, it is one of the largest research institutions in the Helmholtz Association and in Europe. The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences Agrosphere (IBG-3) aims to contribute to the sustainable use of soil and water as natural resources and to provide a better understanding of the functioning of terrestrial systems. IBG-3 has more than 50 scientists working on various national and international projects, including the sustainable use of the natural resources soil and water, and the analysis and optimization of matter cycles. Research at the Agrosphere is organised in three research areas: modelling of terrestrial systems, environmental processes and technologies and terrestrial biogeochemistry. An important part of the activities within the field of environmental processes and technologies focuses on the development of methods to characterize surface and subsurface biogeochemical processes and to improve our understanding of hydrological driven colloidal processes from the lab to the catchment scale.

Bol, Roland     e-mail: r.bol@fz-juelich.de


read more

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg aims at contributing to a sustainable use of the natural resources with special emphasis on soil, plant, and water and to provide an improved understanding of soil organic matter management. Its research deals with the functional analysis of soil organic matter using molecular markers and stabile isotope techniques. Soil Biogeochemistry has contributed to various EU, DFG, BMBF, and other international projects. Their research interest lies on environmental aspects of organic amendments, identification and quantification of soil processes, non-destructive and non-invasive methods and sustainable use of natural resources. The major focus is on biochar and its environmental aspects. Furthermore the focus on the sustainable management of natural resources, the identification and quantification of soil processes, the method development, stable isotopes, non-destructive and non-invasive methods, the settlement history (Terra Preta, Raised Fields) and Palaeoecology.

Bruno Glaser     e-mail: bruno.glaser@landw.uni-halle.de


read more

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas is Spain’s largest public research institution and ranks third among Europe’s largest research organisations. Attached to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas plays a key role in scientific and technological policy in Spain and more widely worldwide. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas played a significant role in establishing and developing the European Research Area (ERA) and is therefore a significant contributor to the European integration process. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas produces 20% of Spain’s national scientific output and is the leading institution in Spain in the generating patents. Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS) is a Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas research centre, dedicated to the investigation of the use and conservation of soil-plant-water natural resources. Its aim is to improve productivity with the minimum impact on the environment to ensure the sustainability of natural resources. Their researchers are working in the field of soil and biogeochemistry along with the analysis of coal, charcoal and biochar and their impact on soil systems.

Heike Knicker     e-mail: knicker@irnase.csic.es


Receive our latest news and achievements.