Deforestation, soil degredation, climate change: African countries face serious challenges  in regard of  a sustainable development, requiring a comprehensive integrated approach. The PASCAL training program  aims at initiating a knowledge and technology transfer-bridge between Germany and Africa in the areas of soil science, nutrition and hydrology. An interview with Chioma Ogbenna shows how young scientists can utilize the training on HPC-enabled terrestrial modelling.

Chioma Ogbenna

Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Marcel Bülow

Ms Ogbenna, where do you come from?

I come from Nigeria.

You are a student. What university do you go to?

I am a PhD student at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. My subject is soil science.

Do you already use simulation/modelling in your studies?

Yes, scientific modelling is already part of my work. Though I have not collected data yet.

What was the scientific interest behind your application for PASCAL?

A part of my current study involves the investigation of nitrate leaching and mobility of endocrine disrupting compounds in the soil-water-plant system, in soils amended with the recommended biosolid rate. Further validation of previous model simulations using field data will be done as well as extrapolation to other agro ecological zones in South Africa.

How will you use PASCAL at work?

Attending PASCAL is very crucial for my work. Skills and knowledge gained will help to predict nitrate leaching and mobility of endocrine disrupting compounds of national priority in different agro ecological zones of South Africa. The anticipated outcome is the update of the South African guideline for sustainable biosolid use in agricultural production.

Are there specific problems in your home country in regard of effective land use and a sustainable development?

In Nigeria, there is a serious problem of land degradation – a result of deforestation, erosion, salinization, acidification, and various aspects of land pollution, majorly from industrial activities. In addition, we have the negative impact of climate change resulting to flooding or drought at different regions in the country. The key challenge, however, is the lack of effective land use policies for environmental sustainability.

Ms Ogbenna, thank you very much.



About Erhard Zeiss

Erhard Zeiss has been writer and editor in our press office since 2008.

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  1. PASCAL HPC training: three days of modelling the earth system

    […] In the PASCAL HPC Training (HPC = High Performance Computing) Jülich scientists train the African participants how to use TSMP to provide predictions from coupled simulations of the soil, water, and air system. The course aims to provide the participants with generic capabilities of terrestrial modelling and data assimilation which they can apply in their home countries. “Attending PASCAL is very crucial for my work”, says Chioma Ogbenna, PhD student in soil science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and one of the PASCAL participants. She hopes the gained skills and knowledge will help her to update the South African guideline for sustainable biosolid use in agricultural production (read the entire interview).  […]