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Early bird

until 15th march

Exploring the Vital Role of Soils in Agriculture 

What and for whom?

This course aims to lay the foundations for understanding soil is, what its constituents, its functionalities, and the services it provides to various agents, particularly agricultural producers. Focusing in-depth on the soil microbiome, in this course you will develop a broader understanding of the influence of microorganisms on the soil. The course demonstrates visual soil analysis practices and also provides a historical review of the Common Agricultural Policy, framing the new European policies concerning soil conservation and preservation. This MOOC consists of six modules.

1. The importance and role of soils

2. The abiotic component of soil

3. Soil's biotic component

4. Microbiome and soil health

5. Visual assessment of the soil

6. The Common Agricultural Policy and Soil

This training, conducted in Portuguese, is tailored for agricultural producers, students and other individuals interested in agronomy, biology and agri-food studies at the undergraduate level.

What and for whom?


All modules have asynchronous sessions and are enhanced with interviews, quizzes, and activities to reinforce learning, and provide additional educational resources.

The course will run from April 1st until May 31st.

Registrations required  before before March 28th, through this link


Course duration



Virtual classes

6 h

Module content

1. Two asynchronous classes about  modules’ topic 
2. In conversation with…  - an overview from an expert about the importance of the module
3. Remember  - a brief overview of the main concepts covered
4. Explore  - further material to deepen learning knowledge about the topic
5. The key-message is… the most relevant take away 
6. Apply your knowledge – exercises to test learning outcomes and facilitate the learners progress



40 €


Completion certificate

Instituto Politécnico de Viseu

Enjoy the earlybird until March 15th at 30€.

The course will have an creditation of 2 ECTS upon successful completion of the activities made available to the trainee.

Creditation will be awarded by the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu.

Speakers MOOC


1. The importance and role of soils

Daniela Fonseca is PhD with expertise in biochemistry and chemistry, bioactive ingredients and functional foods, as well as biopolymers and biomaterials. Her motivation lies in her enthusiasm for transforming low-value products into value-added applications for food and health purposes.

José Luís Pereira works in the areas of agricultural sciences, with an emphasis on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, animal science and dairy products. He is currently a Coordinating Professor with Aggregation at the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu.

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2. The abiotic component of soil

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Margarida Palma has a PhD in microbiology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and over 12 years' experience in functional genomics, molecular and cell biology. She has training in sustainable agriculture, organic and integrated production, agricultural business management and beekeeping.

João Ferreira is currently the Bioprocess Manager in the Research, Development and Innovation Department at Mendes Gonçalves. With a versatile background in academia and industry, he is an experienced professional who contributes significantly to bioprocess management and the development of innovative products.

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3. Soil's biotic component

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Catarina Conrado, has a degree in environmental engineering and a master's degree in agronomic engineering from the Instituto Superior de Agronomia, has experience in soil and groundwater decontamination, environmental consultancy and trained in regenerative and conservation agriculture.

Nuno Oliveira is a biologist specializing in ecology and geography. He is currently CEO of NBI - Natural Business Intelligence, developing strategic and innovative projects for a Nature-Based Economy. He has extensive knowledge and practice in the fields of biodiversity, ecosystem services, bioeconomy, natural capital, climate adaptation, agroecology and forests.

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4. Microbiome and soil health

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Diogo Pinho has more than 10 years' experience in industry and research into the microbiome of plants and soils. For him, regenerative agriculture and planned animal management are agricultural practices that make it possible to produce nutrient-rich food, regenerating the health and fertility of the soil.

José Rodrigues is an agricultural consultant at Planície Verde. Planície Verde is an internationally renowned company specializing in the production of lettuce, melons and watermelons, on plots in the Alentejo, Algarve and Ribatejo regions, covering an area of 500 ha.

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5. Visual assessment of the soil

Iris Mota

Iris Mota is a biologist specializing in Plant Chemistry, Agronomy and Plant Conservation. Iris has travelled ' work has visitedto several farms in Spain and Portugal supporting their in transition to regenerative agriculture. Since her master's degree, where she wrote a thesis on the influence of mycorrhizal fungi on plant secondary metabolites, she has always been interested in soil health and microbiology. 

José Amorim is an organic farming technician in plant and animal production, recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, and specialized in biodynamic agriculture. Former executive director of Agrobio - Portuguese Association of Organic Farming.

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6. The Common Agricultural Policy and Soil

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Joana Grácio, who holds a master's degree in agronomic engineering and a degree in zootechnical engineering from the University of Évora, has a postgraduate degree in business management and has around 18 years' experience in the food sector, in coordination, operational and commercial management, as well as consultancy.

Miguel Viegas worked as a veterinarian in the Portuguese agricultural sector. He is a professor at the University of Aveiro, first as an assistant professor and then as an assistant professor. He was a member of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2019, serving on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

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Isabel Dinis currently works at the Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra. Her current projects focus mainly on Short Supply Chains and the dissemination of organic farming.


All registrations must be made before March 28th, via this link.

The course will run from April 1st until May 31st. On April 1st we will open the course to those who have registered. You will have 3 months to complete the course asynchronously.

Enjoy the earlybird until March 15th at 30€!

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