Eighth Keele Meeting on Aluminium, 2009

The Natural History of Aluminium From Non-Selection to Natural Selection

Saturday 21st to Wednesday 25th February 2009
Venue: Castle Hotel, T?eš?, Czech Republic
Birchall Centre for Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science, Keele University and Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague

Organisation Local host contact details Aims of the meeting
Submissions of new research Call for papers JD Birchall memorial lecture
Preliminary timetable Registration Payment
Venue Travel Contacts


The Eighth Keele Meeting on Aluminium will be held at the Castle Hotel, T?eš?, in the Czech Republic.

The choice of this venue, following several bids to host the meeting, reflects the quality of the meeting proposal prepared by the local hosts and the significant support of previous Keele Meetings by individuals from the Czech Republic.

If you might be interested in hosting the Ninth Keele Meeting on Aluminium in 2011 then you should contact Dr Chris Exley (c.exley@chem.keele.ac.uk).

The local host is the laboratory of Luboš Bor?vka and Ond?ej Drábek, Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic.

The local host is responsible for the organisation of the Conference Venue and all aspects associated with Conference Registration. All enquiries on these matters should be directed towards Professors Luboš Bor?vka and Ond?ej Drábek in the first instance.

Local Host Contact Details

Please, address all e-mail correspondence to local hosts to keele@af.czu.cz

Luboš Bor?vka - boruvka@af.czu.cz
Ond?ej Drábek - drabek@af.czu.cz

Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection,
Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague,
Kamýcká 129, CZ-165 21 Prague 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic.

The Scientific Programme (see later) will be coordinated through Keele (c.exley@chem.keele.ac.uk) as per usual.

Aims of the Meeting

In 2009 the world will celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and with this in mind it is worth contemplating how the natural selection of the elements of life managed to ignore the third most abundant element of the Earth’s crust and the most abundant metal! One of the main aims of Keele Meetings is to bring together individuals with as wide an interest in aluminium as possible so that we can begin to understand the myriad processes which might have excluded aluminium from biochemical evolution and the myriad processes which are now ongoing due to the appearance of a burgeoning burden of biologically available aluminium. Thus, how was aluminium excluded from biota (assuming, of course that it was!) and how are biota, now living in The Aluminium Age, responding to or coping with its arrival in forms which are biologically available. These remain some of the greatest unanswered questions in science and by themselves are completely legitimate fields of enquiry. However, if we add to this the known ecotoxicology of aluminium and its potential involvement in human disease then there are myriad applied reasons to understand the biological availability of aluminium. Darwin’s theory of natural selection, arguably the greatest advance in our understanding of science and life on Earth, is as applicable to the natural history of aluminium as it is to our own ascent and does undoubtedly contain clues as to the future impact of aluminium on Life on Earth.

Let’s come together at the Eighth Keele Meeting on Aluminium to continue our discussion of The Natural History of Aluminium: From Non-Selection to Natural Selection.

Submissions of New Research

Submissions of new research are invited in all areas of aluminium (and silicon) research including:

Aluminium geochemistry; including soil chemistry
Interactions of aluminium with micro-organisms
Interactions of aluminium in algae and plants
Interactions of aluminium with invertebrates and vertebrates
Human exposure to aluminium
Aluminium in human diseases
Analytical aluminium chemistry
Inorganic aluminium chemistry
Bioinorganic aluminium chemistry
Clinical aluminium chemistry
Aluminium biochemistry
Aluminium in biotechnology
Aluminium in food, cosmetics, drugs, vaccines, prosthetics etc.
Silicon in plants, animals and humans in health and disease

These are only suggestions. One of the key features of Keele Meetings is that there are no invited speakers and the Scientific Programme is entirely determined by the quality and breadth of the submitted abstracts for Platform and Poster presentations. The Keele Meetings have earned a reputation for the dissemination and discussion of high quality research. They are also highly informal and friendly events which help to foster new collaborations and new friendships within the disparate global aluminium research community.

We are all ‘Living with Aluminium’. Why not come to the Eighth Keele Meeting on Aluminium in the Czech Republic and tell us all about your experience with our infamous metal, aluminium!

Chris Exley

Call for Papers

The Keele Meetings on Aluminium are organised to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of new and previously unpublished research. Papers are invited in any area of aluminium research. The content of the Scientific Programme will as is usual for Keele Meetings be organised according to the nature of the contributed papers. The agenda will be set by the most timely research in the field. Submissions are sought for both Platform and Poster presentations. Both of these involve some degree of oral presentation. Platform presentations are allocated 30 minutes. Only 20 minutes should be used to present research. Each Platform presentation will be followed by a 10 minute discussion period. This emphasis on discussion is a key element of the Keele Meetings and Session Chairs will enforce these times with the utmost rigour! Participants presenting Posters will be allocated a 5 minute oral slot within an appropriate Platform Session to ‘advertise’ their Poster.

Prizes are available for the ‘Best Postgraduate Presentation’ (Platform or Poster) and ‘Best Poster’. All presentations, Platform and Poster, will be eligible for submission for publication in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. The Keele Meeting Issue of JIB will be a regular issue of the journal (see for example, JIB 101, Number 9) and all submissions will be subject to peer review.

If you are interested in presenting your research at the Eighth Keele Meeting on Aluminium please send a 150 word abstract of your presentation to:

Dr C Exley,
Birchall Centre for Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science,
Lennard-Jones Laboratories,
Keele University,
ST5 5BG,

Abstract submission by email (c.exley@chem.keele.ac.uk) attachment using WORD is preferred.

Deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st October 2008. Please be prompt.

JD Birchall Memorial Lecture

In 2009 the JD Birchall Memorial Lecture will be given by;

Professor Staffan Sjöberg, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Umeå. A Legend in the Inorganic Chemistry of Aluminium and Silicon!!

The title of his talk is; Chemical  speciation, solubilities and surface complexation in aqueous Al(hydr)oxide suspensions


Preliminary Timetable

Saturday 21st February 2009

17.00 Registration and Poster Assembly
20.00 Welcome to Meeting / Welcome Buffet

Sunday 22nd  February 2009

09.00 Conference
13.00 Lunch
14.30 Conference
18.30 End of First Day
20.00 Dinner
Poster Session and Local Wine Tasting!!

Monday 23rd  February 2009

09.00 Conference
14.00 Lunch
20.00 Dinner

Tuesday 24th February 2009

09.00 Conference
13.00 Lunch
14.30 Conference
17.00 JD Birchall Memorial Lecture
18.30 Closing Remarks
20.00 Conference Dinner

The Scientific Programme will be finalised during December 2008 and will be posted on the Meeting website with all other relevant information.


The Conference is run at cost. This means that the Conference Fees pay for the major costs of the Conference. All participants will pay the Conference Fee of  450 EUROS (four hundred and fifty euros), per person for single room occupancy or 300 EUROS (three hundred euros) per person for shared occupancy.

Accompanying guests will be charged the shared occupancy rate of  300 EUROS and will be treated as delegates.

I am sure that you will agree with me that these are incredibly competitive prices expertly negotiated by our local hosts!

The Conference Fee includes everything!; Registration; Accommodation (21st  22nd, 23rd & 24th ); All meals (Welcome Buffet on 21stof February to Breakfast on the 25th of February) including the Wine Tasting and the Conference Dinner; Scheduled transport between the airport and the venue and the use of all of the Hotel Facilities.

Delegates requiring other combinations of accommodation and attendance etc. are asked to contact by email the local conference organisers for an estimate.

Method of Payment

All payments must be made in EUROS by Bank Transfer to:

Account number: 19-6026830237/0100 (Keele Meeting Code: 2113090109001); IBAN:CZ7901000000196026830237 (Keele Meeting Code: 2113090109001);Swift Code: KOMBCZPPXXX

Bank address: Komer?ní banka a. s., Dejvická 185/5, 160 59 Praha 6, Czech Republic.
Account holder: Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic.

Please state your full name and address on the transfer and please ensure that any transfer charges are not deducted from the Conference Fee. When the transfer is ready please send a copy plus a completed registration form (available on the website or from either of the organisers) to the local organiser by email (keele@af.czu.cz) or by fax (+420 234 381 836).

If you have any questions about payment then please direct these to Luboš Bor?vka or Ond?ej Drábek (keele@af.czu.cz).

A small number of postgraduate bursaries may be available for students making presentations (Platform or Poster) at the Conference. These bursaries will cover the Conference Fee for shared room occupancy (300 EUROS). Please indicate that you would like to be considered for a bursary when you submit your abstract. Please include a note from your MSc/PhD Supervisor confirming your status as a Postgraduate Student.

The number of places available at the Eighth Keele Meeting will be restricted to maintain the informal and friendly atmosphere that is characteristic of Keele Meetings. Rooms, single and shared occupancy will be allocated on a first come (payment of Conference Fee) first served basis. Please inform either Chris Exley or the local hosts of your intention to attend the Conference as soon as is possible.

Please note that confirmation of your place at the meeting can only be made upon receipt of the Conference Fee and the Registration/Accommodation Form .

The Conference Fee and the Registration/Accommodation Form must be received by 12th December 2008.

If participation is cancelled before December 31, 2008 in writing, the registration fee will be refunded with a reduction of 30% to cover  administrative costs.
(Later bookings will only be possible at the discretion of the local hosts.)


Castle Hotel T?eš?

Situated in a picturesque forest park in the middle of T?eš?ské Vrchy, a part of the Czech-Moravian Highlands, Castle Hotel T?eš? ranks among the most popular tourist resorts in the Vyso?ina Region. The history of the town of T?eš? dates back to 12th century when it was a trading centre. Soon a first castle was built. Architectural styles of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque meet in this four-wing building with corner towers. It is surrounded by an English style park from the first half of 19th century. In 1984, the castle with the park became a property of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic and it was transformed to a conference centre. More information about the  Castle Hotel T?eš? and its history can be found on the address: http://www.castle-trest.com.

The town of T?eš? is famous, among other reasons, also for a tradition of building Christmas Nativity Scenes since the beginning of 19th century. More than 20 Christmas Nativity Scenes can be seen both in the houses of the local artists and in the permanent exhibition situated in the local branch of the Museum of Vyso?ina Region in Schumpeter House in the town square. More information about the town of T?eš? is available on http://www.trest.cz.

A number of worth visiting places can be found in the vicinity of T?eš?, for example the historical town of Tel?, the Roštejn castle, the town of Slavonice, the rocky peak Špi?ák (734 m above sea level), or the village of Ma?íž with an original ceramics production. Trips to some of these places will be organized during the conference on the free afternoon of Monday, February 23.

Tel? (http://www.telc-etc.cz/telc/, http://www.telc.eu/) is one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic, whose historical centre is registered in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List since 1992. Sgraffiti and frescos on the decorated gables of patrician houses reflect Italian inspiration and look the same as they looked in the Middle Ages. The oldest historical monument in the town is the Romanesque Tower of the Holy Spirit (49 meters). The château standing in place of the original Gothic castle is a fully preserved Renaissance palace with Renaissance gardens and a park with precious trees.

Roštejn (673 m above sea level) is a 14th century castle. The septagonal entrance tower (47 metres) provides an exceptional view of the landscape scenery under the Javo?ice hill. In the Renaissance period the castle’s main palace was rebuilt into a hunting château. The castle contains an exhibition of folk trades and craft and an exhibition of hunting arms and trophies.  The castle is situated in the midst of the nature reserve Roštýnská Obora – the largest beech forest in the Vyso?ina Region.

Ma?íž (http://www.aokmariz.cz/), the auctorial original ceramics Ltd. is a lifework of Kryštof Trubá?ek, artist and glass-worker. Kryštof Trubá?ek produced ceramics for his own use and his friends’ as early as in the 1970’s. Because of the growing number of prospective buyers of his products he started hiring potters. The original ceramics of Ma?íž is famous especially for its unusually high artistic standards and the uniqueness of each piece.

Slavonice (http://www.slavonice-mesto.cz/en/) is a beautiful renaissance town founded around the 12th century originally as a marketplace village. An old church The Assumption of Our Virgin Mary with a dominant town tower from the 16th century lies between two well preserved town squares from Middle Ages.


The town of T?eš? is about 2.5 hours from Prague by road. There will be two buses provided from the airport on Saturday February 21st, and two buses will take participants back from T?eš? to the airport on Wednesday February 25th. The departure times of these buses will depend upon the arrival and departure times of delegates and so please let the local hosts (keele@af.czu.cz) know both the times of your arrival to (21st) and departure from (25th) Prague airport.

If you prefer to go to the venue by yourself from Prague then you can use bus, train or car.

By public bus
Buses from Prague are leaving from the Central Bus Station in Florenc, either directly to T?eš?, or with a change in Jihlava.

By train
There are no trains going directly from Prague to T?eš?. Several changes are necessary. If you prefer to go by train anyway, please contact us for a timetable.

By car
Take the motorway D1 from Prague towards Brno. Leave the highway on exit 112, direction Jihlava. Pass by the town of Jihlava and continue (follow the direction Tel?). T?eš? is about 20 km from the motorway.

Please let Luboš Bor?vka and Ond?ej Drábek (keele@af.czu.cz) know if you prefer any type of individual transport so that we can assist you with planning.


General enquiries should be made to either Chris Exley or the local hosts.

Abstracts should be sent to Chris Exley.

Enquiries concerning The Conference Fee, Accommodation, Travel, The Venue should be made directly to the local hosts.

Chris Exley
Birchall Centre for Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science
Lennard-Jones Laboratories
Keele University
Staffordshire ST5 5BG
Tel: 44 1782 584080   Fax: 44 1782 712378  
Email: c.exley@chem.keele.ac.uk

Local Host Details:
Luboš Bor?vka, Ond?ej Drábek
Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection
Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague
Kamýcká 129, CZ-165 21 Prague 6 – Suchdol
Czech Republic
Tel.: +420 224 382 751, +420 224 382 696   
Fax: +420 234 381 836
E-mail: keele@af.czu.cz