Seminar: "The promise of plants to ‘lock away’ carbon"

Past Event

08 February 2012, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This seminar is hosted by the Oxford Geoengineering Programme

Summary: Can we use plants to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then lock it away in forms that will prevent it being re-released? Biochar and afforestation are two related geoengineering techniques that aim to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by growing biomass and storing it by converting it into a charcoal (biochar) or allowing the amount of biomass to accumulate (afforestation). The seminar will involve four panelists who will make brief presentations which will describe the proposed techniques, the research conducted so far, the potential and the issues associated with it.


  • Dr Ondrej Masek, Lecturer in Engineering Assessment of Biochar, UK Biochar Research Centre, University of Edinburgh
  • Helena Paul, Co-Director, EcoNexus
  • Dr Abigail Swann, Biology Department and Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of Washington
  • Dr Naomi Vaughan, Co-Ordinator, GeoEngineering Assessment & Research, University of East Anglia

The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session to all the panel members.

Anyone unable to attend the seminars in person is encouraged to participate virtually via WebEx from anywhere in the world. At the time of the event simply visit, click on the event you would like to join, and use the password "martinschool" to join the event live. Participants will be able to view presentation slides, hear the panel discussions, and see the presenters themselves through the WebEx interface. Participants are also encouraged to ask questions of the presenters through the WebEx dialogue box. These questions will be monitored by OGP staff and may be posed to presenters during the event itself. No pre-registration or downloads are required, only access to the internet.