Prof Andy Smith
Professor of Forest Ecology
Location: Room 205, Environment Centre Wales, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University
Phone:+44 (0)1248 382297
I research and teach forest ecology, biogeochemistry and plant-soil interactions with emphasis on species diversity and ecosystem function in undisturbed and managed ecosystems. I'm particlarly interested in belowground processes and the study of root biology, mycorrhizal symbiosis, and biogeochemical cycling; subjects that I have researched in a variety of climate change manipulation experiments that include elevated CO2 and climatic extremes (via altered precipitation and temperature regimes) in forest and upland ecosystems. I previously held the positions of Climate Change Impact Scientist at NERCs Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2011-2013), and postdoctoral researcher at Bangor University (2010-2011). In my early career at the Medical Research Council, Cambridge and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge I focused on the development of novel molecular and bioinformatics techniques for the nematode (Caenorhabiditis elegans) and human genome sequencing projects.
I co-direct, with Prof Lui Shuguang, research activities at the Bangor University-Central South University of Forestry and Technology Joint Research Centre in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. I'm the PI of the forest diversity experiment (BangorDiverse) based at the Henfaes Research Centre, Abergwyngregyn that investigates the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function. BangorDiverse is part of the largest network (TreeDivNet) of biodviersity experiments worldwide, and was established in 2004 with 92 plots of alder (Alnus glutinosa L.), birch (Betula pendula Roth.), beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.), chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.), and oak (Quercus robur L.) planted in monoculture, and two and three species mixtures using a fully replicated (n=4) design. I also manage and conducted research on silvopastoral agroforestry at the Henfaes Research Centre that focuses on the role agroforestry has in sustainably delivering food security whilst maintaining ecological complexity and the provision of ecosystem services (public goods). I lead the nutrient manipulation work package of the large (£3.7M) NERC project (QUINTUS) an investigation of N & P stoichiometry in temperate forests exposed to ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2 at the BIFoR FACE facility. I am a Co-I on the UKRI Treescapes project Understanding Memory of UK Treescapes for Better Resilience and Adaptation (MEMBRA) that is investigating abiotic and biotic stress induced epigenetic changes in trees and whether these changes are passed on to future generations. And I am PI of the Tree Production Innovation Fund project Development of Regenerative Tree Nursery Practice (2023-2025) that is investigating the use of municipal green waste as sustainable source of organic matter for compost use in horticulture. I was the PI of the Sêr Cymru NRN-LCEE research cluster Multi-Land that researched the evidence-base around Enhancement of Agricultural Productivity and Ecosystem Service Resilience in Multifunctional Landscapes.