Position: Postdoctoral Research Officer in Environmental Science.
Environment Centre Wales (2nd Floor) (Ecosystems and Environment Group)
School of Natural Sciences
I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Officer in Environmental Science, supervised by Prof Davey Jones and Prof Dave Chadwick. My research interests include soil biogeochemistry, grassland and livestock productivity, and greenhouse gas emissions. I am open to collaborations and establishing new projects.
My PhD research is based on the agronomic and environmental benefits of grazing multispecies 'herbal' leys. I am aiming to submit this in Spring 2023.
Prof Davey Jones & Prof Dave Chadwick
- Soil quality.
- Soil biogeochemistry.
- Herb- and legume-rich multispecies 'herbal' leys.
- Livestock GHG emissions.
- Livestock productivity and health.
- Sustainable agricultural intensification.
I am currently finishing off my PhD prior to establishing new projects during my post-doc role. I was previously (April 2019-2023) working as a Research Support Technician on the BBSRC-SARIC funded project Restoring soil quality through reintegration of sheep and leys in arable rotations led by the PI Prof Jonathan Leake at Sheffield University.
This formed the basis of my PhD project, which aims to investigate livestock greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, soil quality and livestock productivity from lambs grazing multispecies 'herbal' leys in comparison to conventional grass-clover leys. Multispecies leys often contain herbs and legumes, such as chicory (Cichorium intybus), lucerne (Medicago sativa) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), with high concentrations of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). These PSMs may reduce parasite burden in grazing livestock, bind to proteins in the rumen, alter the rumen microbiome, reduce N excretion and subsequently reduce livestock GHG emissions.
In July 2020, we established a 2-ha split-field experiment at Bangor University's Henfaes Research Centre, North Wales, investigating the agronomic and environmental benefits of a herbal ley vs. a conventional grass-clover ley. So far we have investigated the impact of sward type on soil structure (e.g., soil porosity using X-ray CT, aggregate stability using wet-seiving), sward quality (e.g., macro- and micronutrient content), greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., from urine-patch N2O emissions), changes in lamb excreta composition (e.g. urine nitrogen content), lamb productivity (e.g. liveweight gain) and lamb health (e.g. gastrointestinal parasite burden, blood urea content).
I am currently aiming to finish my PhD in spring 2023, and will publish my results hereafter.
I have previously worked with Prof Daniel Murphy at the University of Western Australia on the Soils Quality project, funded by the GRDC (Grains Research and Development Corporation) on an Australian national soil quality project. Using radioisotopes (14C), we investigated microbial carbon use efficiency (CUE) of 970 agricultural soils taken from across Western Australia to determine the relationship between soil pH, cations (e.g. Al3+), and CUE.
Title: Upland-N2O emissions: Investigating spatial differences in urine-patch N2O emissions.
Achieved the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENRGy - now School of Natural Sciences) award for 'Best Undergraduate Project' for the 2018 cohort.
For my undergraduate thesis, I produced an incubation study based on the NERC funded Uplands-N2O project, led by PI Prof Dave Chadwick. I investigated urine-patch N2O emissions from artificial sheep urine applied to acid grassland “island” and peat cores taken from the uplands of North Wales to generate a 41-day IPCC upland specific emission factor.