Position: Research Support Technician / PhD student
Environment Centre Wales (2nd Floor) (Ecosystems and Environment Group)
School of Natural Sciences
ResearchGate Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emily_Cooledge
PhD project title: Grazing Multispecies Swards: Investingating the Production and Environmental Benefits.
Prof Davey Jones & Prof Dave Chadwick
- Livestock GHG emissions.
- Multispecies 'herbal' swards.
- Livestock health.
- Soil quality.
- Sustainable agricultural intensification.
- Livestock productivity.
I am currently 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 forms the basis of my PhD project, which aims to investigate livestock greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, soil quality and lamb 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 ribgrass (Plantago lanceolata), with high concentrations of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). These PSMs can reduce parasite burden in grazing livestock, bind to proteins in the rumen, alter the rumen microbiome, and reduce livestock GHG emissions.
In 2020, I will be establishing a multispecies and grass-clover sward at Bangor University's Henfaes Research Centre, North Wales, for a 2-year field trial. For my thesis, I will monitor and develop an IPCC emission factor for sheep excreta patch nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and investigate differences in lamb excreta composition (e.g. urine nitrogen content), lamb productivity (e.g. liveweight gain) and lamb health (e.g. gastrointestinal parasite burden). I will also be examining differences in sward quality and yield, changes in soil microbial community composition, and developing a carbon footprint of Welsh lamb production from multispecies and grass-clover swards.
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.