Research includes: Optimisation of micronutrient status in food crops, risk assessment of metals and metalloids in soils, bio-indicators of pollution, focussing on heavy metals and manufactured nanoparticles, biogeochemistry of phosphorus, sulphur and trace elements in soils, microbes and plants.
Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems
The Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems Department has staff at both the Harpenden and North Wyke sites. We aim to understand, model and manipulate the abiotic and biotic processes in arable and grazed grassland soils to improve the function, resilience and sustainability of farming systems.
Areas of scientific expertise
The Department has internationally-acknowledged expertise in the biology, chemistry and physics of soils and soil processes in arable and grazed grassland systems. It has particular expertise in nutrient and pollutant cycling, especially of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and micronutrients, the recycling of organic manures, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, soil-root interactions, and soil and crop modelling. The Department delivers to Rothamsted's strategic objectives in the areas of sustainable soil and grassland management.
The Department links most closely to the Delivering Sustainable Systems research programme, delivering research on sustainable soil and grassland management. It also delivers research into soil-root interactions to '20:20 Wheat®', on carbon cycling, sequestration and modelling to 'Cropping Carbon', and on micronutrient quality of cereal grains to 'Designing Seeds'.
Research focusses on evaluating the sustainability of modern agricultural practices and the tradeoffs with the provision of environmental goods and services. An ecosystem services approach has been adopted for use with mathematical models that quantify, value and compare the provision and resilience of provision of goods and environmental services in both space and time and in the face of stresses such as climate change and growth in demand.
Rothamsted is a Partner in the UK Soil Observatory which provides a portal for accessing UK soils data and underpinning research. These fully described datasets allow users to access information for novel research, for public and private decision making and for general interest groups. These datasets are provided for free, where possible.
Peer reviewed publications for the Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems Department
A consortium of UK based organisations, including Rothamsted Research, has been awarded funding to look into cropping systems that could harness the phosphorus already available in soils.
Farmers could improve the efficiency of phosphorus in crop production by coupling plants with complementary traits, which would allow them to harness the ‘phosphorus bank’ already present in soils.
Exploring the potential of ‘collaborative roots’ to make organic phosphorus available to plants is the objective of a new £1.2 million, three-year project undertaken by a scientific consortium including the James Hutton Institute, Rothamsted Research and led by Lancaster University.
Arable technology was applied to grasslands when the Rothamsted UAV octocopter visited the North Wyke Farm Platform this week.
The six MPs that attended were Miss Anne McIntosh (Chair; Conservative, Thirsk and Malton), Mrs Mary Glindon (Labour, North Tyneside), Sheryll Murray (Conservative , South East Cornwall), Neil Parish (Consrvative, Tiverton and Honiton) and Roger Williams (Liberal Democrat, Brecon and Radnorshire).
Department Press Releases
The ECN was established in 1992 as a multi-agency programme, supported by fourteen independent government departments and agencies. Rothamsted Research, which is strategically funded by the BBSRC, is a founding member because of its long-term experiments, data and archived samples. Rothamsted is one of twelve terrestrial sites that cover a range of ecosystems including lowland grassland, arable agriculture, woodland/forest and upland moorland/mountain.
The response of soil microbial communities to changes in temperature increases the potential for more carbon dioxide to be released from the world's soils as global temperatures rise, scientists have revealed.
An international group of scientists, led by Professor David Powlson, Lawes Trust Senior Fellow at Rothamsted Research, have published a critical review in the journal Nature Climate Change which concludes that the role of no-till agriculture in mitigating climate change may be over-stated.
Livestock farming, that works best for individuals, communities and the planet, should be supported by studies on best practice using research farm platform facilities.
The unique Farm Platform facility of Rothamsted Research in North Wyke Devon will be used for a new project which aims to develop new grasses that enable grassland soils to capture increased volumes of rainfall, thereby reducing the risk of flooding downstream. The 5 year £2.5 million LINK project named SUREROOT is funded by the BBSRC and match-funded by a range of industrial partners from across the food production spectrum, including a seed company, major retailer and the meat, poultry and dairy industry. It is led by scientists at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) in partnership with Rothamsted Research.
Rothamsted Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor John Crawford. John Crawford joined Rothamsted Research at the beginning of November 2013 and he will lead the Institute's Delivering Sustainable Systems Strategic Programme, which is funded by the BBSRC. His aim is to support the growth of integrative research at Rothamsted.
Employment vacancies - Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems
Soil Molecular Microbiology Technician (Ref: 1382)
As the soil microbiology technician on the project the successful candidate will play a vital role in the development of the research group, working closely with a small, highly-motivated team of environmental microbiologists, bioinformaticians and soil biophysicists, providing excellent field and laboratory technical support. They will have experience in molecular biology, including the isolation and purification of high quality DNA and mRNA from soils, and preparation of such samples for high-throughput sequencing.
Modelling the Soil Phenotype (Ref: 1385)
The post concerns the development of a model for the soil phenotype with a focus on the impact of nutrient quality and quantity on the physical structure of the microbial habitat and the consequences for water, macronutrient metabolism and remobilisation of P. The theoretical programme will build on existing work by the team to create a synthesis of approaches to modelling pore-scale transport processes, self-organisation and structure genesis, non-linear biochemical systems modelling and individual-based ecological models that link community structure to function.
Theoretician: Nutritional Agroecology (Ref: 1383)
The research will aim to develop tools to identify practical pathways to sustainable intensification in livestock systems. The successful applicant will lead and develop a program of theoretical work exploring the natural resource dynamics underpinning livestock production systems. They will develop the concept of nutritional agroecology through a study of the flow and co-metabolism of different forms of nutrition in the soil-plant-animal system subject to environmental constraints, and the consequences for function including the productivity, efficiency and resilience of the system.
Details of all external vacancies will be posted here as they become available. If you find nothing that interests you this visit, please call again. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to hold CVs against possible future vacancies. We can only accept applications quoting a relevant and appropriate vacancy number.
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Applicants please note that we will be unable to accept completed applications for any advertised position if they are received after close of business (5.30pm) on the specified closing date.
|title||First Name||Last Name||Department||Location|
|View||Miss||Claudia||Gilsanz Rey||SSGS||North Wyke|
|View||Dr||Kate||Le Cocq||SSGS||North Wyke|
|View||Mr||Joaquin||Romero De Tejada||SSGS||Harpenden|
|View||Mr||David||Steele||PBCS, SSGS, AGEC||Harpenden|