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Soil and Ecosystem Ecology Lab

Scientific equipment and a yellow box lay among long grass in a meadow.


Our research focuses on the interactions between soil and plant microbial communities and how they regulate the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. We use this information to better understand how they respond to changing land-use and climate.

Our research is used to develop a mechanistic and conceptual understanding of:

  • Plant species and their traits, and how they influence soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning;
  • Soil biodiversity’s influences on nutrient cycling and plant community dynamics;
  • The ecology of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi that inhabit the roots of most plants, and their regulation of biogeochemical cycling and plant fitness;
  • How these interactions are affected by, and can potentially mitigate, climate and environmental change.

We also apply these concepts to the development of sustainable management options for agriculture, forestry, land and biodiversity restoration, and the delivery of ecosystem services, especially carbon sequestration and efficient nutrient cycling. The Soil and Ecosystem Ecology Group is mainly supported by funds from RCUK (NERC and BBSRC), we welcome enquiries from those interested in joining the group.