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Helaina Black

Staff picture: Helaina Black
Ecological Sciences
+44 (0)844 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

Dr Black's research experience in soil ecology and soil science spans over 20 years with extensive practical experience in temperate and tropical ecosystems and in the delivery of multidisciplinary projects. Helaina currently coordinates the cross-institute work-package on Management of soils to enhance function and value (WP3.3) as part of the Scottish Government commissioned research programme on Environment - Land Use and Rural Stewardship. This research aims to understand the ecological, economic and social values of soils to provide knowledge on the options for managing soils in Scotland for multiple benefits under changing environmental and economic conditions. Helaina is also the current President of the British Society of Soil Science (2011-2013) and a member of the British Ecological Society.

Current research interests 

Helaina's fundamental research interests lie in the sensitivity of soil biodiversity and soil carbon to pressures and drivers (e.g. farming practices, climate change and atmospheric N deposition) and in the functional role of soil biodiversity. Helaina also has a reputation for delivering strategic research relating to soil protection, monitoring and indicators of soil quality. Projects include Defra CLIO (climate change impacts on soil biota); SEPA socio-economic data for Scottish soils; NERC/Dfid BESSA; Defra SQID (Scoping Biological Indicators of Soil Quality); Countryside Survey and MASQ (Monitoring and Assessing Soil Quality in Great Britain).


Helaina's highlighted publications

  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Albanito, F.; Jones, M.B.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Development and testing of a process-based soil model (MOSES) for ecosystem services., Ecological Modelling, 222, 3795-3810.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Exploring potential contributions of soil microbes to Martian terraforming through soil simulation., CAREX Conference on Life in Extreme Environments, Dublin, October 2011.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Threats to Scotland's Soils - BSSS Meeting report., The Auger, May 2011.

Helaina's most recent publications

  • Mitchell, R.J.; Beesley, L.; Briggs, R.; Cuthbert, A.; Dawson, J.J.C.; Helliwell, R.C.; Hewison, R.L.; Kerr, C.; Leith, I.D.; Owen, I.J.; Potts, J.M.; Newman, G.; Smith, D.; Shephard, L.J.; Sturgeon, F.; Taylor, A.F.S.; White, D.; Williams, A.; Williams, E.; Black, H.I.J., (2013) Testing soil quality indicators., Report to SEPA.
  • Robinson, DA.; Hockley, N.; Cooper, D.M.; Emmett, B.A.; Keith, A.M.; Lebron, I.; Reynolds, B.; Tipping, E.; Tye, A.M.; Watts, C.W.; Whalley, W.R.; Black, H.I.J.; Warren, G.P.; Robinson, J.S., (2013) Natural capital and ecosystem services, developing an appropriate soils framework as a basis for valuation., Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 57, 1023-1033.
  • Smith, P.; Ashmore, M.R.; Black, H.I.J.; Burgess, P.J.; Evans, C.D.; Quine, T.A.; Thomson, A.M.; Hicks, K.; Orr, H.G., (2013) The role of ecosystems and their management in regulating climate, and soil, water and air quality., Journal of Applied Ecology, 50, 812-829.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Coull, M.C.; Towers, W.; Hudson, G.; Black, H.I.J., (2012) Predicting soil chemical composition and other soil parameters from field observations using a neural network., Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 82, 108-116.
  • McVittie, A.; Norton, L.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Glenk, K.; Aitkenhead, M.; Aalders, I.H.; Hough, R.L.; Smart, S.; Edwards, F.; Kenyon, W.; Black, H.I.J.; Dunbar, M.; Maskell, L., (2012) Valuing the impacts of ecosystem service interactions for policy effectiveness., Valuing Nature Network. Final Project Report.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Eastwood, A.; Banks, E.; Black, H.I.J.; Brown, I.; Brooker, R.; Coull, M.C.; Irvine, R.J.; Kyle, C.; Macleod, K.; McVittie, A., (2012) Integrated frameworks to support the ecosystem approach., EAWG3 Workshop Report.
  • Bell, M.J.; Worrall, F.; Smith, P.; Bhogal, A .; Black, H.I.J.; Lilly, A.; Barraclough, D.; Merrington, G., (2011) UK land-use change and its impact on SOC: 1925-2007, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25, Article Number: GB4015.
  • Black, H.I.J.; Ritz, K.; Harris, J.A.; Cameron, C.; Campbell, C.D.; Chamberlain, P.M.; Creamer, R.; Pawlett, M.; Wood, S., (2011) Scoping biological indicators of soil quality, Phase II., Defra Final Contract Report SP0534.
  • Brown, I.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) UK climate change risk assessment: Biodiversity and ecosystem services. Tier 1 sector report., Report to Defra
  • Brown, I.; Ridder, B.; Alumbaugh, P.; Barnett, C.; Brooks, A.; Duffy, L.; Webbon, C.; Nash, E.; Townend, I.; Black, H.I.A.; Hough, R.L., (2011) UK climate change risk assessment: Biodiversity and ecosystem services. Tier 2 sector report., Report to Defra. Deliverable 1.7, EU FP7 REFRESH Project.
  • Brown, I.; Ridder, B.; Alumbaugh, P.; Barnett, C.; Brooks, A.; Duffy, L.; Webbon, C.; Nash, E.; Townend, I.; Black, H.I.J.; Hough, R.L., (2011) Climate change risk assessment for the biodiversity and ecosystem services sector., Final Report to Defra - UK Climate Change Risk Assessment.
  • Fitton, N.; Ejerenwa, C.; Bhogal, A.; Edgington, P.; Black, H.I.J.; Lilly, A.; Barraclough, D.; Worral, F.; Hillier, J.; Smith, P., (2011) Greenhouse gas mitigation potential of agricultural land in Great Britain., Soil Use and Management, 27, 491-501.
  • Hart, K.; Baldock, D.; Tucker, G.; Allen, B.; Calatrava, J.; Black, H.I.J.; Newman, S.; Baulcomb, C.; McCracken, D., (2011) Costing the environmental needs relating to rural land management., Final report to EU DG Environment.
  • Ritz, K.; Harris, H.; Pawlett, M.; Cameron, C.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Climate change impacts on soil biota - development of a resistance and resilience assay., Final Report to Defra CTE0825.
  • Ritz, K.; Harris, J.; Pawlett, M.; Cameron, C.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Climate change impacts on soil biota - development of a resistance and resilience assay., Final Contract Report to Defra Project CTE0825.
  • Robinson, D.A.; Allton, K.; Bhogal, A.; Black, H.I.J.; Costigan, P.; Ellis, M.; Emmett, B.A.; Frogbrook, Z.; Gardner, M.; Giles, J.; Glendining, M.; Hallett, S.; Higgins, A.; Hill, C.; Hill, N.; Jones, A.; Jordan, C.; Kingdon, A.; Kirk, G.; Lawley, R.; Skate, J.; Rees, G.; Vanguelova, E.; Towers, W., (2011) Informa Tec Soils., Report to Defra for the InformaTec-Soils Meeting, June 2011.
  • Smith, P.; Ashmore, M.; Black, H.I.J.; Burgess, P.; Evans, C.; Hails, R.; Potts, S.; Quine, T.; Thomson, A.; Biesmeijer, K.; Breeze, T.; Broadmeadow, M.; Ferrier, R.C.; Freer, J.; Hansom, J.; Haygarth, P.; Hesketh, H.; Hicks, K.; Johnson, A.; Kay, D.; Kunin, W.; Lilly, A.; May, L.; Memmott, J.; Orr, H.; Pickup, R.; Purse, B.; Squire, G., (2011) Regulating services., In: UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Understanding Nature's Value to Society. Technical Report. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC, Chapter 14, pp535-596.
  • Tordoff, G.M.; Chamberlain, P.M.; Crowther, T.W.; Black, H.I.J.; Jones, T.H.; Stott, A.; Boddy, L., (2011) Invertebrate grazing affects nitrogen partitioning in the saprotrophic fungus Phanerochaete velutina., Soil Biology and Biochemstry, 43, 2338-2346.
  • Erber, C.; Bruneau, P.; Black, H.I.J., (2010) State of Scotland's soils - soil biodiversity chapter., SEPA.
  • Glenk, K.; McVittie, A.; Towers, W.; Watson, C.; Black, H.I.J., (2010) Socio-economic data on Scottish soils - collection and development., Report to SEPA.

Scientific/Conference Posters

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  • Phone: +44 (0)844 928 5428
  • Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB15 8QH Scotland
  • Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA Scotland
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Printed from /staff/helaina-black on 24/10/14 07:45:29 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.