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Soil research

Items related to Soil Research - soil microbiology and biology, soil science, molecular biology, mineralogy and plant physiology.
November 11, 2015

Ecological Sciences (Research Page)

Ecological Sciences (ES) is a multi-disciplinary collective of over 56 researchers with a unique breadth of scientific expertise, skills and knowledge in the ecology, physiology and systematics of microbes, lichens, fungi, plants, invertebrates...
July 7, 2021
Would you like to climb a mountain in the Cairngorms this summer in the name of science? The James Hutton Institute have partnered with Plantlifeto discover more about the fungi that lie beneath the surface of the 58 Munros of the Cairngorms...
June 6, 2021
Arable Scotland, the premier event for the Scottish arable industry, returns on 29th June 2021. Now in its third year, the event brings together the key players in food production, academia and farming to discuss key issues and provide a wealth...
May 5, 2021
The critical role soil can play in forensic investigations has again been highlighted by the involvement of the James Hutton Institute's soil forensics team in a high-profile case, this time the inquiry by Police Scotland into the...
May 5, 2021
The historical ‘forest gardens’ of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France, have provided the inspiration for a research group studying the feasibility of small-scale production systems in the area. The region is one of the world...
April 4, 2021
Substantial cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved by raising water levels in agricultural peatlands, according to a new study co-authored by James Hutton Institute scientists and published in the journal Nature. Peatlands...
April 4, 2021
A partnership agreement has been signed between Utah State University and the James Hutton Institute to promote cooperation in agricultural and environmental research, with emphasis on climate change issues. The agreement was signed by...
April 4, 2021
A new mobile app has been launched to provide farmers, land managers and the public with a quick, easy way to learn about soil erosion in Scotland and contribute their own records and images to improve our current understanding and to...
April 4, 2021
A research project examining the potential of using crushed basic silicate rocks as a soil input, for enhanced carbon sequestration and soil biodiversity, has reported positive results.
April 4, 2021
First Milk, Nestlé and Agricarbon have announced the launch of a pioneering soil carbon capture project, with scientific guidance from leading soil ecologist and James Hutton Institute Honorary Associate, Dr Helaina Black. The project...
March 3, 2021
Scientists of the James Hutton Institute, working alongside partners at China Agriculture University, have discovered novel ways in which arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, bacteria and plant roots interact to influence the transfer of nutrients to...
February 2, 2021
Professor Lorna Dawson, Head of Soil Forensics at the James Hutton Institute, has been recognised as Soil Forensic Expert Witness of the Year in the Corporate INTL 2021 Global Awards.  The awards are the result of an extensive review,...
October 10, 2020
The James Hutton Institute has today announced the appointment of a new Chair for the Institute Board.
August 8, 2020
The James Hutton Institute is taking part in a project led by the Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA), the UK’s only membership body owning Scottish organic standards, which will examine a new product that could help Scottish...
July 7, 2020
Professor Lorna Dawson of the James Hutton Institute has been recognised as Soil Forensic Expert Witness of the Year at Global Law Experts (GLE) Awards. Professor Dawson has more than 30 years’ experience in managing and conducting research...
April 4, 2020
The award-winning film Thank You For The Rain was the focus of the James Hutton Institute’s first ever collective 'online' film screening on the 6th of April, highlighting a range of issues including climate justice, urbanisation...
March 3, 2020
“Soil is life. We breathe the air, we drink the water and we eat the crops, we live on the soil. Soil stores twice as much carbon globally as the vegetation above ground and is a universe of microbial life working with plants to balance the...
February 2, 2020
An initiative supported by the James Hutton Institute has set its sights on developing methods for measuring soil carbon with a cost-effective commercial tool to help UK farmers tap into the carbon credits market. Agricarbon, led by Invergowrie...
December 12, 2019
‘Erosion’ is partly a natural process where soil particles are transported by our rivers and streams to the sea. ‘Accelerated erosion’ however, is caused by inappropriate land use or land management and this is a global...
December 12, 2019
Our soils are under threat from ever more intensive agriculture and climate changes. Extreme rainfall events such as Storm Frank in 2016 are predicted to become more common: a recent report from the Met Office suggested that there is a 34% chance...
September 9, 2019
Soils delay runoff, store and redistribute water and provide a supply of moisture for plant growth. These soil functions are fundamental for the understanding of how pollutants travel from land to waters and to evaluate ecosystem services. Dr...
August 8, 2019
Maize is the most important cereal crop in southern Africa but without new management practices and with the increased risk of drought, yields which are already low are predicted to further decline. It is therefore critical that new approaches...
July 7, 2019
Ground-breaking research into the soil beneath our feet, just published in the journal Nature, transforms current understanding of life on land by revealing that the world’s largest animal populations are found in high-latitude sub-arctic...
June 6, 2019
It was another brilliant Royal Highland Show (20-23 June 2019) for the James Hutton Institute, with a steady stream of visitors of all ages to the Hutton marquee including farmers, families, schoolchildren and research partners, as well as a...
June 6, 2019
Richard Gospel, of Hassiewells Farm near Rothienorman, has been announced as the winner of Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2019, with Alistair Brunton, of Balmonth Farm by Carnbee in Fife, scooping the Young Farmers prize for a...
June 6, 2019
The Royal Highland Show (20-23 June 2019) is one of Scotland's most iconic events, and while it showcases the very best of farming food and rural life, it could be argued that it is actually a science, research and innovation event, since...
June 6, 2019
The UK’s peatlands are making a significant contribution to our greenhouse gas emissions because of the way they are managed, a major new study has shown. Peatlands occupy 12% of the UK’s land area and store vast quantities of...
May 5, 2019
Professor Lorna Dawson, Head of Soil Forensics at the James Hutton Institute and SEFARI Advisor on the Scottish Government‘s Strategic Research Programme 2016-2021, has been recognised with an Expert Witness Award 2019 by specialist...
March 3, 2019
A course delivered by James Hutton Institute specialist staff with contributions by honorary associate Tony Fraser.
March 3, 2019
Professor Lorna Dawson, head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute and advisor to the SEFARI Strategic Research Programme, has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE),...
February 2, 2019
CLICK BELOW FOR APPLICATION FORM AND RELATED DOCUMENTATION - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 10TH MAY 2019 Supported by the Glenside Group
December 12, 2018
NASA’s InSight lander has been headline news in recent weeks, as it continues to send back clear images of the rocky and unforgiving surface of Mars. However, the previous exploration robot sent to roam the red planet, the Curiosity rover,...
November 11, 2018
A new research study aims to demonstrate how the combination of digital X-ray signatures with data-driven approaches can replace the time-consuming elements of expert led mineral identification and allow for new insights into the role of soil...
September 9, 2018
Hutton scientist Peter Orrell and his product MycoNourish have been announced as runners-up in the 2018 Converge Challenge, Scotland's leading higher education company creation programme, at a ceremony held yesterday in Edinburgh’s...
September 9, 2018
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China, and the James Hutton Institute, during the 2018 UK-China Potato Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Conference, held in Shandong...
September 9, 2018
MycoNourish, a product designed by Hutton scientist Peter Orrell, has been announced as finalist of the Converge Challenge 2018, Scotland's leading higher education company creation programme.
August 8, 2018
Researchers from the James Hutton Institute were named winners in a contest which is considered by some as the world championship in mineralogy. The results and the winners of the 2018 Reynolds Cup edition were presented at the Annual Clay...
June 6, 2018
Here you will find details of past meetings of the UK Alpine Ecology Network along with links to workshop reports and presentations where available. Return to main Alpine Ecology Network page Inaugural meeting January 2018, James Hutton...
June 6, 2018
The UK Alpine Ecology Network was formed in 2018 as a means of bringing together scientists, conservationists and land managers with an interest in the ecology of alpine ecosystems across the UK. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in...
June 6, 2018
John Weir, of Lacesston Farm near Cupar, has been announced as the winner of Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2018, with Douglas Greig, of Tealing by Dundee, scooping the Young Farmers prize for a record third time. Lacesston is a...
June 6, 2018
Hutton scientist Dr Peter Orrell has won the ‘Ready Steady Pitch’ award of the Converge Challenge 2018 with his MycoNourish product, which uses fungi to act as a secondary root system and improve plant health. The result came after...
May 5, 2018
Scientists from the James Hutton Institute are supporting the Asian Agricultural Long-Term Experiment (ALTER) with the aim of providing scientific basis and management options for soil sequestration and agricultural sustainability in Asia and...
April 4, 2018
A course delivered by James Hutton Institute specialist staff with contributions by honorary associate Tony Fraser.
April 4, 2018
The James Hutton Institute has partnered with Syngenta and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to develop and test a run-off tool app. The tool will advise land managers on the best management practices to reduce run-off and trap...
February 2, 2018
Scientists from the James Hutton Institute have developed a screening system which uses transparent soil technology to help fight nematodes - microscopic worms that are harmful to plants, damaging about 10% of susceptible crops and causing...
February 2, 2018
Summary This research project focuses on sustainable intensification of agriculture in highly productive peri-urban farming areas in China. This agricultural base is essential to meet China's increasing food production demands but is under...
January 1, 2018
China's North Plain is one of the country's most important - and densely populated - agricultural regions, producing crops such as corn, cereals, vegetables and cotton. A research project led by the James Hutton Institute and China...
January 1, 2018
Blowing up landmines and other undetonated explosives may be safer and more environmentally friendly than physically removing them from contaminated land, according to new research carried out by the University of Dundee, in partnership with...
December 12, 2017
The Conference represents a wide spectrum of life science interests in and around the city, from the ‘red end’ of medical sciences to the ‘green end’ with plant and crop science. This year's accompanying Networking...
December 12, 2017
Matt Aitkenhead & Cathy Hawes Soil is vital to our survival. We need it to grow our crops, feed our livestock, maintain our water supply and provide a home for biodiversity. However, because we do not see it doing these things, we forget...
December 12, 2017
Soil scientists from the James Hutton Institute, along with colleagues at Cranfield University, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, have contributed to the development of the first Global Soil Organic...
November 11, 2017
The James Hutton Institute is pleased to announce that Dr Andy Kindness has taken over the leadership of the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group from 1st November. The Institute’s Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group...
October 10, 2017
The James Hutton Institute celebrated reinforcing its extensive analytical chemistry capabilities for research and commercial work with a launch evening and ribbon cutting for their new Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer. The £500K...
October 10, 2017
The SIFSS (Soil Indicators for Scottish Soils) app has recently been updated to improve usability. Aimed at growers, farmers and land managers in Scotland, the app allows them to quickly identify soil type in their area.
September 9, 2017
Research into organic phosphorus is key to ensure future food security and environmental sustainability, according to an international group of scientists led by researchers at the James Hutton Institute, Lancaster University’s Environment...
September 9, 2017
The James Hutton Institute is reinforcing its extensive analytical chemistry capabilities for research and commercial work through an £500K investment on a new Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer, which will allow the Institute and its...
September 9, 2017
Soil scientists at the James Hutton Institute are working to create the first unified digital map of soil properties within Great Britain, a development which will contribute to worldwide Global Soil Map projects and improve the data available to...
July 7, 2017
The important role soil can play in forensic investigations has again been highlighted by the involvement of the James Hutton Institute’s soil forensics team in a high-profile case, this time the enquiry by South Yorkshire Police into the...
June 6, 2017
An organic farm in Moray has been awarded the prize for Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2017. Knock Farm has been declared the Best Soil winner jointly by NFUS President Andrew McCornick and Soil Association Chief Executive, Helen...
May 5, 2017
  Soils provide a range of benefits for society including growing crops and timber, regulating water flow, and storing carbon. However, these functions face threats from soil erosion, compaction, contamination, and losses to urban...
May 5, 2017
May 5, 2017
May 5, 2017
This one-day event organised by the Dundee Roots Group and held at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, is aimed at scientists interested in root research and the plant-soil interface and will feature the 2017 ISRR Medal Lecture on Root Research...
March 3, 2017
Our soils provide many services or functions,  for example soils are essential for crop production but they also play an unseen role in limiting diffuse pollution to waters, storing organic carbon and reducing Green House Gas emissions to...
March 3, 2017
Professor Lorna Dawson, a forensic soil scientist based at the James Hutton Institute, has joined a team of Police Scotland detectives as they commence a full scientific examination of a site in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire as part of the...
February 2, 2017
Samples from Scotland’s National Soil Archive hosted at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen have been used for the art/science project Geologic Intimacy (Yu no Hana) by artist Ilana Halperin, which highlights the historical connections...
February 2, 2017

Zisis Gagkas (Member of Staff)

December 12, 2016
Professor Jeff Wilson, Honorary Research Fellow of the James Hutton Institute, has been presented with the Collins Medal at the President’s Lunch of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
December 12, 2016

Peat Surveys: Knock Moss (Research Page)

Peat Deposit: Knock Moss, Wigtownshire
December 12, 2016

Peat Surveys: Elsie Moss (Research Page)

Peat Deposit: Elsie Moss, Aberdeenshire
December 12, 2016
Peat Deposit: Fiag Plantation, Highland
December 12, 2016
Peat Deposit: Wyndford Moss, Aberdeenshire
November 11, 2016
The James Hutton Institute’s Annual Review for 2015-16 has been presented by Chief Executive Professor Colin Campbell. The document presents an overview of the financial and biographical status of the Institute as well as a summary of...
November 11, 2016
Summary of Peat Deposit Depths, and Land Cover in 1988
November 11, 2016
Peat Deposit: Blacklaw Bog, South Lanarkshire
November 11, 2016
Peat Deposit: Awhirk Moss, Wigtownshire
November 11, 2016
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Lord Dunlop, held a roundtable discussion today at the James Hutton Institute's Invergowrie site near Dundee, on the implications of Brexit for research and innovation. Lord Dunlop...
October 10, 2016
Peat Deposit: Drumbreck Moss, North Lanarkshire
October 10, 2016
Peat Deposit: Drumbow Moss, North Lanarkshire
October 10, 2016
Drs Hazel Bull and Lionel Dupuy, from the James Hutton Institute, joined fellow scientists from across the UK in sharing crop research updates at the New Frontiers in Crop Research Conference, organised by the Biotechnology and Biological...
October 10, 2016
Peat Deposit: Dirskelpin Moss, Wigtownshire
October 10, 2016

Potatosize (Research Page)

The PotatoSize app provides potato growers with information on the proportion of their crop that lies within each size range of interest. It uses image analysis to interpret a photo of potatoes sampled in the field. Development was in partnership...
October 10, 2016
A new look version of the Scotland’s Soils website has been launched, in a drive to promote access to information on one of Scotland’s most valuable natural assets.
September 9, 2016
Peat Deposit: Nutberry Moss and Dornock Flow, Dumfriesshire Survey: 1967
September 9, 2016

Peat Surveys: Creca Moss (Research Page)

Peat Deposit: Creca Moss, Dumfriesshire
September 9, 2016
Peat Deposit: Gartur Moss, Stirlingshire
September 9, 2016
As part of the Bloody Scotland Festival, our Head of Soil Forensics, Professor Lorna Dawson, will participate in a discussion of forensic fact and fiction together with crime writer Lin Anderson.
September 9, 2016
As part of Byres Road Book Festival, our Head of Soil Forensics, Professor Lorna Dawson, will participate in a discussion of forensic fact and fiction together with crime writer Lin Anderson.
September 9, 2016
The launch of a massive, European-wide project aiming to involve tens of thousands of ‘citizen scientists’ in a drive to empower growers with knowledge on sustainable practices and make a vital contribution to global environmental...
September 9, 2016
Peat Deposit: Cranley Bog, South Lanarkshire
August 8, 2016
Peat Deposit: Harburn and Cobbinshaw Bogs, West Lothian
August 8, 2016
Peat Deposit: Backhill of Bush Moss, Kirkudbrightshire
August 8, 2016
Peat Deposit: Mindork Moss, Wigtownshire
August 8, 2016

Peat Surveys: Glims Moss (Research Page)

Peat Deposit: Glims Moss, Orkney
August 8, 2016

Peat Surveys: White Moss (Research Page)

Peat Deposit: White Moss, Orkney
August 8, 2016

Peat Surveys: Dornal Bog (Research Page)

Peat Deposit: Dornal Bog, Wigtownshire
August 8, 2016
Peat Deposit: Threepwood Moss, Roxburghshire
July 7, 2016
Four new projects addressing challenges in soil and water management across whole rotations have been awarded £1.2m in funding from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The interrelated projects will form a five-year...
June 6, 2016
An organic farm in Perthshire has been awarded the prize for Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2016. Hugh and Sascha Grierson of Newmiln Farm were declared the Best Soil in Show winners by National Farmers Union of Scotland president...
June 6, 2016
The aim of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem subgroup is to understand how human driven global and local changes impact on the network of interactions between animals, microbes and plants in natural and semi-natural habitats to predict change and...
June 6, 2016
Maps of the distribution of surveys of peat deposits by the Scottish Peat Committee and Macaulay Institute Peat Surveys (since 1984)
June 6, 2016
A Royal Society of Edinburgh biodiversity discussion forum ‘Life in soil: Does it matter?’ took place on the 24th February 2016. It invited the audience to think about the critically important role that soil plays in human life and...
June 6, 2016
Scientists at the James Hutton institute have welcomed the findings of a report published by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee on the health of UK soils. Soil is of fundamental importance to society yet remains one of our most...
May 5, 2016
Risk modeller Dr Rupert Hough has been appointed to the leadership of the Information and Computational Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute, following the semi-retirement of Dr David Marshall. The James Hutton Institute's...
April 4, 2016

Gordon Hudson (Member of Staff)

April 4, 2016
Ongoing research by the James Hutton Institute, Rothamsted Research and Lancaster University is shedding light into the dark world of roots and soils, by focusing on the potential of plants to harness the phosphorus (P) already present in soils...
March 3, 2016
Scotland will remain at the forefront of ground-breaking advances in farming and food production as a result of continued Scottish Government funding for scientific research, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said. More than £...
March 3, 2016
UK soils are a non-renewable resource and they underpin our food security, water management, biodiversity and carbon storage. However, are the right policies and incentives in place to ensure their long-term health? The question is at the centre...
February 2, 2016
February 2, 2016

Soil posters (Research Page)

This series of posters around Scottish soils was originally designed in collaboration with Geography teachers from Scottish schools. In light of the enlightened public interest in soils as a result of 2015 being the International Year of Soils,...
January 1, 2016
A group of academics from a leading Saudi Arabian university visited the James Hutton Institute in Dundee and Aberdeen to share ideas about crop, soil and land use research and specialist facilities. The visitors, from Qassim University, had...
December 12, 2015

Staff and Students (Research Page)

Staff For students, follow the link here: Students
December 12, 2015
Dr Matt Aitkenhead, Information and Computational Sciences, James Hutton Institute
December 12, 2015
Professor Lorna Dawson, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences, James Hutton Institute
December 12, 2015
Blair McKenzie, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences, James Hutton Institute
December 12, 2015
Willie Towers, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences; Dr Katrin Prager, Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences, James Hutton Institute
December 12, 2015
Professor Philip J. White, Ecological Sciences, James Hutton Institute
December 12, 2015
Dr Andrew Nolan, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences, James Hutton Institute, and Bill Rayner, Forest Research, Forestry Commission
December 12, 2015
Dr A.G. Bengough, James Hutton Institute and University of Dundee
December 12, 2015
Dr Kenneth Loades, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences, James Hutton Institute; Dr Gráinne El Mountassir, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde
December 12, 2015
Dr Alison Bennett, Dr Tim Daniell, Dr Timothy George, Ecological Sciences, James Hutton Institute The “green revolution” led to an increase in crop yield at least three times greater than the previous century, and this increase...
December 12, 2015
Dr Rupert Hough, Information and Computational Sciences, James Hutton Institute; Jon Stubberfield, Ph.D. student Soils are one of the most complex and dynamic natural systems studied by scientists. Although usually out of sight, everything in...
December 12, 2015
Dr Matt Aitkenhead, Information and Computational Sciences; Dr Helaina Black, Ecological Sciences; and Willie Towers, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences, James Hutton Institute
November 11, 2015
Two UK research institutes have announced a Centre-Centre research collaboration on food security and agriculture with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The memorandum of agreement involve the UK’s Centre for Ecology &...
October 10, 2015

Our Science (Research Page)

October 10, 2015

Research Facilities (Research Page)

September 9, 2015
As part of activities planned to mark the International Year of Soils, the James Hutton Institute and the National Library of Scotland have teamed up to offer access to the Institute’s historical one inch to 1 mile (1:63,360) Soil Survey of...
August 8, 2015
The James Hutton Institute will host this one-day seminar on constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. The morning session will consist of a series of short talks on various aspects of constructed wetlands including overall effectiveness,...
August 8, 2015
Register now for the opening of Soil, the Earth's Tender Skin Exhibition at Summerhall to mark the UN International Year of Soil and to celebrate the health and diversity of Scotland's soils today and in the future.
August 8, 2015
Reflections of James Hutton Institute scientists on the concept of soil, tools for digital soil monitoring and the implications of soil for policymaking, forensic science, engineering, health and nutrition, have been featured in the latest issue...
August 8, 2015
A Macaulay Development Trust funded PhD student, based between the James Hutton Institute and Cranfield University, is seeking information from individuals and organisations about their utilisation of soils data, in a drive to improve decision-...
June 6, 2015
Although frequently out of sight, everything in our lives is underpinned by soil — our roads, our homes, the food we eat, and the water we drink. At the Royal Highland Show (18-21 June 2015), and as part of the International Year of Soil...
June 6, 2015
In this seminar, hosted by Dr Tim George from our Ecological Sciences group, Dr Alan Richardson (CSIRO) will discuss ways of managing farming systems on phosphorus (P) deficient soils. Abstract
April 4, 2015
A group of researchers from the James Hutton Institute in Dundee held the first of a ten-year series of lectures at the cutting edge of science below our feet, to coincide with 2015 as the International Year of Soils.
April 4, 2015
Prestigious scientific publication Nature has published a profile of Professor Lorna Dawson, Head of Soil Forensics at the James Hutton Institute. The story, titled Forensic science: The soil sleuth, describes Professor Dawson’s journey...
April 4, 2015
The Director of Research Impact of the James Hutton Institute, Professor Bob Ferrier, is pleased to announce that James Hutton Limited, the new wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute, has begun trading. The new company brings together the...
March 3, 2015
Dr Jack A Gilbert, leader of the Hospital Microbiome Project, Earth Microbiome Project, Home Microbiome Project, and co-founder of American Gut will be visiting Dundee to deliver the 2015 CLS/Hutton Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday 21 April...
March 3, 2015
A James Hutton Institute scientist has been awarded a highly prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant to undertake research on a new generation of artificial soils; it is hoped that this would allow researchers to better...
February 2, 2015
The soil around roots of plants such as barley – one of our most important crops - is a battleground where only certain bacteria can survive, suggests evidence gathered by an international team including a scientist based at the James...
January 1, 2015
SOCiT soil carbon app
January 1, 2015

Books and Book Chapters (Research Page)

Water Ecosystem Services - A Global Perspective
January 1, 2015
The presentations and posters described on this page are either hosted on the conference websites, or are available for direct download (files are in pdf format).
January 1, 2015

Journal Papers (Research Page)

Links to a selection of publications from SNC staff appear below. Clicking on any James Hutton Institute staff member's name will take you to their personal staff page where a more detailed listing of their publications can be found. You can...
January 1, 2015
Senior soil ecologist Dr Helaina Black has been appointed to the leadership of the Ecological Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute, following the retirement of Dr Pete Goddard.
January 1, 2015
With 2014 reported as the warmest year since records began, continuing a strong trend in recent years, we ignore the implications for agriculture in the UK in the medium to long term at our peril. The issue is not just the rising average...
December 12, 2014
Schoolchildren and university students joined forces with soil scientists in Aberdeen to plant 15 trees and mark the launch of the International Year of Soils (IYS) 2015 and World Soil Day. The trees were planted at schools across the Aberdeen...
November 11, 2014
Researchers from the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (AIS) visited the James Hutton Institute as part of the CropSustaIn project, which looks into alternatives for sustainable crop production in Slovenia in the face of global change. The...
November 11, 2014
The UK Soils Observatory (UKSO), an initiative supported by the James Hutton Institute and other leading soil research institutions to provide a point of access to UK soils data and underpinning research, has been awarded the Excellence with...
November 11, 2014
Businesses that ignore nature could have a false impression of their viability and are missing out on long term business productivity, ecologists and economists have said at the Natural Capital Initiative summit – Valuing our Life Support...
October 10, 2014
National Soil Inventory for Scotland
October 10, 2014
Introduction to Soils Exploring Scotland's Soils
October 10, 2014
National Soils Database
October 10, 2014
Scotland's soil resources
October 10, 2014

Soils@Hutton (Research Page)

Soils & natural capital
August 8, 2014
Data from spatial monitoring of water quality provided parameter sets for validation of catchment scale models. These have been used in a number of externally funded research projects including REFRESH.
August 8, 2014
Management to mitigate pollutant swapping Buffer strips are useful for mitigating diffuse pollution. As riparian buffers perform their role in sediment trapping, P accumulates with no loss mechanism (as in wetland denitrification for N)....
August 8, 2014

SENSOIL (Research Page)

SENSOIL: new generation of transparent soils for the study of rhizosphere processes  
August 8, 2014
The James Hutton Institute is once again supporting the Dundee Flower and Food Festival and will have a display and talks in the new Food Discovery Marquee. Our display will be looking at the past, present and future of plant and agricultural...
August 8, 2014
A scientist from the James Hutton Institute has been named the best young mycologist in Europe and joined an elite group of only six researchers around the world to be awarded a similar accolade for their continent. Dr Alison Bennett, a...
July 7, 2014
A young horticultural scientist who has implemented changes to growing practices, which are already bringing financial benefits as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, has been nominated for the prestigious Business Leader of Tomorrow Awards...
July 7, 2014
Mr John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, visited yesterday the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie to learn about ongoing world leading scientific research in crops and climate change, as well as its commercial impact in local communities and...
June 6, 2014
How to protect cereal crops from the increased disease pressure caused by the mild winter and spring and early drilling was a key point of interest at this year’s Cereals in Practice event, co-hosted by the James Hutton Institute, Scotland...
June 6, 2014
The future of Scotland’s national drink is being boosted by scientists at the James Hutton Institute. Their work across many fronts aims to ensure the sustainability and continued success of Scotch whisky, one of the world’s best-...
June 6, 2014
On the whole, Scotland’s environment is of good quality and there have been many significant improvements in recent years. However, the 2014 State of the Environment Report clearly shows that some habitats and species are under threat, and...
May 5, 2014
Background Over 85% of land plants are obligate associated with mycorrhizal fungi illustrating the importance of the symbiosis. Fungi provide water and essential nutrients to their host plants in exchange for carbohydrates derived from...
May 5, 2014
Dr Duncan Cameron of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield will give this seminar entitled "Next generation solutions for current generation problems: Enhancing mycorrhizal function in wheat" at the...
May 5, 2014
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.
April 4, 2014
The James Hutton Institute is to create one new commercial subsidiary which will incorporate the activities of its current commercial subsidiaries, Mylnefield Research Services Ltd (MRS) and Macaulay Scientific Consulting Ltd (MSC). The move is...
March 3, 2014
Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and partner organisations are working to understand how seed potato becomes infected with Pectobacterium atrosepticum, the pathogen that causes blackleg; a disease that has been one of the most...
March 3, 2014
Young farmers from all across Scotland will be pitching the soils beneath their feet against one another in a quest to find the Best Soil in Show at the 2014 Royal Highland Show. The event will see the James Hutton Institute and the Scottish...
February 2, 2014
The relationship between the Soil and Scottish landscape, is at times simple, in others exceedingly complex.
February 2, 2014
Introduction
January 1, 2014
You might not think of microbes when you consider biodiversity, but it turns out that even a moderate loss of less than 5% of soil microbes may compromise some key ecosystem functions and could lead to lower degradation of toxins in the...
January 1, 2014

LandSFACTS (Research Page)

LANDscape Scale Functional Allocation of Crops Temporally and Spatially
January 1, 2014
Environmental, economic and social issues associated with agriculture are often fundamental for rural prosperity and sustainability, with consequent implications for any debate about future land use. A key to supporting the planning of change is...
January 1, 2014
Stakeholder engagement events relating to theme topics Health and wellbeing conferences and workshops Date Title Theme role Venue 25 November 2013
January 1, 2014
Soil mapping
December 12, 2013
A new website, which brings together information on one of Scotland’s most valuable natural assets, has gone live. The website is the result of a collaboration between the Scottish Government, the James Hutton Institute, SEPA, SNH, the...
September 9, 2013
In certain criminal cases, soil, mud or vegetation on, or from, a vehicle or foot, clothing or implements may provide the clue that could point to a particular search location.
August 8, 2013
The James Hutton Institute will be joined by colleagues from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Wellcome Trust as they invite members of the public to 'Know your soil'  at the annual Dundee Flower and Food Festival. In a change...
July 7, 2013
June 6, 2013
After closely examining samples from different areas of the country, soil scientists from the James Hutton Institute have awarded the Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2013. A sample from Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, submitted by Olivia...
June 6, 2013
A free, new soil carbon app has been launched to provide farmers with a quick, cost-effective source of information about the organic matter content of their soil. The app, known as SOCiT (Soil Organic Carbon information), provides information...
June 6, 2013

Soil Capital (Research Page)

Soils underpin a multitude of ecosystem goods and services that are not only vital to peoples’ livelihoods and Society in general, but also to Earth’s regulating systems.
May 5, 2013
The James Hutton Institute has won a £1.9 million government-funded research project which will investigate the opportunities in tackling soil degradation to alleviate poverty in rural communities in Africa where millions of people are...
May 5, 2013
The European Network on Soil Awareness held its third meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen from 19-20 September 2013.
April 4, 2013

HYPRES updates (Research Page)

Version 1 of HYPRES is now complete and comprises approximately 1800 soil profiles with about 5500 individual soil samples with hydrological data. These data are from over 120 soil units (according to the modified FAO soil legend, CEC, 1985)....
April 4, 2013
The HYdraulic PRoperties of European Soils (HYPRES) database Was developed as an integral part of the EU funded project "Using existing soil data to derive hydraulic parameters for simulation modelling in environmental studies and in land...
March 3, 2013
Years of knowledge and research by the James Hutton Institute are now at everyone’s fingertips thanks to the Institute’s first iPhone application, introduced at the Winter Potato Meeting of the Scottish Society for Crop Research on 14...
March 3, 2013
The James Hutton Institute and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Agricultural University have jointly announced a new Centre-Centre research collaboration...
January 1, 2013
The Rhizosphere Interactions symposium is a joint meeting of the Scottish Root Group and the Scottish Discussion Group of the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS). The keynote speaker is Alex Dumbrell, University of Essex who will talk on "...
October 10, 2012
Background The Lewis Endowment Fund (LEF) was set up in 1930 as part of an original benefaction from Dr T.B. Macaulay of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Whilst the major purpose of this benefaction was to create the Macaulay Land Use...
September 9, 2012
A new transparent soil is helping to reveal the dark, underground secrets of plant roots. A team of researchers from the James Hutton Institute and the University of Abertay Dundee have developed a see-through soil which will enable them to study...
September 9, 2012
This meeting aims to introduce delegates to the WRAP Good Practice Guide: Using PAS 100 compost in landscape and regeneration projects, and to provide a forum for scientists and stakeholders to discuss recent developments in compost production and...
September 9, 2012
Dr Cameron Grant, University of Adelaide, South Australia and Emeritus Professor Pieter Groenevelt, University of Guelph, Canada will deliver this joint seminar entitled "Plant available water: What must happen to make its accurate prediction...
July 7, 2012

Transparent soils (Research Page)

July 7, 2012

Thomas Freitag (Member of Staff)

June 6, 2012
Background and objectives
May 5, 2012
The soil section provides a range of analytical services dedicated to the analysis of soils, peats, sediments and related materials. Dedicated staff and equipment provide high quality, accredited (ISO 17025), analytical data. Supporting both the...
April 4, 2012
Friggens NL, Hester AJ, Mitchell RJ, Parker TC, Subke J-A, Wookey PA (2020) Tree planting in organic soils does not result in net carbon sequestration on decadal timescales Global change biology 26, 5178-5188 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15229...
April 4, 2012
Background
April 4, 2012
Background
April 4, 2012
Background
April 4, 2012
Background The MOORCO chronosequence plots use sites where birch (Betula sp.) has naturally colonised moorland to assess changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services following a change in land use from moorland to birch wood.
April 4, 2012
The MOORCO project studies how woodland expansion onto moorland affects biodiversity and ecosystem services. MOORCO stands for moorland colonisation and is an umbrella project encompassing four different experimental platforms that study...
March 3, 2012
March 3, 2012
Plugging the evidence gap
March 3, 2012

Lucinda Robinson (Member of Staff)

Lucinda graduated in 1998 from Wye College University of London with a BSc (Hons) in Plant Sciences, and has subsequently accumulated over twelve years of laboratory experience.  She spent seven of these years at a commercial cereal breeding...
March 3, 2012
Our research is designed to help protect the nation’s soil Scotland’s soils are the foundation of our primary production industries An agricultural output of £1.75 billion (2005) World records for cereal yields.
March 3, 2012
Soils are created by the weathering of rocks over hundreds to thousands of years. The speed and nature of soil formation is affected by various factors.
March 3, 2012
The National Soils Archive is held at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen. Our core activity is the long term storage and maintenance of this valuable resource and we are supported by the Rural & Environment Science & Analytical...
March 3, 2012
The LTSE field site at Hartwood is a dedicated site and is fenced off to prevent disturbance by grazing livestock. The topsoil, typical of that found in the agricultural land in Scotland is a medium textured sandy clay loam consisting of 21% clay...
March 3, 2012
March 3, 2012
This group aims to improve knowledge of biogeochemical and hydrological cycles, and their role in ecosystem functions and services. To do this we study chemical, physical, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of soil...
February 2, 2012

Soil diversity (Research Page)

The complexity of the soil system with many large gradients including nutrients and gases such as oxygen drive a massive diversity below ground. It has been estimated that there are over 40,000 different organisms contained within a gram of soil...
February 2, 2012
Soil plays a vital role in controlling the flow of water and chemicals between the atmosphere and the earth. As water passes through the soil it is filtered by plants, bacteria, fungi and soil particles, which remove various minerals and...
February 2, 2012

Soils and climate change (Research Page)

The climate is changing in response to the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While the burning of fossil fuels has made a major contribution to the levels of carbon dioxide, soils have been responsible for part...
February 2, 2012

Soils Database (Research Page)

What happens to the information recorded in the field by soil surveyors, and the results of all the analysis carried out on the samples they collect? Once it has been collated, it is stored securely so people from all over the world can use it as...
February 2, 2012

Soil science (Research Page)

We conduct a wide range of soil-related research. Read more on the following pages.
February 2, 2012
E-SMART: Environmental Sensing for Monitoring and Advising in Real-Time
January 1, 2012
The first James Hutton Institute Open Day will be held at our Dundee site this summer when we look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to find out more about our work. There will be a wide range of exhibitions and hands-on activities to help...
January 1, 2012
Measurement type Property of characteristic measured Chemical Total Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb Extractable Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb Mineral N Total N Organic C and N Biological
January 1, 2012
For further information about the project partners please contact:
January 1, 2012
The LTSE project was undertaken by ADAS, Rothamsted Research and the Water Research Centre (WRc) in England and Wales and, by the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) (Auchincruive) in Scotland.  The project is...
January 1, 2012
This joint meeting of the Biochemical Society, the Society for Experimental Biology and the British Ecological Society is being organised in conjunction with the James Hutton Institute. This collaborative event is an exciting opportunity to...
December 12, 2011
Use the following links to navigate : reports relating to the project, scientific publications, PhD thesis, other reports relating to waste water sludge and external websites
December 12, 2011
December 12, 2011
Waste water sludge is a useful source of nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter, and after further processing can be used as a liming material. However, there are limits to what can be applied. For example applications of waste water sludge...
December 12, 2011

PhD Projects (Research Page)

Competition for PhD student is now closed. Please contact Lionel Dupuy for further information.
December 12, 2011
Currently, most plant root architectural models use computer simulations to mimic the developmental processes of root apical meristems and to construct virtual root architectures: single roots are assembled incrementally through the growth of a...
December 12, 2011

Tools (Research Page)

We are developing systems for live imaging of plant processes. We develop new substrate that facilitate observation of roots and apply a range of imaging techniques to make quantitative measurements. We have developed OPT and...
December 12, 2011

Multicellular models (Research Page)

Although plants are complex organisms, the position and shapes of cells, tissues, meristems and organs establish themselves through regular and repeated processes. The cell constitutes the elementary structural and functional unit of these...
December 12, 2011

Architectural models (Research Page)

It is essential for future models to provide predictive outputs that can be applied to agronomic, ecologic or environmental issues. In the future, models will be asked to address more diverse challenges such as; how can crops tolerate weeds? what...
December 12, 2011

Meristematic waves (Research Page)

December 12, 2011

Plant Soil Ecology (Research Page)

Increasing global demand for food, feed and energy crops requires sustainable intensification of agriculture, which must occur without impact on biodiversity or the environment. We have a strong research team that integrates knowledge of...
November 11, 2011
In 1994, three research Institutes along with two private companies set up a number of field experiments at nine field sites across the UK (pdf file). The sites were chosen to reflect the different soil types found in agricultural and land uses...
November 11, 2011
Soils are very slow to develop and are generally considered to be a non-renewable resource. At the same time, we demand a great deal from our soil; we use it to grow crops, timber, grow grass to feed our cattle and sheep, we build our houses and...
November 11, 2011

Soil forensics (Research Page)

November 11, 2011
We face a huge challenge. More food, from less land, with fewer resources is essential right now and it will only get worse as the global population grows and finite resources like fuel and potash continue to diminish. Understanding soils and how...
November 11, 2011

Land capability (Research Page)

Soil is a fundamental part of land and is key in determining what activities can be undertaken and supported on different types of land; how capable is land is sustaining different farming systems, different woodland types, valued habitats, as a...
November 11, 2011

Soil as natural capital (Research Page)

Soil’s most widely recognised function is supporting plant growth, whether for crops, trees or native habitats. But, sitting as it does at the interface between the atmosphere, biosphere and underlying rocks, soil is being increasingly...
November 11, 2011
In 2002 the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) made a resolution to propose 5 December as World Soil Day. This annual celebration of soil continues to be used as an opportunity to draw attention to the importance of soil for humans and...
November 11, 2011

Root-soil interactions (Research Page)

This interdisciplinary research examines below ground interactions between plants and soil, focusing on root growth and the rhizosphere. Research includes root growth processes in relation to environmental stresses, nutrient and water capture by...
November 11, 2011
November 11, 2011

Improving the plant (Research Page)

Better use of water and nutrients, increased resistance to stresses and less wastage in production are major research challenges we address. A combination of genetics and agronomy provides an in-depth understanding of favourable plant traits and...
October 10, 2011
Soils represent one of the most complex and dynamic natural systems studied by scientists. Knowledge of their chemical, physical and biological properties is a prerequisite both for sustaining the productivity of the land, for example agriculture...
October 10, 2011
An alien invader which threatens the ecological balance of Scotland’s soils is being DNA profiled by scientists at The James Hutton Institute. Arthurdendyus triangulatus commonly known as the New Zealand flatworm is a predator of the...
October 10, 2011
Composting The material that is left behind from your kitchen can be put to good use by making your own garden composter! The creatures that live in your soil (i.e. the bacteria, fungi, insects etc), consume and process the plant and animal...
September 9, 2011

Science Departments (Research Page)

Our research is conducted in the following Science Departments.
July 7, 2011
The science of soils will be investigated by the Beechgrove Garden tonight (Monday 1 August 2011). Many gardeners often wonder why their favourite plants don’t grow, or their garden looks bare despite watering and adding fertiliser....
July 7, 2011
Name: Regosol/Brown Calcareous Soil Age: Young by Scottish standards Address: Coastal locations Preferred soil functions: Often used for recreation (golf) in the east, but is the mainstay of many crofting communities in the west (...
July 7, 2011
Name: Brown earth Age: Up to 10000 years but in many areas it has been modified by management Address: Primarily East Scotland, some limited areas in West Highlands Preferred soil functions: Primarily used in arable and mixed...
July 7, 2011
Name: Peat Age: up to 7500 years old
July 7, 2011
Name: Humus-iron podzol Age: Up to 10000 years but in places modified from its original form Address: Eastern and Central Highlands, some in the eastern Southern Uplands Preferred soil functions: in its natural state, as part of a...
July 7, 2011
Name: Noncalcareous gley Age: Up to 10000 years Address: Primarily in west Central Scotland Preferred soil functions: sustaining improved pasture swards Height/Weight: Usually quite deep. Very dense (heavy) at depth Colour...
July 7, 2011
A professional competency scheme for practising soil scientists has been launched today (Thursday 21 July) which aims to improve the quality of professional soils advice. Working with Soil, devised by the Institute of Professional Soil...
July 7, 2011
Take a look and see how you too can make your own mini composter and make a little difference in saving resources. This activity is in accordance with RGC’s school eco-code, “Don’t throw your world away”. Watch the video...
June 6, 2011
A visit to Robert Gordon’s College junior school eco group was made by three James Hutton Institute members of staff on 20 June, 2011. Lorna Dawson gave an overview of our different soils in Scotland and how they provide healthy food, as...
June 6, 2011
A rare species of mushroom discovered growing in Scotland by researchers at The James Hutton Institute has been chosen to feature in a nationwide competition to give it a name.
March 3, 2011
The James Hutton Institute will be taking part in the 2011 Gardening Scotland Event, where we will be displaying topical information on soil and crop research and informing our visitors all about The James Hutton Institute. Gardening Scotland...
March 3, 2011

Ruth Mitchell (Member of Staff)

March 3, 2011

Sandy (Page)

Follow Sandy on Twitter Age: Younger than most Scottish soils Address: By the sea Preferred Occupation: Golfer/crofter Height/Weight: Usually healthy, but height can suddenly change Colour: Yellow
March 3, 2011

Rusty (Page)

Age: Very old but cosmetic surgery has changed his appearance over the years Address: East Scotland Preferred Occupation: Arable farmer Height/Weight: Weight increases with depth. Height depends on his parents, but usually over a...
March 3, 2011

Rocky (Page)

Age: Similar to his deeper characters Address: Anywhere it is rocky, many locations in the West Highlands Preferred Occupation: Almost unemployable, particularly lazy in pasture land Height/Weight: Stunted growth but has a rock...
March 3, 2011

Pete (Page)

Age: A young head on old shoulders Address: Northern Scotland and the Islands Preferred Occupation: Water supplier/whisky distiller/ornithologist Height/Weight: Height varies from 0.5-8 metres; Weight normal but reduces by 90% when...
March 3, 2011

Monty (Page)

Age: Average for Scottish soils, less than 10,000 years Address: On the mountain tops Preferred Occupation: Conservationalist/bird watcher, skier, hill walker Height/Weight: Surprisingly tall despite stony faced exterior. Heavy due...
March 3, 2011

Heather (Page)

Age: Very old, but extremely interesting Address: Eastern and Central Highlands Preferred Occupation: Gamekeeper/forester/ecologist/farmer Height/weight: Very light on top, much heavier below. Usually over a metre tall Colour:...
March 3, 2011

Claude (Page)

Age: Very old but has changed in appearance over the years Address: West Central Scotland   Preferred Occupation:   
March 3, 2011

Ally (Page)

Age:   Younger than most Scottish soils   Address: Along most of our major river courses
March 3, 2011
[jwplayer|config=jhi|file=http://www.hutton.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/Video/soilcharacters-intro.mp4|image=/sites/default/files/files/Video/screengrabs/soilcharacters-intro.jpg] Starting in 2007, the Institute has been highlighting how...
March 3, 2011

Lorna Dawson (Member of Staff)

Professor Lorna Dawson is Head of the Soil Forensics Group within the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute, and has over 30 years’ experience in managing and conducting research in soil and plant...

Printed from /category/area-interest/soil-research on 20/10/21 09:40:13 AM

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.