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PhD research showcased at Hutton annual postgraduate event (News)

The Annual Postgraduate Student Event, which showcases the excellent science being undertaken by postgraduate students at the James Hutton Institute, took place at the Birnam Arts and Conference Centre, Birnam on Thursday 8th Marc ... Read more

Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
PhD Student
angus.aitken@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

Invergowrie 
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland

 

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

Modification of Plant Endomembranes by Viral Proteins

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
PhD Student
andrew.tweedie@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

Soil Macronutrient Cycles Beneath Our Feet: Predicting How Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Manipulation Regulates Phosphorus Cycling for Environmental Benefits

New PhD studentship opportunities announced (News)

New opportunities for PhD projects at the James Hutton Institute are now being advertised on FindAPhD.com. PhD projects are being offered by all five of our Science Groups covering many aspects of our work. All projects are funded ... Read more

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
dimitris.kalogiros@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK
 

 

Current research interests

My interest in mathematical modelling of branching structures of biophysical systems and their interactions with the environment stems largely from my research during my postgraduate studies in mathematical neuroscience and my work on models of molecular movement in neurons.

PhD studentship

The project involves the development and application of novel mathematical and computational methods in modelling of plant root systems. Innovative mathematical techniques in numerical simulation, model parameterisation and model sensitivity analysis were used to calibrate the root growth density-based model on various genotypes in a range of reference environmental conditions. Results from this work aim to uncover key biological factors and plant traits that can be targeted by breeding.

Key research points: PDE modelling, numerical analysis, optimisation, application of PDEs to image analysis, image analysis pipelines, computer programming, plant image analysis software

Supervisors:

Past research

I am also really interested in different approaches to teaching Mathematics. Being a teaching assistant, STEM ambassador, volunteer, fundraiser and participant in public engagement events and activities events speaking about science and interdisciplinary research in Mathematics to students and to the public performing interactive events led to my personal projects:

  • Rootie, the Robin Root on the m-aRt-hS Planet”
  • Be a Scientist or Sci-artist”
  • LEMMAs: Language - Etymology - Mathematics Meanderings through Art and Science"

For more information, please visit https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dimitrisioanniskalogiros

Bibliography

BioSS statisticians to analyse Rocket Science data (News)

Edinburgh-based statisticians from Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS), part of the James Hutton Group, are helping shape the potential future of crop production in space by supporting the Rocket Science educational pro ... Read more

Saudi academics visit to share ideas about crop, soil and land use research (News)

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 Univ ... Read more

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
PhD Student
Julen.Gonzalez@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Julen Gonzalez-Redin (see his personal website here) is native to San Sebastian, Spain, and completed a BSc Honours in Environmental Sciences in 2011 at the University of the Basque Country, Spain.

Current research interests

Julen specializes in interdisciplinary approaches towards sustainability issues, engaging with natural, social and economic scientists. He develops models to explore and provide answers regarding the socio-economic and environmental factors that may be de-coupling the economic and environmental systems, exploring potential pathways for a more sustainable development of socio-ecological systems. The modelling approaches used by Julen include Agent-based Modelling (ABM) and (spatial) Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN).

Julen is currently involved in research studying (1) the extent debt-based economies enhance unsustainable use of natural resources; (2) the impact of the current debt-driven palm oil industry in Indonesia on biodiversity and different ecosystem services; and (3) the extent future land-use scenarios in the Wet Tropics of Australia will affect biodiversity and different ecosystem services.

Past research

Prior to joining the James Hutton Institute, Julen received a Leonardo Da Vinci Scholarship (European Commission) to work as a Research Assistant at the James Hutton Institute, under the supervision of Dr Javier Perez-Barberia and Dr Scott Newey. Julen was responsible for the field-work, lab-work and data analysis regarding several ecological projects, where he learned a broad range of survey and sampling methods for mammal, vegetation, soil and insect analysis.

After this one-year period, Julen received a Global Training Scholarship from the Government of the Basque Country, Spain, to work as an Environmental Consultant at ENVIROS, s.r.o, Prague, Czech Republic. He was involved in the EU-funded BioRegions Project, which had the goal of developing Action Plans to enhance “bioenergy regions” in different rural areas of Europe. Julen engaged with stakeholders and analysed technical information to identify success factors for best practices regarding biomass energy production.

In addition to his research experience, Julen collaborated with the Greek NGO ‘Archelon – The Sea Turtle Society of Greece’ in 2011. He provided on-site support to help conserving marine mammals. His tasks included daily monitoring, data collection and raising awareness through public talks among local communities.

Bibliography

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
PhD Student
henri.deruiter@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Producing sufficient and healthy food for a growing world population amid a changing climate is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. However, current food consumption patterns already have major consequences for environmental sustainability and human health. It is therefore increasingly recognised that the challenges of environmental sustainability and human health cannot be considered in isolation anymore and hence research on healthy and sustainable diets is urgently needed. Most of the research on healthy and sustainable diets considers the effects of food consumption on greenhouse gas emissions. Our current project builds on this by including another indicator for environmental sustainability, namely land use. We will investigate a diverse set of dietary scenarios and their consequences for land use in the UK and overseas. In doing so, this project will contribute to a better understanding of what comprises an environmentally sustainable diet that at the same time meets nutritional recommendations.

Past research

During his Master’s degree, Henri worked for a couple of months at the Institute of Social Ecology, University of Klagenfurt (Vienna, Austria).

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
ainoa.pravia@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

I have a BSc in Biology (Botany & Zoology) from the University of Oviedo (Asturias, Spain), and an MSc in Wildlife Biology & Conservation from Edinburgh Napier University.

Current research interests

The project has been provisionally given the title “Evaluating peatland restoration for multiple outcomes”. Peatland restoration is currently being undertaken in the UK because of their great carbon storage potential and subsequent role in climate change mitigation. Biodiversity varies according to the type of peatland, but in the case of blanket bogs, species diversity is low but there are highly specialised species being supported by this type of habitat. 

It is most likely that there will be trade-offs between restoring peatlands for biodiversity or for carbon sequestration, the latter being the main driver for restoration at the moment. Trying to identify such trade-offs, I am currently looking at biological traits of different invertebrate taxa in pristine blanket bogs, restoration sites and afforested sites in the Flow Country.

Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
PhD Student
shona.strachan@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 ext 7054

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

The project is focused on finding natural resistant toward the potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera pallida. PCN are major plant pathogens, particularly for potato growers in Northern Europe. Withdrawal of nematicides under EU legislation (EU 91/77/EEC) has intensified the need for alternative control strategies.

The Pa1 pathotype of G. pallida was considered to have a limited distribution in a small area of Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, recent molecular characterisation of field cysts led to the conclusion that itis more widespread than originally thought, increasing the need for an effective control strategy.

Resistance from S. multidissectum PH1366, a wild relate of the domesticated S. tuberosum (potato), was found to contain the resistance gene H2 which confers high resistance to Pa1. The H2 gene is considered to be dominant and occur at a single locus, and has never been mapped to the potato genome.

The main aim of the project is to map the location of H2 onto the potato genome, followed by identifying potential putative effector targets which may trigger the H2 resistance pathway.

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
PhD Student
grant.campbell@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

My PhD is looking at the application of Digital Soil Mapping to improve the spatial accuracy of national soils data and to quantify uncertainty. My principal research interests lie in major global challenges such as food security, water and environmental management and how models or collaborations, such as Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) can help or develop our understanding of these issues. I'm also interested in how applications of DSM can be used to help improve the accuracy of national soils data and quantify uncertainty.

Bibliography

  • Nolan, A.J.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G., (2018) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Technical Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 96 - Craigston Wood, Johnstone, Scottish Lowlands Forest District (2017)., Digital soils data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Beesley, L.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G.; Farooq, N., (2018) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Technical Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 95 - Knockmountain Wood, Scottish Lowlands Forest District (2017)., Digital soils data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Campbell, G.A.; Lilly, A.; Corstanje, R.; Mayr, T.R.; Black, H.I.J., (2017) Are existing soils data meeting the needs of stakeholders in Europe? An analysis of practical use from policy to field., Land Use Policy, 69, 211-223.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G.A., (2017) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 56 - Craigvinean 2015 Block, Tay Forest District (2017)., Digital data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Beesley, L.; Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G.A., (2017) Soil Survey Digital Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 72 - East Loch Eck Forest 2016, Cowal & Trossachs Forest District (2017)., Digital data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G.A., (2017) Soil survey digital map data and reports, scale 1:10,000, volume 57 - Craigvinean Forest Ladywell and south blocks, Tay Forest District (2017)., Digital data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G.A., (2017) Soil survey digital map data and reports, scale 1:10,000, volume 58 - Craigvinean 2016 block, Tay Forest District (2017)., Digital data uploaded into 'Forester' and Technical Report to Forestry Commission.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Towers, W.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G., (2016) Soil Survey Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 45 - Aberdeenshire Forest Blocks and New Acquisitions, Moray and Aberdeenshire Forest District. (2016)., Digital data submitted to Forestry Commission, Scotland.
  • Aitkenhead, M.; Campbell, G.; Coull, M.C., (2015) Using remote sensing to assess the condition of peat in drinking water catchments., CREW Report.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Campbell, G.; Coull, M.C., (2015) Using remote sensing to assess the condition of peat in drinking water catchments., Report to Scottish Water.

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
PhD Student
joseph.palmer@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5140

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

This project aims to understand the abundance, persistence and behaviour of pathogenic Clostridia in agricultural soils. A new, high-throughput and sensitive molecular protocol will be designed and optimised to allow the screening of environmental samples for target pathogens. Positive samples can then have pathogen concentrations determined using qPCR, and differences in pathogen abundance can be linked to soil/environmental factors. It is hoped that this research will allow a better understanding of Clostridial pathogens in soil, and the underlying mechanisms that allow their survival and growth. In turn, this will help land-owners adopt risk-aversion strategies to minimise risk to human and livestock health.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
PhD Student
s.p.poskitt@pgr.reading.ac.uk

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Doctoral Research: Scenario planning, what is it good for? Investigating the benefits scenario planning may have for managing wicked problems.

Unsustainable relationships between humans and environments have led to significant problems that cross the boundaries between human and environmental systems. Such problems are characterised by multiple drivers that interact in complex ways and by uncertain pathways and conditions in the future. In the past two decades, scenario planning (the creation of multiple, plausible narratives that describe potential future conditions) has become an increasingly popular tool for helping manage such problems. However, it remains unclear exactly how and by what mechanisms scenario planning may help manage complex human and environmental problems. Sam’s PhD explores the use of participatory scenario planning as a tool for managing such complex and uncertain problems in human and environmental systems. Specifically, he explores learning in PSP, how learning occurs and what exactly is learned by whom in scenario planning processes.

Sam's PhD is supervised at the James Hutton Institute by Dr Kerry Waylen, and at the University of Reading by Dr Andrew Ainslie.

Past research

Sam's MRes research explored local people’s knowledge and perceptions of vulnerability to climate change in Sinazongwe, Zambia. He used a rudimentary scenario planning exercise as part of his methodology and developed a keen interest in it. However, the method was difficult for participants to understand and engage in, and failed to achieve the desired results. These difficulties subsequently attracted Sam to developing a more critical understanding of scenario planning through his PhD.

Sam also researched the emotional experience of driving for his undergraduate dissertation.

Finance and Corporate Services
IT Services
Linux Administrator
corran.musk@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Soils@Hutton - Soil Information and Education (Research Page)

Introduction to Soils Exploring Scotland's Soils ... Read more

Jennifer Stephens: Making science fun for youngsters and inspiring the next generation (News)

After winning at the UK’s largest online science engagement event, a researcher from the James Hutton Institute has embarked on a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists, becoming at the same time an ambassador ... Read more

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
patrizia.vannucchi@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK
 

 

I completed a BSc in Natural Sciences in 2011 at the University of Perugia, conducting a two-year research project on the biology and ethology of the damselfly Ischnura elegans.

In 2013 I completed my Master research degree in Science and Technology for Nature and the Environment conducting a study of the macroinvertebrate community of a Mediterranean seasonal stream in Southern Spain.

Current research interests

The aim of my PhD project is to develop molecular tools which will significantly simplify and accelerate species identification of mites. At present, most ecological studies involving mite rely upon species identification using their morphology to differentiate between taxa which is a time consuming and laborious process. A few recent studies using molecular approaches to examine soil animal diversity have included mites but due to their small size relative to many other soil animals, the proportion of mites recovered in these samples is very small. In addition, there is no reference data set of sequences from correctly identified mites.

This project aims to address these issues. The first of these problems could be overcome by using a molecular approach that specifically targets the DNA of mites, thus only mite DNA would be sequenced from environmental samples. The second problem can be addressed by creating a database of sequences that are derived from collections of mites identified by experts in mite identification.

By tackling and solving these problems, it will be possible to rapidly assess the composition of mite communities in environmental samples and greatly enhance their use and importance as ecological indicators of environmental changes.

Bibliography

Realising Land's Potential stakeholder engagement events (Research Page)

Stakeholder engagement events relating to theme topics Health and wellbeing conferences and workshops Date Title Theme role Venue 25 November 2013 ... Read more

Information notes (Research Page)

Green space Services: Community Engagement Case Study (GreenHealth project, Note No. 5) ... Read more

Scottish Food Security Alliance announce PhD opportunities (News)

The recently formed Scottish Food Security Alliance - Crops between the James Hutton Institute and the Universities of Aberdeen and Dundee are now advertising the following PhD projects for 2014/15. List of PhD projects ... Read more

Students and teaching (Research Page)

... Read more

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
PhD Student
wenbin.guo@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

Constructions of regulatory networks and integration of large scale experimental data in plants

At a cellular and molecular level, biology functions as a unified system of interacting and/or independent groups of molecules. Extensive knowledge about individual cellular components often cannot explain how a system operates at the level of the system as a whole, and thus fails to deliver successful solutions to many biological problems. With the availability of both genome sequences and high-throughput technologies such as RNA-seq and various flavours of mass spectrometry, cellular components can be detected and quantified simultaneously providing opportunities to gather accurate biological information at a range of different levels (DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites, traits and phenotypes).

Methods for integrating and interpreting these data in a meaningful way are therefore powerful tools for identifying known and unknown links between components, in turn helping to identify genetic and molecular mechanisms that provide a more holistic understanding of the process under investigation.

The aim of the project is:

  • (a) to integrate and interpret the large scale gene data of crops in a meaningful way
  • (b) to construct gene network from experimental data
  • (c) to identify functional modules from genetic perturbations, further to use mathematical models to investigate the dynamics
  • (d) to find solutions for complex models.

Supervisors: Dr Runxuan Zhang (James Hutton Institute) and Professor John Brown (University of Dundee).

Co-supervisor: Professor Ping Lin (University of Dundee)

Past research

  • Project in Zhejiang University of Technology: Set up mathematical models to investigate the ozone in greenhouse pest control.
  • Honours year project: Set up spatiotemporal PDE mathematical models to investigate the population movement of insects, such as locusts and aphids. The outcome is expected to provide an idea to detect and control the insect swarm. Further to reduce the chemical use and to protect the environment.
  • MSc project: Detect how to acquire and process gene expression data, how to construct gene networks from experimental data, how to simplify and optimise the network models. The goal is to have a basic scope of how to construct gene networks from large scale experimental data.

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
Conor.Murphy@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395197

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Conor Murphy was awarded a BSc (Honours) in Chemistry in 2011 from the University College, Cork, Ireland. Conor worked part time from 2006-2011 in the soil and chemistry department at Southern Scientific Ltd., Ireland as an analytical chemist. Here he learned a broad range of analytical techniques for soil and water analysis.

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

This project focuses on the impact of root exudation on soil organic matter turnover and subsequently nutrient mobilisation, in particular nitrogen, as mediated by the microbial community. This phenomenon is known as the priming effect. Although, this process is well established its importance as part of the nitrogen cycle remains elusive. It is hoped that this research will highlight the quantitative significance of root exudation on N mineralisation. An understanding of this process, which underpins nutrient flows, will allow us to optimise the soils resources with plant demand.

Supervisors: Dr Eric Paterson (James Hutton Institute), Professor Elizabeth Baggs and Dr Nick Morley (University of Aberdeen), Dr David Wall and Dr Rogier Schulte (Teagasc).

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
Gertjan.Meijer@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 ext 7543

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

I joined the James Hutton Institute in January 2013, after successfully achieving a BSc (2010) and an MSc degree (2012, with distinction) in Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). During my masters, I specialised in geotechnical engineering with a special focus on soil mechanics, testing and physical modelling.

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

Increasing climatic variability associated with climate change augment the risk of landsliding. Planting vegetation, the roots of which reinforce the soil, might be an economic and ecological friendly solution to stabilise slopes. However, because of the large variety in root traits, soils and environmental conditions, to date it is troublesome to quantify reinforcement and to apply this knowledge to site management and policy making.

Therefore, the research project aims to:

  • 1. understand how tree root systems can be used most effectively to stabilise slopes
  • 2. develop new methods to rapidly assess tree root establishment and its contribution to slope stabilisation.

The interdisciplinary project lies at the interface between geotechnical engineering, soil and plant science and forestry land management. This is reflected in a collaboration of the University of Dundee (Civil engineering, geotechnical engineering group), the James Hutton Institute and Forest Research. By drawing on knowledge and experience from all three disciplines, it will deliver a helpful contribution to dealing with slope stability problems.

Supervisors: Glyn Bengough (James Hutton Institute / University of Dundee), Jonathan Knappett (University of Dundee), Kenneth Loades (James Hutton Institute) and Bruce Nicoll (Forest Research).

Bibliography

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
PhD Student
elizabeth.young@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

I graduated from the University of Durham in 2010 with an MSci in Geoscience (Environmental Geoscience route). My Masters research project studied the effects of managed burning on carbon stores in upland peats. I started my PhD in 2011, working between the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee as a member of CECHR (the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience).

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

My PhD research investigates spatial and temporal variations in the sensitivity of machair soils and landforms on the island of South Uist, in the southern Outer Hebrides. The machair landscape provides an important habitat for many rare and endangered species, and is vulnerable to marine and aeolion erosion. Understanding variations in the soils and coastal geomorphology which influence sensitivity to erosion may contribute to improved management of the unique machair system.

Supervisors: Dr Sue Dawson (University of Dundee) and Dr Blair McKenzie (James Hutton Institute).

Bibliography

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Phytochemist
claudine.cognat@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1382 568874

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

I obtained my MSc degree in Plant Biology and Chemistry in 2007 at the Université Lyon I (France). Subsequently I worked as a food technologist for an oat manufacturer and in partnership with the then Scottish Crop Research Institute on a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) project. This two-year project aimed to understand the chemical pathways to off-flavours in oat based products by using different techniques and methodologies describing factors affecting the shelf-life of these products.

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

The aim of my PhD is to investigate the composition of multiple oat varieties and lines developed through the QUOATS project (“Harnessing new technologies for sustainable oat production and utilisation”) using state-of-the-art analytical methods for employing the most suitable oat variety to a particular end use (for example, oat product industry or poultry industry).

The more detailed objectives are:

  • To develop and optimise metabolomic approaches to study the variation in composition of oat grain from mapping populations (development of mQTLs).
  • To study the effect of G x E on grain composition.
  • To investigate the impact of single oat variety use on taste and shelf-life in oat based products (in conjunction with Nairn’s Oatcakes Ltd.).

Supervisors: Dr Athole Marshall (Aberystwyth University) and Professor Derek Stewart (James Hutton Institute).

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
caroline.upton@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1382 568909

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

I graduated in 2012 with a BSc (Honours) in Forensic Anthropology, from the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

My PhD project is concerned with using a combination of imaging techniques to better elucidate the physical interactions between root systems and soil. I am using X-ray µCT to look at root architecture and how it is influenced by changes in physical soil properties. I am also using recently developed transparent soil with optical imaging techniques to look at the cellular responses of roots that are observed under different physical soil conditions.

Supervisors: Tracy Valentine and Lionel Dupuy (James Hutton Institute) and Wilfred Otten and Sonja Schmidt (University of Abertay Dundee).

Past research

Three month placement working with Ian Toth and Nicola Holden, in the plant pathogen department at the James Hutton Institute.

Four month placement working with Ali Karley and Tracy Valentine, in the Ecological Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute.

Honours research project supervised by Sue Black, in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee.

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
adrian.worton@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1786 467452

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

My project aims to predict how changes in factors such as temperature, woodland cover and wildlife numbers across Scotland will affect tick-borne diseases, in particular Louping-ill and Lyme disease. To achieve this I will be using Geographical Information Software (GIS) to implement mathematical models I have designed.

Supervisors: Dr Lucy Gilbert (James Hutton Institute) and Professor Rachel Norman (University of Stirling).

The Lewis Endowment Fund (Page)

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 Ma ... Read more

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
PhD Student
alexander.vandenBos@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

I graduated from Imperial College London in 2011 (BSc Biology with a Year in Industry/Research; 1st Class Hons). As part of my degree I spent a year working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where I worked on natural product chemistry in the Sustainable Uses of Plants Group. 

Current research interests

My research interests are focussed on the role of tillage as a driver of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal community structure in an arable system. Using an established tillage trial at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie I aim to use molecular techniques to characterise the shifts in AM fungal community structure due to varying levels of physical disturbance, ranging from zero tillage to deep ploughing. 

As a member of the Plant Soil Ecology subgroup of the Ecological Sciences group at the Institute I work alongside my supervisors Alison Bennett and Tim Daniell. In the later stages of my project I plan to carry out some functional studies using radioisotope tracers under the guidance of my university supervisor David Johnson.

The challenge of food demand and food insecurity? (Event)

Professor Tim Benton, UK Champion for Global Food Security and Professor of Population Ecology will give a seminar "The challenge of food demand and food insecurity". ... Read more

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Research Assistant
lucinda.robinson@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

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 company, where she worked initially on pathology field trials and then molecular marker assisted selection of wheat varieties.

Current research interests

Current and forthcoming studies will build on past reseach, and will include the quantitative analysis of gene expression (RT- QPCR) of denitrifying, methane oxidising and methanogen microorganisms in soils. Lucinda will also be part of new projects assessing Scotland’s soil biodiversity. These will involve new second generation sequencing techniques and Lucinda will be responsible for DNA preparations and quality screening for deep-sequencing and metagenomic projects.

Past research

Lucinda has worked on a range of different projects, the largest of these being the National Soils Inventory of Scotland (NSIS).  This large-scale study aims to provide a snapshot of the condition of Scotland's soils and includes data from many different assays. Lucinda's contribution was to conduct m-TRFLP on over 1000 Scottish soils, and to bring all the data together for subsequent analysis.  Other recent projects involved looking at soil quality indicators, examining the contribution of soil gas fluxes to the atmosphere, and collaboration with several external partners.

Bibliography

  • Robertson, A.H.J.; Main, A.M.; Robinson, L.J.; Dawson, L.A., (2015) In situ FTIR analysis of soils for forensic applications., FT-IR Technology for Today's Spectroscopists, August 2015.

Community Ecology Staff (Research Page)

The Group’s staff members contribute a wide range of skills to the projects on which they work, including a diverse range of taxonomic expertise and data analysis skills. They have experience of working from mountain tops, t ... Read more

Glen Finglas Project Publications (Research Page)

Scientific Papers For further details of these publications, click the first author's name (where activated) to send them an email. ... Read more

PhD Projects (Research Page)

Competition for PhD student is now closed. Please contact Lionel Dupuy for further information. ... Read more

Soil forensics (Research Page)

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Agroecology (Research Page)

Latest .... major success so far in EU H2020 bids .... TRUE, DIVERSIFY and TOMRES .... details to follow .... Newton projects begin March 2017 ....  success for doctoral students ... ... Read more

Cell and Molecular Sciences (Research Page)

Cell and Molecular Sciences (CMS) is based at the Dundee site and comprises more than 100 plant scientists with research specialisms in cell and molecular biology, genomics, genetics, pathology and physiology. Crop improvement ... Read more

VLT Publications (Page)

Publications in which the VLT is presented or discussed Wang, C., Miller, D., Brown, I. and Jiang, Y. 2016. Public Participation to Support Wind Energy Development: The Role of 3D GIS and Virtual Reality. In: Proceedings ... Read more

VLT Team Members (Page)

The Virtual Landscape Theatre is operated by a team at the Aberdeen offices of the James Hutton Institute. They have been responsible for designing, developing and implementing the theatre, 3D models, and programmes of surveys and ... Read more

Games and Resources (Page)

The Living Field CD ... Read more

VLT Development Theatre (Page)

A development and demonstration virtual reality theatre has been constructed to compliment the mobile Virtual Landscape Theatre. The dimensions and capabilities of the development theatre are the same as the VLT enabling the prepa ... Read more

VLT Technical Details (Page)

Screen: 5.5 m x 2.25 m, with a screen curvature of 160 degrees Projectors: 3 x '3D Perception' SX25 + I DLP projectors, with integrated edge blending and warping Computers: 3 PCs, each with a Quadro™ FX4800 gra ... Read more

Virtual Landscape Theatre (Page)

What is it? The Virtual Landscape Theatre (VLT) is a mobile curved screen projection facility, in which people can be 'immersed' in computer models of their environment to explore landscapes of the past, present and futu ... Read more

Knowledge Exchange Coordinator
Information and Computational Sciences
Knowledge Exchange Coordinator
david.miller@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395276

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

I am responsible for the strategic co-ordination of knowledge exchange at the institute, and research and commercial projects within the remits of several of the institute research themes. I am the Institute representative on the knowledge exchange and impact Gateway of SEFARI (the collective of six research institutes under the title: Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes). In the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme (2011-16) I was co-ordinator of the Land Use Theme.

My current research interests are on understanding the landscape preferences of different types of stakeholder with respect to characteristics of cultural landscapes, the implications for multi-functional land uses, and their incorporation into planning. This work takes account of the context of past and present land uses, and scenarios of future landscapes in the testing of public preferences with a view to understanding the significance of individual drivers of change on characteristics of landscapes. Research into visual quality in relation to scenarios of landscape change was undertaken under the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU), in collaboration with Dr Asa Ode, of Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. These studies make extensive use of spatial analysis of landscape characteristics and indicators, visualization tools, and both our stand alone and mobile virtual landscape theatre, with particular interest in enabling the development of visions of future land uses, rural and urban by stakeholders and the public, and the role of public participation in land use decision-making.

The development of these tools increasingly involves the combination of spatial modelling outputs with virtual reality, to provide augmented reality tools for both research and knowledge exchange. Research applications include in renewable energy, urban green spaces and human wellbeing, and rural and urban spatial land use planning. The direction of this research is to explore spatial and temporal pathways of change, and public perspectives on the evolution of land uses and landscapes into the future.

I lead areas of the Institute's knowledge exchange programme, including the Virtual Landscape Theatre, for communicating opinions about urban and rural pressures for land use change, between politicians, planners, and the public, including schools.

My research involves close working in teams comprising the social and natural sciences, which is also reflected in most of my research proposals, Scottish Government research activities, and papers. Examples of such studies are the recent study of the Effects of Greenspace on Human Health and Wellbeing (Scottish Government, Green Health), and Visualization Tools for Public Participation in the Management of Landscape Change (European Union, VisuLands).

Current research projects include

Recent competitive funding (projects overlapping 1 January 2007 - 31 December 2013) totals £6.157k, with £1.962k to the institute.

Collaborative networks

Previous European Union projects include

Reviewing responsibilities have included the European Union Framework Programmes, and research councils in Australia, Switzerland, Belgium and Norway as well as public agencies in the UK.

Past research

My research background has included the development of methods for handling and analysing geographic information, using them to map, monitor and model change in urban and rural land use and landscapes, mapping peat deposits in Scotland, the creation of natural resource databases (for example, land cover), and visual impacts of land use change.

Research on the visual impacts of land use change combine analysis of the landscape visibility, producing the first map of the intervisibility of the terrain of Scotland, land use change, and landscape preferences. Applications of the analysis of landscape intervisibility have included the assessment of landscape sensitivity to wind turbine development for Highland Council in Scotland, and the mapping of visibility for wind farm development in Scottish Borders. It also led to the first national level mapping and analysis of visibility of the seascapes of the coast of Wales as part of Maritime Ireland/Wales INTERREG 1994-1999, and of Scotland.

Wales Visibility of the sea from the land
Wales Visibility of the land from the sea

 

 

 

 

 

Research on viewing distances and visual impact of offshore wind turbines (with Ian Bishop, University of Melbourne) has been cited in a number of advisory reports, including in the UK and USA.

Our tools for the development of visual and cumulative impacts of wind turbines on landscapes have been applied extensively in the assessment of wind farm proposals. Examples include public enquiries into the extension of Cemmaes B, Llanbrynmair, Powys, and a conjoined public enquiry on the visual and cumulative visual impacts of wind turbines proposed at three sites in Mid-Wales, 2001, Carno, Powys, in each case presenting evidence on behalf of the Countryside Council for Wales.

Work on spatial decision support tools has included the use of GIS tools and rules based systems to produce the first spatial plans for the development of wind farms for Wales, the spatial plan for wind energy for Scottish Borders Council and inputs to the plan for Aberdeenshire.

Example of a spatial plan for wind energy in Wales (January 2002)
Spatial plan for wind energy for Scottish Borders Council

 

 

 

 

Digital mapping and analysis tools were developed to support the assessment of natural resources in Scotland. The principal applications have been as follows.

  • The topographic and peat depth surveys of 22 peat deposits in Scotland and England, listed here, (that is, surface and bottom contours, peat depth, isopachytes, cross-sections, peat volume, and peat quality), mainly raised bogs and peat workings. The survey methodology was broadly the same as that of the Moss Survey Group for the Scottish Peat Committee, latterly based at the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research (MISR). A listing of the topographic, depth and reconnaissance surveys of peat deposits in Scotland for the Scottish Peat Committee, and further surveys by MISR is available here. The deepest peat profile I surveyed was 10.0m (Creca Moss). The deepest in the Scottish Peat Survey records is 11.0m (Threepwood Moss, Roxburghshire). Maps of the areas surveys follow, with *.pdfs of the Scottish peat Survey sites to 1984 here, and peat depth surveys post 1984 here.
Sites of topographic surveys of peat deposits in Scotland
Scottish Peat Survey sites: Scottish Peat Committee and Macaulay Institute for Soil Research

 

 

 

 

 

Research on spatial planning and impacts of wind turbines, and resource assessments of peatlands are brought together in work on a payback calculator for wind turbines on peatland. This was for the Scottish Government, in collaboration with University of Aberdeen and Forest Research, from which a paper describing the calculator has also been published.

The studies of urban greenspaces Included inventories in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee; urban land use change; analysis of accessibility using route networks between every domestic property in the cities and the nearest of each type of greenspace. Projects have been undertaken for Scottish Enterprise on economic valuation (Streetscapes, with Robert Gordon University), the European Union on preferences, use, spatial modelling, and 3D visualisations (Greenspaceco-ordinated by University College Dublin; Greenclusterco-ordinated by Alterra), Edinburgh City Council on geographic analysis of access and greenspace audits, and Scottish Government on the contribution of greenspace to human health and wellbeing (GreenHealth, with Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Heriot Watt, and BioSS). Watch the video description of the findings here. This is extended to the role of water, notably flooding, in relation to well-being such as a cause of stress, or a factor influencing psychological restoration (BlueHealth, for Scottish Government through CREW).

Recent reports for Scottish Government

Recent presentations

Recent events

  • 'Squeezed Middle' debate about land use in Scotland, at Gordonstoun School, 3rd October 2013.

Bibliography

  • Alves, G.; Mattar, S.; Miller, D.R., (In press) United Kingdom: Renewable energy and landscape (National; Overview Chapter)., Renewable Energy and Landscape Quality; COST Action RELY TU 1401; Chapter 1.31, JOVIS, 90-93. Refereed Book Chapter.
  • Stanik, N.; Aalders, I.; Miller, D.R., (2018) Towards an indicator-based assessment of cultural heritage as a cultural ecosystem service - a case study of Scottish landscapes., Ecological Indicators, 95, 288-297.
  • Gimpel, A.; Stelzenmüller, V.; Töpsch, S.; Galparsoro, I.; Gubbins, M.; Miller, D.R.; Murillas, A.; Murray, A.G.; Pinarbasi, K.; Roca, G.; Watret, R., (2018) A GIS-based tool for an integrated assessment of spatial planning trade-offs with aquaculture., Science of the Total Environment, 627, 1644-1655.
  • Schwarz, G.; Sanders, J.; Miller, D.R., (2018) Project Management Plan D1.1; Understanding and improving the sustainability of agroecological farming systems in the EU., Project Deliverable, H2020 UNISECO, D1.1: Report to European Commission.
  • Miller, D.R.; Aalders, I.; Irvine, K.A.; Iragui, U.; Astrain, C.; Zabalza, S.; Schwarz, G., (2018) UNISECO Risk Register: D1.2., Contract Deliverable to European Commission for UNISECO project, Deliverable 1.2, Risk Register.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2017) Valuation of ecosystem services: paradox or Pandora’s box for decision-makers?, One Ecosystem Journal, 2, Article No. e14808.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; McKeen, M., (2017) Aquaculture spatial planning tool factsheet: seascape visibility analysis., Factsheets on Tool Selection and Guidance for Users and Practitioners; Project Report for Aquaspace, Milestone 20.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Data Management Plan: Scientific activities and outputs., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.3. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp14.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Data Management Plan: Administration and management., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.2. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp15.
  • Cook, G.; Miller, D.R.; Dawson, L.A., (2017) Report on the Consultation on Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill., Response from SEFARI, August 2017.
  • Secco, K.; Pisani, E.; Burlando, C.; Da Re, R.; Gatto, P.; Pettenella, D.; Vassilopoulus, A.; Akinsete, E.; Koundouri, P.; Lopolito, A.; Prosperi, M.; Tuomasiukka, D.; Den Herde, M.; Lovric, M.; Polman, N.; Dijkshoorn, M.; Soma, K.; Ludvig, A.; Weiss, G.; Zivojinovic, I.; Sarkki, S.; Ravazzoli, E.; Dalla Torre, C.; Streifeneder, T.; Slee, W.; Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.; Barlagne C.; Prokofieva, I., (2017) Set of methods to assess SI implications at different levels: instructions for WPs 5 & 6., Deliverable 4.2, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp203.
  • Price, M.; Miller, D.R.; McKeen, M.; Slee, W.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Categorisation of marginalised rural areas (MRAs)., Deliverable 3.1, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp57.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M.; Barlagne, C., (2017) Minutes of 1st General Assembly., Deliverable 8.4, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp23.
  • Ludvig, A.; Weiss, G.; Zivojinovic, I.; Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R.; Barlagne, C.; Perlik, M.; Hermann, P.; Egger, T.; Torre C.D.; Streifeneder, T.; Ravazzoli, E.; Sfeir, P.; Lukesch, R.; Wagner, K.; Egartner, S.; Clotteau, M., (2017) Political framework conditions, policies and instruments for SIs in rural areas., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas, Deliverable 6.1, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp36.
  • Kluvánková, T.; Gezik, V.; Spacek, M.; Brnkaláková, S.; Valero, D.; Bryce, R.; Slee, W.; Alkhaled, D.; Secco, L.; Burlando, C.; Kozova, M.; Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M.; Perlik, M.; Pisani, E.; Polman, N.; Price, M.; Sarkii, S.; Weiss, G., (2017) Transdisciplinary understanding of SI in MRAs., Deliverable 2.2, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, 58pp.
  • Gimpel, A.; Töpsch, S.; Stelzenmüller, V.; Gubbins, M.; Murray, A.G.; Watret, R.; Galparsoro, I.; Murillas, A.; Pinarbas, K.; Miller, D.R.; Brigolin, D.; Pastres, R.; Porporato, E.; Roca Carceller, G.; Marba, N., (2017) Deliverable 3.3 AquaSpace tool to support MSP, Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture (Aquaspace)., Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp58.
  • Billing, S-L.; Gubbins, M.; Miller, D.R.; Watret, R.; Adams, T.; Black, K.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Greenhill, L.; Tett, P., (2017) Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK., In: Strand, O. & Bergh, O. (eds.) Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture (Aquaspace). Deliverable 4.2 Case Study Final Reports, Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute. Chapter 15, 251-272.
  • Barlagne, C.; Bryce, R.; Valero, D.; Price, M.; Mosdale, L.; Clotteau, M.; Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Ethical approvals for research with human participants in the SIMRA Project, Deliverable 9.5., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp.29.
  • Secco, L.; Pisani, E.; Burlando, C.; Da Re, R.; Pettenella, D.; Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R.; Slee, B.; Gezik, V.; Kluvankova, T., (2017) D4.1 Guidelines to identify and analyse existing methods to assess social innovation and impacts., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA, 2017.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2017) D8.2 Data management plan: administration and management., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R.; Slee, B., (2017) D1.4 Criteria and indicators for monitoring and evaluation of scientific results., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA, pp17.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2017) D1.3: Data management plan: Scientific activities and outputs., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Barlagne, C.; Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Ethical clearance procedures in SIMRA., Deliverable 1.5, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), pp65.
  • Thompson, C.W.; Aspinall, P.; Roe, J.; Robertson, L.; Miller, D.R., (2016) Mitigating stress and supporting health in deprived urban communities: the importance of green space and the social environment., International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, Article No. 440.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Brown, I.; Jiang, Y.; Castellazzi, M., (2016) Visualisation techniques to support public interpretation of future climate change and land use choices: a case study from N-E Scotland., International Journal of Digital Earth, 9, 586-605.
  • Miller, D.R.; Dawson, L.A.; Morrice, J.; McKeen, M.; Donnelly, D., (2016) Report on prototype spatial geoforensic database., EU Project MiSAFE, Deliverable 5.8, Report to the European Commission, EU FP7 MISAFE Project, 313149.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; McKeen, M., (2016) Use of 3D visualisation technology for wind farms and other development proposals - update., Interim Contract Report to Scottish Government.
  • Towers, W.; Miller, D.R.; Matthews, K.B. (eds.), (2016) CAP Greening Review, Part 1:Trends in Environmental Indicators - A brief overview of recent trends in key environmental indicators in Scotland, covering biodiversity, water quality, land, including soils and climate change., Scottish Government and The James Hutton Institute Websites.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Risk register: Scientific outputs., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.2. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp3 and Spreadsheet.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Project Management Plan: Scientific Activities. Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.1., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.1. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp112.

Postgraduate study (Page)

With more than 500 staff and 163 registered PhD students, the James Hutton Institute is one of the biggest research centres in the UK and the first of its type in Europe. ... Read more

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
PhD Student
William.Hentley@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

PhD studentship Supervised by Dr Tom Shepherd, The James Hutton Institute, Dr Scott Johnson, University of Western Sydney,  Dr Adam Vanbergen and Professor Rosie Hails at CEH and Dr Hefin Jones at Cardiff University

Trophic cascades in a changing climate – Effects of elevated CO2 on the breakdown of plant defences.

Carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources have increased in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are predicted to rise from the current 350ppm to 550ppm by 2050.

Initial evidence suggests plants will benefit from the fertilising effect of elevated levels of CO2 (eCO2), with plant productivity in C3 plants predicted to increase by 10-20%. However, recent evidence suggests increases in productivity may be counteracted by CO2-induced changes to plant defences against herbivory.

It is currently unknown how changes to plant defences will cascade to higher trophic levels within a community. How will eCO2-induced changes to plant defences affect herbivore performance? How will these alterations affect interactions with higher trophic levels? Will predatory species abundance increase in response to increased prey availability, suppressing any change to herbivore populations, or will eCO2-induced reduction of plant defences prevent this?

My PhD will aim to provide answers to these questions by using the red raspberry, Rubus ideaus and the large raspberry aphid Amphorophora idaei as a model plant-herbivore system. I will investigate the effect of eCO2 on higher trophic levels by using a specialist predator, a parasitoid wasp, Aphidius ervi, and a generalist predator, the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis.

Past research

I completed a BSc in Zoology at Sheffield University and an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation at Leeds University. Before starting my MSc I worked for 18 months as a research assistant for Dr Andrew Beckerman at Sheffield University. Here I investigated the indirect effects of predation on the life history, morphology and behavioural characteristics of Daphnia pulex.

Bibliography

Meet the Dirt Doctor (Page)

Starting in 2007, the Institute has been highlighting how soils play a crucial role in almost every aspect of our lives. A series of public events are championing the importance of this under-rated resource for our food, fuel, wil ... Read more


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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.