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Steve Chapman

Staff picture: Steve Chapman
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Honorary Associate
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Steve Chapman is an Honorary Associate with over 30 years of experience in research in microbiology. His particular expertise lies in determining the role of microbial processes in the cycling of elements (particularly carbon) within the plant-soil-microbe ecosystem.

Current research interests

Steve has experience in both laboratory and field-based studies and an interest in modelling microbial processes in soil. He has contributed to investigations on soil organic matter turnover, quantifying and determining the influence of chemical structure and soil conditions on the decomposition processes. Recent work has increasingly focused on organic soils and peatlands. He has led a research program evaluating the effect of global warming on soil respiration, methanogenesis and methane oxidation in deep peats. He has ongoing interest in the sulphur cycle in soil, the emission of volatile sulphur from soils and in sulphate reduction, particularly in peatlands. He was European coordinator of a EU-funded project on peatland restoration and biodiversity in peatlands - RECIPE. He is involved in developing microbial diversity measurements for assessing soil quality and health using both phospholipid fatty acid analysis and physiological profiling methods, which has been patented in the UK (MicroResp). These were also applied in studies of afforestation on moorland (MOORCO). Steve was the MLURI coordinator of two SEERAD-funded projects, led by Aberdeen University, which resulted in the development of the ECOSSE model which looks at carbon turnover in organic soils and predicts the influences of climate and land use change. Ongoing research is concerned with characterising carbon stocks in Scottish soils and looking at ways to determine changes in soil carbon due to land use change.


  • Beckert, M.; Smith, P.; Chapman, S.J. (2016) Of trees and sheep: Trade-offs and synergies in farmland afforestation in the Scottish uplands., In: Niewohner, J., Bruns, A., Hostert, P., Kreuger, T., Nielson, J.O., Haberl, H., Lauk, C., Lutz, J. & Muller, D. (eds.). Land Use Competition: Ecological, Economic and Social Perspectives. Springer, Switzerland, pp183-192.
  • Chapman, S.J. (2009) Carbon sequestration in soils., In: Hester, R.E. & Harrison, R.M. (eds.). Carbon Capture: Sequestration and Storage. Issues in Environmental Science and Technology 29, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, Chapter 7.
  • Sutton, M.A.; Chapman, S.; Christensen, T.; Emmett, B.; Erisman, J.W.; Fowler, D.; Hoosbeek, M.R.; Jones, M.; Milford, C.; Nemitz, E.; Pilegaard, K.; Riedo, M.; Schjoerring, J.K.; Wookey, P.A. (2000) TERRICA Working Group 6: Trace gas fluxes and ecosystem functioning., In: Terrestrial Ecosystem Research in Europe: Successes, Challenges and Policy (eds. M.A. Sutton, J.M. Moreno, W.H. van der Putten and S. Struwe). European Commission, Brussels, pp65-74.

Printed from /staff/steve-chapman on 09/06/23 08:56:38 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.