Particular interest in soils, biogeochemical and ecosystem science. Specific topics include; impact of land management on natural capital and ecosystem services; change in soil structure and function; impacts of nitrogen pollution; impacts of climate change on soils and ecosystem function; new knowledge systems exploiting advances in computer science. Science focus is on biogeochemical cycling and implications for ecosystem structure and function including the nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, vegetation composition, water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Techniques include national-scale surveys and monitoring, large long-term, field-scale manipulation experiments, range of field and laboratory techniques including the use of natural and enriched isotopes at the field scale and collaboration with ecosystem modellers. Income generation has come from a wide range of funders including NERC, EPSRC, DEFRA, EU and the Welsh Government. Examination board for PhD students for various universities in UK and abroad. International involvement includes over 9 EU projects over the last 10 years (acting as lead for the UK in 7 of these projects). Various past and ongoing collaborative projects with groups in North America involving modelling, isotopic studies and meta-analysis of ecosystem experimental studies.
Head of Site for CEH’s Bangor station with > 60 staff and students with a focus on biogeochemistry and ecosystem function. Responsibilities as Head of Site and Section Head include all personnel, financial and research activities of the site. Responsibilities also as CEH lead for soils research. Responsible for promoting and delivering CEH and wider NERC science to Welsh Government and other stakeholder needs within Wales.
BS Botany degree from Aberdeen University in 1985 followed by a PhD in soil ecology / nutrient cycling at Exeter University. Joined the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Bangor as a postdoc in 1988. Research initially focusing on air pollution impacts particularly nitrogen deposition on ecosystem structure and function. Major EU and North America collaborations leading to Nature publications and high level impacts in policy in setting national and EU targets for atmospheric nitrogen pollution. Funding won from industry (National Power/Powergen), EU and NERC. Migrated around 1998 to quantifying climate change impacts in sensitive upland systems. Series of EU projects including EU Infrastructure project for climate change facilities. Most recent move in 2012 into monitoring and modelling ecosystem services which has led to a large Welsh Government / EU funded project (largest in Europe) to monitor and evaluate the outcomes from a agri-environment scheme(Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP)). Greater management and leadership evolved over time as progressed during the organisation resulting in appointment as Director of CEH Bangor in 2010. Secured long-term future for CEH Bangor and CEH presence in Wales with success of bid to NERC with Bangor University for £3.7M to build the new joint research facility - Environment Centre Wales to focus on ecosystem science linking land-freshwater and marine systems. This iconic green building now provides a focus point for ecosystem research in Wales. Also successful in proposing and hosting Environment Research Hub with Bangor University. Director and office staff funded by Welsh Government and public agencies. Continue to maintain active research role and publication record with leadership role at CEH Bangor and member of CEH Senior Management Team and membership of many committees and boards and other community activities.
- Honorary Professorship, Bangor University, 2009
- PhD (Soil Ecology) University of Exeter 1990.
- Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours, Plant Science) University of Aberdeen 1985.
- Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW)
- Fellow of the Society of Biology (FSB)
- Member of the British Ecological Society
- Member of the British Soil Science Society