Professional summary

Research Interests

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, BBSRC, EPSRC, DEFRA, EU and the Welsh Government ( Work is focussed on supporting policy development and improving the evidence base. Her publication record includes a current H index of 51 (Web of Science); total number of ISI publications = 158 and citations 8,740 with 4 publications in Nature. She is a member of a wide range of committees and panels and was the Specialist Adviser for the UK Parliamentary Inquiry into Soil Health in 2016. Current membership includes the EU Mission Board on Soil Health and Food (; assessment panels for the UKRI BBSRC “Transforming the UK Food System for Healthy People and a Healthy Environment" Assessment Panel and UKRI EPSRC "Circular Economy; the Scientific Advisory Board of the Sustainable Soil Alliance and is contributing author to the 3rd Climate Change Risk Assessment for the UK. She recently served as Chair of the UKRI NERC Soil Security Programme Advisory Board and as a member of the UKRI NERC Strategic Programe Advisory Group.  

Brief CV

Current Role:

Head of Soils and Land Use Science Area for CEH. Resposibility for 60 staff across 3 CEH sites working in a mix of research areas involving all apsects of soil health and land use including various aspects of ecosystem services, natural capital and the land-sea interface.

Head of UKCEH Bangor station. 

Career History:

2017 -              Appointed as CEH Science Area Head for Soils and Land Use. Retain Head of Site CEH Bangor duties. 

2009 - 2017     Return to duties as Head of Site CEH Bangor; Head of ‘Emmett’ Section (Band 3[S]); and appointed Leader of CEH Soils Science Area

2008 - 2008     Acting CEH Director Biogeochemistry (Band 2 [S]) (6 months)

2004 - 2008     Head of Site Bangor, Deputy Director of Biogeochemistry, CEH, and Head of ‘Emmett’ Section (Band 3[S])

2001 - 2004     Director of CEH-Bangor, Band 3[S]

1998 - 2001     Principal Scientific Officer Band 4 [S],  Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH - a organisation formed from 4 NERC Institutes: ITE, IFE, IH and IVEM)

1994 - 1998     Senior Scientific Officer Band 5 [S], ITE Bangor

1988 - 1994     Higher Scientific Officer Band 6 [S], Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE), Bangor


  • Marsh Award for Climate Change Research, British Ecological Society, 2016
  • AGI Award for Geospatial Excellence (team award) 2014

  • Honorary Professorship, Bangor University, 2009; renewed 2019;
  • PhD (Soil Ecology) University of Exeter 1990.
  • Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours, Plant Science) University of Aberdeen 1985.

Panels, committees and memberships

  • Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)
  • Fellow of the British Soil Science Society
  • Member of the British Ecological Society