Our research

We measure and model change in the structure, function and quality of our soil and land so we can better develop solutions to conserve and enhance these valuable natural assets.

From croplands to deserts, from peatlands to rainforests, and from tundra to tropics, we explore the impacts of climate and land management so we can develop more sustainable management of soil and land for future generations.

World-class science and innovation

  • Exploitation and integration of technologies and modelling to assess the role of land use and climate change on soils, habitats and their interaction over time and space from local to national and global scales. To capture these changes exploiting the natural capital approach to understand the impact on social and economic benefits.
  • Providing better understanding of the role of microbial diversity in underpinning soil functions, specifically the formation and persistence of soil carbon, and developing a new modular soil carbon model to support future land use decisions.
  • To quantify the long term turnover and transport of carbon from organic soils, including transfers to atmosphere and oceans and impacts on water quality and explore more sustainable management options.
  • To develop an integrated approach to the assessment of risk and opportunities to improve the sustainable management of coastal habitats to better integrate our land-sea capabilities.
  • To develop whole system approaches to bioenergy systems in the UK and abroad considering social, economic, environmental and technological constraints.

Mixed soil and land use showing woodland, grassland and arable

Science Groups

Our facilities

Sand dunes and landscape
The science behind our unique coastal biodiversity
Conwy catchment
Integrated hydrological and ecological monitoring and research in a varied coastal catchment
Borrowdale, Lake District. Photo by Andy Sier
Integrating data, models and scientific knowledge on natural capital to support research and decision-making
State of Nature 2013 and State of Nature 2016 report covers
Trends and biases in biological records
Solardomes at the Air Pollution Facility
Ozone and nitrogen pollution impacts on ecosystems, food security and human health in a changing climate – a National Capability programme
Austria Center Vienna photo: Marcus Winter (CC BY-SA 2.0)
International geosciences conference
Lucy Hulmes, CEH
Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems - a long-term National Capability programme

Pages