Professional summary

Research Interests

  • Understanding links and interactions between plants, soil biology and soil functions.
  • Impacts of land use and management on soils (structure, biodiversity, services).
  • Soil & biodiversity indicator development to inform and streamline monitoring strategies.
  • Quantifying change in natural capital and ecosystem services across spatial and temporal scales.
  • Visualising soils data for science communication and knowledge exchange.

Brief CV


Resistance to perturbation in agricultural land: can we Identify and Fingerprint functional soil conditions? [NERC Soil Security Programme; 2017 - 2019]

Extreme rainfall: Unravelling the importance of new climate-rhizosphere feedbacks across contrasting land use systems [NERC Soil Security Programme; 2017 - 2019]

Plant colonisation in response to pulse disturbance following extreme weather events: will storm-induced soil exposure and flooding provide vacant niche space under global change? [NERC Urgency Grant; 2016 - present]

IMPRESSIONS - Impacts and Risks from High-End Scenarios: Strategies for Innovative Solutions [EU FP7; 2015 - present]

EcoFINDERS (Ecological Function and Biodiversity Indicators in European Soils; EU FP7 2011-2014)

Large-scale European consortium which characterised soil biodiversity across European land-uses, climate zones and soil types, determined relationships with soil functions, quantified the economic value of soil ecosystem services and designed policy-relevant and cost-effective indicators for monitoring.

ELUM (Ecosystem Land Use and Modelling; ETI Energy consortium 2011-2014)

UK consortium project which investigated the sustainability of bioenergy-related land-use change with regard to effects on soil carbon and greenhouse gas fluxes.

Countryside Survey (NERC, DEFRA & other partners; ongoing since 1978)

A unique long-term project which examines national-scale trends in land-use, habitat condition, plant diversity and soil characteristics at a decadal resolution across GB.

CréBeo (Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland; 2006-2009)

Large-scale national project across 3 institutes (UCD, NUI, UL) which carried out the first systematic baseline survey for national-scale monitoring of soil biodiversity, evaluated the effects of key pressures.



2018-present   Soil Ecologist (Senior Scientist), UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster, UK

2009-2018       Soil Ecologist, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster, UK

2007-2009:         Postdoctoral Researcher & Project Manager, University College Dublin, Ireland.

2003-2006:         Research Assistant, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, U.K.


2008    Ph.D. in Plant Science, University of Aberdeen, U.K.

Thesis - Links between above and belowground communities: Tree-driven impacts on soil food webs and ecosystem processes.

2003    B.Sc. (Hons) in Ecology, University of Aberdeen, U.K.

Awarded ‘Class Prize in Ecology’, ‘Trail Prize for Best Original Research’, and ‘Best Undergraduate Dissertation’ by the Botanical Society of Scotland, in honours year.

Panels, committees and memberships

British Ecological Society

British Soil Science Society