Professional summary

Niall is the leader of the Plant-Soil Interactions Group at UKCEH Lancaster and honorary professor at the University of Warwick. He delivers fundamental and applied research to better understand, predict and mitigate terrestrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from natural and managed ecosystems.

His research interests include: developing a mechanistic understanding of the drivers of nitrous oxide variability over crop life cycles, including devising mitigation strategies; understanding the mechanisms behind in-situ tree stem methane and nitrous oxide emission and predicting their significance for tropical ecosystems; reducing the GHG and pollution intensity of oil palm cultivation in Southeast Asia for the benefit of rural smallholder communities and the environment; application of real-time GHG measurement systems (eddy covariance, cavity ring-down, robotic chambers) and data sciences to predict the spatio-temporal variability in GHG emissions; and, developing land-based GHG removal strategies to support the UK’s transition to net zero including research on biochar, accelerated peatland formation and perennial bioenergy.

Niall is currently leading or co-leading several projects from estimates of tropical forest GHG exchange, to clean, green and net-zero agriculture, and on GHG removal by accelerated peat formation.

Selected publications