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  • Ferguson Building, SRUC

    AB21 9YA Aberdeen

    United Kingdom

  • Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, SRUC, Ferguson Building

    AB21 9YA Aberdeen

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research investigates how biological functions in soil meet our ecosystem demands through careful controlled experiments to elucidate mechanisms and field experiments to test theory in situ. I believe that the application of ecological theory can help deliver increasing sustainability of our agricultural system, contributing directly to food security and climate change mitigation. 

My primary interests lie in linking nutrient cycling processes to measureable aspects of the soil microbiome and the interaction of soil biology with soil physical and chemical properties and mangagement practices to produce resilient responses to external stress. 


Year tutor for 3rd year Organic Farming MSc (distance learning based at SRUC Craibstone)

Lecturer for

  • Research Skills and Data Analysis (3rd year undergraduate across all degree programmes)
  • Crop Production Management (HND/2nd year Agriculture)
  • Principles of Crop Production (HNC/1st year Agriculture)
  • Soil and Fertility (National Certificate Agriculture)



Current Research Students:

Assessing microbiome functional traits as indicatrs of soil health for sustainable agriculture. Jack Horne. EastBio PhD studentship

The influence of grassland management on soil nitrogen mineralisation.. Summer studentship 2023, funded by The Stapeldon Memorial Trust

Previous Students:

Functional responses of distinct soil communities to a large-scale cultivation disturbance in grass leys. Summer studentship 2021, funded by The Stapeldon Memorial Trust

Honours students at SRUC and University of Aberdeen (6)

Masters students at Cranfield University (2)



Evaluation of stoichometry of organic amendments on microbial biomass C storage (RDE360). Natural England. present - 2024
Regenerative Agriculture and Net-Zero: mapping the evidence. AgriFood for Net Zero Network present - 2024.
Scope of Regenerative Agriculture Practices in the UK – who is doing what and where? AgriFood for Net Zero Network present - 2024.
Assessing the socio-economic impacts of soil degradation on Scotland's water environment. CREW present - 2024
RESEAS 22-27: UNC Soils and Related Environmental Data: Collection, Management, Application, Dissemination and Governance. present - March 2027
RESEAS 22-27: D3 HEalthy Soils for a Green Recovery. present - 2027


Managing the Quality of Organic Matter (OM) inputs to enhance Microbial Biomass and Activity (RDE137). Natural England 2022/23

Soils Programme Research Partnership: Management for soil biology and health. AHDB (2020)

RESAS Strategic Programme 2016-2021: WP 2.3 Productive and sustainable land management (2020 - 2021)

RESAS Strategic Programme 2016 - 2021, WP 1.1.2 Soil resilience to change (2016 - 2019)

Fundamental basis of soil biological resilience. BBSRC and DEFRA (2013 - 2016)


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Temperature responses of nitrogen transformations in grassland soils, University of Stirling

Award Date: 30 Nov 2013

Master, Environmental Biology

Award Date: 30 Nov 2007

Bachelor, Marine and Environmental Biology, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 27 Jun 2006

External positions

University of Aberdeen

1 Sept 201630 Aug 2019

Cranfield University

11 Feb 201316 Aug 2016


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