Environmental and Soil Science

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One of the core goals of SENRGY’s research is to understand how the biosphere works. Within this, we have numerous research strands which span all the biomes of the world and which come together to provide interdisciplinary solutions for their sustainable management. Consequently, our research is diverse but retains major foci on climate change, biogeochemistry, plant ecophysiology, waste management, polar biology, microbiology, modelling, soil science, agronomy, human health, land remediation, ecosystem restoration and carbon footprinting and life cycle assessment. As part of this we also have an active Masters and PhD programme with students based both in the UK and overseas. Our research is actively supported by a range of funding agencies including BBSRC, NERC, European Union, DEFRA, DFID, Leverhulme Trust and industry. In recent years, we have come together to form the Environment Centre Wales which is a partnership with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and whose function is to inform and shape national environmental policy.

To support our research, we have state-of-the art analytical laboratories which include facilities for stable and radioisotope tracking, heavy metal analysis, carbon and nitrogen determination, plant and soil nutrient analysis, organic pollutant characterization, respiration and gas exchange, microbial community analysis, photosynthesis, hydrological flow, molecular biology, root and shoot metabolite analysis etc. In addition, we have our own dedicated field facilities which include a fully functional livestock and mixed cropping farm for field trials (Henfaes Research Station) and a botanical garden with newly refurbished walk-in rhizotron (Treborth), both of which are close to the University. Both field sites have established woodlands for experimentation. We also have established relationships with farmers and forestry organizations throughout the region for undertaking on-farm research. Locally, we have a range of long-term field monitoring sites in the Snowdonia National Park and the Conwy Catchment with a focus on natural ecosystem processes. Further afield, we have established links with a wide range or organizations in the UK and overseas providing access to laboratory and field facilities throughout the world.