Office Telephone Number: Extn: 3689
Room details: School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography (SENRGy) F5, Thoday Building
- MSc Countryside Conservation and Management: University of the West of England
- BSc (Hons) Physical Geography: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
- BSc Environmental Science: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
- BA Anthropology: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
PhD Title (or subject area)
Investigating the impact of shelterbelts and livestock behaviour on landscape hydrology and biogeochemistry
- Andy Smith (BU)
- David Robinson (CEH)
Describe your research
My research is part of the Multi-Land Project, which aims to enhance agricultural productivity and ecosystem service resilience in multi-functional landscapes. My interest within the project focus' on tree species functional traits, soil hydraulic conditions and location on hydrology.
The increase in flooding events in the UK has brought about renewed interest in mitigation measures. It is acknowledged that hard engineering solutions can only go so far in protecting us from flood events and more attention is being given to softer solutions. In particular, there are calls for the uplands to be re-afforested and for "re-wilding" the predominantly agricultural landscape to reduce flood risk. In addition, nutrient run-off brought about by overland flow is affecting the water quality of our rivers as well as soil health. Concurrently there are also concerns over food security, rural community livelihoods and longevity as well as agricultural productivity. It is thought that these issues can partly be addressed through sustainable intensification.
Small-scale research has shown an increase in soil infiltration of 67 times under ungrazed trees compared with grazed pasture, yet other research has shown substantially smaller increases or, in some cases, no increase in soil infiltration. There is limited research on the impact of soil depth, soil type, aspect, slope, tree species, livestock impact and seasonality on the hydrological function of the soil. Furthermore, existing studies have focussed on small-scale impacts and little is known about how this might scale up to landscape-scale effects. My research aims to address some of these evidence gaps.
- Hydrology and land management, in particular hedgerow management in agricultural systems
- The inter-relationship between soil, root architecture and channels and hydrological processes
- Livestock impacts on the hydrological function of trees and soil
- Optimum species choice and positioning of trees with regards to infiltration and hydraulic conductivity as well as nutrient run-off and flood risk
- Seasonality of silvopastoral systems on hydrological function
The Multi-Land Project is one of eight research clusters of the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE). The project is a partnership between Bangor University, Aberystwyth University, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Coed Cymru, Natural Resources Wales, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Woodland Trust and National Trust.
June 2016 - present: PhD student Bangor University
2002-2016: Environment Agency/Natural Resources Wales based in Bangor but working throughout North Wales.
- Conservation/Biodiversity Officer (Terrestrial & Aquatic)
- Ecological Monitoring Officer (Freshwater & Coastal)
- Llyn Padarn Project Officer
- Agricultural Diffuse Pollution Project Officer