2nd floor, Environment Centre Wales
B.Sc. (Hons) Dalhousie University
M.Sc. The University of Western Ontario
Functional roles of belowground biodiversity on a national-scale: the importance of soil microbes and invertebrates across Wales
Professor Davey L. Jones
Dr. David A. Robinson
Describe your research
My project will look at the importance of belowground biodiversity in providing ecosystem services. Healthy soils are needed to meet our civilisation's increasing demands for the production of food and natural materials. However, current practices, for example agricultural intensification, often lead to a swift degradation of the soil, and therefore a need to convert more natural systems to agricultural production. Furthermore, it is still unclear how changes in soil biodiversity influence ecosystem services, like food production. Now, governments are aware that more careful planning is needed to ensure long-term production. My research is being undertaken as part of the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP); this project looks at the continuing effects of the Welsh Government's latest agri-environment scheme, Glastir. The aim of my research is to identify groups of soil biota that positive influence ecosystem services so that their preservation can be incorporated into best practices for agriculture.
- Soil ecology
- Community ecology
- Land-use change
George, P.B.L., Keith, A.M., Creer, S., Barrett, G.L., Lebron, I., Emmett, B.A, Robinson, D.A., and Jones, D.L. (2017) Evaluation of mesofauna communities as soil quality indicators in a national-level monitoring programme. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 115: 547-546.
George, PBL; Lindo, Z (2015) Congruence of community structure between taxonomic identification and T-RFLP analyses in free-living soil nematodes. Pedobiologia 58: 113-117.
George, PBL; Lindo, Z (2015) Application of body size spectra to nematode trait-index analyses. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 84: 15-20.
Turnbull, MS; George, PBL; Lindo, Z (2014) Weighing in: Size spectra as a standard tool in soil community analyses. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 68: 366-372.
British Society of Soil Science
I have always enjoyed observing and studying invertebrates. This led me to pursue a degree in biology at Dalhousie University, where I studied how various agricultural practices affected mesofauna community structure. I then completed my MSc. at the University of Western Ontario, where I looked at the effects of wood ash amendment on nematode communities in forestry plantations. I then came across this STARS project, which gave me an incredible opportunity to follow my academic interests and experience a different scientific culture.