Dr P. Roberts - Staff Profile

Dr Roberts

Dr Paula Roberts

Darlithydd Uwch mewn Rheolaeth Amgylcheddol; Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management

Darlithydd atodol y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Thoday Building, room G3

Email: p.roberts@bangor.ac.uk

Tel: 01248 382976 (from U.K.)
+44 1248 382976 (International)


logo'r Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Responsibilities within SENRGY/BU

Course Director – Rheolaeth Amgylcheddol Gynaliadwy
(Sustainable Environmental Management – Welsh medium)
Course Director – MSc Environmental and Business Management

SENRGy Examinations Officer
SENRGy Marketing and Recruitment Committee Member
Teaching Committee Member
BU’s Welsh Language Strategy Tasg Group

Qualifications and Membership of Professional Bodies

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science UWB 2002
PhD Environmental Science UWB 2006
Associate of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (AIEMA)
British Soc Soil Science
Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM)
British Ecological Society
Society of General Microbiology

Research Interests

Nutrient cycling in cold soils
Effect of climate change on soil/ plant nutrient cycling
Soil Pollution
Waste Management and Recycling
Behaviour of nanoparticles in soils

Current Projects

Global Innovations Initiative, Returning degraded land to productive landscapes.

Previous projects
NERC studentship (Anna Foster) 2011 - 2015 
NERC Short circuits in the nitrogen cycle regulate ecosystem development in the terrestrial Antarctic, Co-I with Prof D.L.Jones
Nuffield undergraduate fellowship 2011
KESS maxi PhD studentship (Rhodri Thomas) 2010 – 2013
KESS mini MRes studentahip (Dan Stephenson) 2011 - 2012
INSPIRE programme, British Council (Co – I): Linking urban waste management and farmers’ needs for soil organic matter in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Partner: Bangladesh Agricultural University. 2009-12.
Cefn Conwy, Welsh Assembly Gov’t Rural Development Programme (Co-I): Improving catchment environmental quality through better nutrient management in the livestock farming landscape, Conwy, Wales. 2009-11.

Current Research Students

Salem Irhema, Evaluating organic amendments for soil remediation.

Lucy Hale Evans, Understanding the environmental impacts of slate mining on water quality.

Abdulaziz AlMullah, DON in arid soils.

Recent Publications  


Roberts P., Gibbons J., Hill P.W., Jones D.L., Farrell M. Limited effects of land use on soil dissolved organic matter chemistry as assessed by excitation-emission fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular weight fractionation. Soil Use and Management. In Press.

Marella S.S.R., Jones D.L., Hill P.W., Roberts P. Microbial turnover of above and belowground litter components in shrublands. Pedobiologia. In Press

Foster A., Jones D.L., Cooper E.J., Roberts P. Freeze–thaw cycles have minimal effect on the mineralisation of low molecular weight, dissolved organic carbon in Arctic soils. Polar Biology DOI 10.1007/s00300-016-1914-1.


Farrell M., Hill P.W., Farrar J., DeLuca T.H., Roberts P., Kielland K., Dahlgren R., Murphy D.V., Hobbs P.J., Bardgett R.D., Jones D.L., (2013). Oligopeptides Represent a Preferred Source of Organic N Uptake: A Global Phenomenon? Ecosystems 16: 133–145.
Yuan H., Ge TD, Zhou P., Liu S., Roberts P., Zhu H., Zou Z., Tong C., Wu J., (2013). Soil microbial biomass and bacterial and fungal community structures responses to long-term fertilization in paddy soils J Soils and Sediments 13:877-886


Abaas, E., Hill, P.W., Roberts, P., Murphy, D.V., Jones, D.L., (2012) Microbial activity differentially regulates the vertical mobility of nitrogen compounds in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 53, 120-123.

Roberts, P., Jones, D.L., (2012) Microbial and plant uptake of free amino sugars in grassland soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 49, 139-149.


Ge TD & Yuan, H., Roberts, P., Jones, DL, Qin, H., Tong, C., Huang, DF., (2011) Amino acid and peptide dynamics in horticultural soils under conventional and organic management strategies. Journal of Soils and Sediments 12, 323-333. DOI 10.1007/s11368-011-0457-x

Hill PW, Farrell M, Roberts P, Farrar J, Grant H, Newsham KK, Hopkins DW, Bardgett RD, Jones DL.(2011). Soil- and enantiomer-specific metabolism of amino acids and their peptides by Antarctic soil microorganisms Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43, 2410-2416

Hill, PW, Quilliam, RS, Farrar, JF, Farrell, M, Roberts, P, Newsham, KK, Bardgett, RD, Hopkins, DW, Jones, DL (2011). Acquisition and Assimilation of Nitrogen as Peptide-Bound and D-Enantiomers of Amino Acids by Wheat. PLoS ONE 6(4): e19220. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019220.

Hill, P.W., Farrar, J., Roberts, P., Farrell, M., Grant, H. & Newsham, K.K. et al.(2011). Vascular plant success in a warming Antarctic may be due to efficient nitrogen acquisition. Nature Climate Change, 1, 50-53. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1060.


Ge, Ti-Da; Huang, Dan-Feng; Roberts, P.; Jones, D. L.; Song Shi-Wei (2010). Dynamics of Nitrogen Speciation in Horticultural Soils in Suburbs of Shanghai. Pedosphere 20, 261-272

Ge, T.-D., Song, S.-W., Roberts, P., Jones, D.L., Huang, D.-F. and Iwasaki, K. (2009) Amino acids as a nitrogen source for tomato seedlings: The use of dual-labeled (C-13, N-15) glycine to test for direct uptake by tomato seedlings. Environmental and Experimental Botany 66: 357-361.

Jan, M.T., Roberts, P., Tonheim, S.K. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Protein breakdown represents a major bottleneck in nitrogen cycling in grassland soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41: 2272-2282.

Roberts, P., Newsham, K.K., Bardgett, R.D., Farrar, J.F. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Vegetation cover regulates the quantity, quality and temporal dynamics of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in Antarctic soils. Polar Biology in press April 09.

Roberts, P., Stockdale, R., Khalid, M., Iqbal, Z. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is a poor predictor of low molecular weight organic nitrogen mineralization in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41: 1750-1752.

Roberts, P., Stockdale, R., Khalid, M., Iqbal, Z. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is a poor predictor of microbial amino acid uptake and subsequent nitrogen mineralization in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry in press April 09.


Boddy, E., Roberts, P., Hill, P.W., Farrar, J. and Jones, D.L. (2008) Turnover of low molecular weight dissolved organic C (DOC) and microbial C exhibit different temperature sensitivities in Arctic tundra soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 40: 1557-1566.

Ge, T.-D., Roberts, P., Jones, D.L., Yang, D.-D., Song, S.-W., Lu-Bo, Ming-Ding and Huang, D.-F. (2008) Influence of inorganic and organic nitrogen on enzymes of nitrogen assimilation and growth in tomato seedlings. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 83: 513-519.

Roberts, P. and Jones, D.L. (2008) Critical evaluation of methods for determining protein in soil solution. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 40: 1485-1495.


Roberts, P., Bol, R. and Jones, D.L. (2007) Free amino sugar reactions in soil in relation to soil carbon and nitrogen cycling. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 39: 3081-3092.

Roberts, P., Edwards, C.A., Edwards-Jones, G. and Jones, D.L. (2007) Responses of pot-grown flower species to commercial plant media substituted with vermicompost. Compost Science and Utilization 15: 159-166.

Roberts, P., Edwards-Jones, G. and Jones, D.L. (2007) In-vessel co-composting of green waste with biosolids and paper waste. Compost Science and Utilization 15: 272-282.

Roberts, P., Edwards-Jones, G. and Jones, D.L. (2007) Yield responses of wheat (Triticum aestivum) to vermicompost applications. Compost Science and Utilization 15: 6-15.

Roberts, P., Jones, D.L. and Bol, R. (2007) Mineralization of amino sugars in temperate grassland soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 39: 3081-3092.

Roberts, P., Jones, D.L. and Edwards-Jones, G. (2007) Yield and vitamin C content of tomatoes grown in vermicomposted wastes. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87: 1957-1963.


Roberts, P., Roberts, J.P. and Jones, D.L. (2006) Behaviour of the endocrine-disrupting chemical nonylphenol in soil: assessing the risk associated with spreading contaminated waste to land. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 38: 1812-1822.

Williams, A.P., Roberts, P., Avery, L.M., Killham, K. and Jones, D.L. (2006) Earthworms as vectors of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in soil and vermicomposts. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 58: 54-64.