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Nicola O'Byrne

Logging impacts on forest soil biodiversity and function in Borneo

Logging impacts on forest soil biodiversity and function in Borneo 400 x 400 px

Global change including population driven land use change is putting tropical forests under pressure. Changes in forest plant and soil biodiversity as a result of logging and clearance for oil palm cultivation are altering nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas emissions and consequent feedbacks to climate. It is uncertain how these changes will affect key ecosystem functions […]

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Linking landscape-scale atmospheric ammonia concentrations with farm management practices

Linking landscape-scale atmospheric ammonia concentrations with farm management practices 400 x 400 px

This studentship explores the relationship between atmospheric ammonia concentrations at the landscape scale and agricultural management practices at the field and farm scale for predominantly grassland-based agricultural systems. Ammonia is a significant contributor to nitrogen deposition, damaging sensitive ecosystems, and largely arises from agricultural sources. There is a drive for sustainable intensification within the agricultural […]

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Linking functional diversity with soil carbon dynamics in secondary tropical forests

Linking functional diversity with soil carbon dynamics in secondary tropical forests 400 x 400 px

Tropical forests contain more carbon (C) than any other terrestrial ecosystem, at least half of which is stored belowground. Roughly 50% of the world’s tropical forests are now degraded, making them crucial for C sequestration. The regeneration of tropical forests following disturbance involves substantial changes in tree species composition, growth, and soil properties over time. […]

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Investigating the role of soil microbes and rhizodeposition in carbon cycling and long-term C sequestration of forest ecosystems

Investigating the role of soil microbes and rhizodeposition in carbon cycling and long-term C sequestration of forest ecosystems 400 x 400 px

Forests’ ecosystems and their soils represent the largest reservoir of organic carbon (C) in terrestrial ecosystems. The belowground processes of forests mediate many key biogeochemical processes, have an important role in climate regulation, and are major hotspots of biodiversity. Understanding the mechanisms controlling soil carbon sequestration and stability are essential in maximizing soil C sequestration […]

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Investigating Bering Sea oceanographic controls on the Milankovitch orbital cycle climatic shift during the middle Pleistocene

Investigating Bering Sea oceanographic controls on the Milankovitch orbital cycle climatic shift during the middle Pleistocene 400 x 400 px

Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) sponsorship secured with BGS. “The transition of Earth’s glacial-interglacial cycles from 40 kyr to 100 kyr periodicity during the middle Pleistocene (the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, MPT, ~1.2–0.6 Ma) marks one of the largest climate events of the Cenozoic, but the causes of this cooling transition remain unclear. This is […]

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Imaging the role of aggregate structure on soil hysteresis

Imaging the role of aggregate structure on soil hysteresis 400 x 400 px

Soil aggregates, essentially the building blocks from which soils are composed, control many soil properties on which our understanding of many of the major challenges facing society depend; how much air or water the soil can hold in order to grow sufficient crops to feed ourselves. By applying X-ray computed tomography, soil researchers have recently […]

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Glacial sculpting and post-glacial drowning of the Celtic Sea

Glacial sculpting and post-glacial drowning of the Celtic Sea 400 x 400 px

You will reconstruct different landform assemblages from geophysical and sedimentological data, revealing how landscapes have evolved offshore the UK and Ireland from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present day. Why do we care about palaeo-landscapes? Studying the sedimentary records of former ice sheets provides insights into ongoing changes in warming polar regions. Most […]

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Ecosystem climate feedbacks in a CO2 rich world

Ecosystem climate feedbacks in a CO2 rich world 400 x 400 px

This project investigates how increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration impacts on greenhouse gas release from wetlands which provides an important feedback on the global climate. Today natural wetlands are the greatest emitters of atmospheric methane, a process of which plants are important controls. By the end of this century atmospheric CO2 concentrations may reach 800 ppm […]

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Ecological tipping points in mangrove ecosystems

Ecological tipping points in mangrove ecosystems 400 x 400 px

Mangroves provide a wide variety of ecosystem services to some of the poorest people on the planet. Under natural conditions, mangroves can persist in an incredibly improbable edaphic (“soil”) environment, characterized by repeated wave action and high salinity, by modifying their internal environment with roots, stems and canopy. Increasingly, however, mangrove systems are subject to […]

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Early warning of landslide events using computer vision and geophysical image analysis

Early warning of landslide events using computer vision and geophysical image analysis 400 x 400 px

Many cuttings and embankments within the UK transport and utilities infrastructure networks were constructed more than 100 years ago and were poorly engineered. Consequently many of these structures are deteriorating and are prone to disruptive failure, particularly during periods of prolonged rainfall, as exemplified by recent extreme weather events. Considerable resources for maintenance and remediation […]

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