January 13, 2017

Nick Girkin

Nick Girkin 400 x 400 px

PhD: Tropical Forest Methane Emissions: Root Regulation of Soil Processes and Fluxes

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Gateway Building
University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Sutton Bonington

LE12 5RD


Email Nick Girkin

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As an undergraduate I studied biology at Durham University before studying MRes Ecology and Environmental Management at the University of York. During the course of my studies I became interested in the mechanisms that drive and regulate environmental change, particularly within tropical ecosystems.

Research Project:

My PhD combines these interests by focusing on the regulatory roles of root exudates and root oxygenation on methane emissions from tropical forested wetlands. Global wetlands are a significant source of methane and an important carbon store but are under significant pressure from land use and climate changes. Within wetland systems, the release of root exudates can enhance methane emissions by providing substrate for microbial communities, while the release of oxygen can raise the soil’s redox potential and increase carbon dioxide emissions. My project aims to quantify these processes with root exclusion experiments and by using labelled tracers to follow the movement of sugars through plants and into the peat.