January 13, 2017

Rachel Efrat

Rachel Efrat 400 x 400 px

PhD: Measuring Micro-Aggregate Bond Energies for Improved Modelling of Soil Fragmentation

British Geological Survey
Environmental Science Centre
Nicker Hill
NG12 5GG


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I completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science (with a study abroad) at Lancaster University. During my study abroad at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver my interest in soil science began within their exceptional faculty of land and food systems. I went on to focus my dissertation research on carbon sequestration in dry pond soil sediment and its accountability to the ‘missing sink’ of the global carbon cycle. Upon completion and thorough enjoyment of this immensely interesting project, I realised it is a key interest of mine to progress and advance, and base my career and further research on.

Research Project:

Understanding the factors influencing the stability of soils is crucial for soil sustainability and agricultural productivity. Soil aggregates are essentially the building blocks from which soil structure is composed. Our fundamental knowledge of what affects aggregate stability and fragmentation is limited. This study comprises vital research to advance our understanding of soil aggregate break down. Only recently has it been possible to accurately measure the energy required to disrupt aggregates – their bond energies. The PhD aims to refine this technique of measuring bond energies and advance our understanding of soil aggregate break down.