December 11, 2018

Bede West

Bede West

Modelling the impact of agri-environment scheme options on soil and vegetation

CEH Lancaster


Twitter: @bede_west

I am interested in how land management impacts affect ecosystems and their relationship with natural resource production. As plants are in the lowest trophic level and soils are the medium from which they grow means this makes them the two major components underpinning terrestrial ecosystems and natural resource production. Understanding and maintaining these with good management is crucial for biodiversity and sustainable management especially in the view of current global change and increasing plant disease. I am very excited to be involved in research progressing this area of work through ENVISION and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).

I am based at CEH Lancaster and my project is on modelling the impact of agri-environment scheme options on plants and soils. The project aims to answer if plant communities and soils will respond to scheme-prescribed management as well as determining timescales and levels of change. Another aim is to determine or estimate constraints on response caused by soil conditions and dispersal. A large and growing environmental monitoring data set is available from the Welsh agri-environment scheme Glastir as well as statistical and spatial modelling tools to answer the project aims. The main desired project outcome is to determine if agri-environment scheme options encourage management to achieve the intended plant and soil scheme goals, with a view to improving ecosystem health and also making natural production systems more sustainable.

My background is in ecology and botany, my undergraduate degree was forest ecology based at Bangor University. My degree was a 4 year honours degree including a semester abroad at UBC Vancouver and placement year as an ecological surveyor (AECOM Croyden). After graduating in 2015 I work at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Millenium Seed Bank at Wakehurst in Mid-Sussex for  just over 2.5 years as a Fieldwork Officer for their UK National Tree Seed Project.