October 9, 2020

Emma Withers

Emma Withers

PhD: Extreme weather events exacerbate nitrous oxide emissions from soil (Extreme-N2O)

Location: 2nd Floor, Environment Centre Wales, Bangor University, LL57 2UW

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“I completed a BSc (hons) degree in Biochemistry at the University of Bath in 2015, before working on N14 magic angle spinning solid-state NMR at the University of Southampton. I then went on to complete an MSc in Conservation and Land Management at Bangor University in 2018. For my MSc dissertation project, I applied my knowledge of biochemistry to soil science, using untargeted metabolomics to assess soil quality and microbial function.

Since completing my MSc, I have spent the past two years working on the pan-Wales Trio Sci Cymru science outreach project as an Outreach Scientist, and then as Project Manager. This project has involved working with school children across North Wales, aiming to raise science capital and increase engagement in STEM topics. I also worked as a part-time Research Officer for the Celtic Advanced Life science Innovation Network (CALIN) during this period.

My interest in soil-plant-atmosphere interactions, the biochemical mechanisms dictating these, and the environmental significance of shifts in their dynamics, has led to undertaking my current PhD focusing on nitrous oxide emissions from soil in relation to extreme weather. Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent and commonplace. Without a thorough understanding of the significance of extreme events such as flooding and drought on N2O emissions, it is impossible to provide meaningful guidance to sculpt future policies surrounding land use and agricultural practise. Fully understanding the scale and fluctuation of greenhouse gas emissions under contrasting environmental conditions is therefore essential to ensure that climate targets are successfully met. I am completing this project in collaboration with partners at Rothamsted Research and the Met Office.

I spend most of my spare time outdoors rock climbing, kite surfing, road biking and running.

Emma Withers poster