September 30, 2020

Sam Walrond

Sam Walrond

PhD: Soil microbes to mitigate climate change

Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

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In 2019, I graduated from the University of Birmingham by completing an MSci Environmental Geology degree. My degree gave me opportunities to study a more diverse background of disciplines, and following a year studying at the University of British Columbia in Canada, I became increasingly interested in biogeochemical cycles. Both of my undergraduate research projects involved biogeochemical cycling, my 3rd year research project investigated the water quality of acid rock drainage from the Mam Tor Landslide under wet and dry conditions, and 4th year project investigated the Soil Nutrient dynamics under elevated atmospheric conditions at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research Free Air Carbon Enrichment (BIFoR FACE) experiment. My 4th year project plus being exposed to research at BIFoR revealed to me the complex and interconnected nature of soil and how it plays such an important role in the environment, as well as its potential to help mitigate a number of current environmental challenges.

My PhD is linked to UKCEH’s locked up project that aims to improve our understanding of the role biotic and abiotic interactions have in the stabilisation and persistence of soil organic carbon (follow link https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/locked-up). I look forward to investigating the potential to manage soil microbial communities to sequester C in soil by studying the microbial and mineralogical mechanisms involved in soil organic carbon stabilisation and persistence.