REP Project

April 26, 2023

Managing land and soil to mitigate climate change

Location: UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) Lancaster

Duration: 10 weeks

The potential to use agricultural land and soil to mitigate climate change has risen up the political and scientific agenda in the past few years.  UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and Lancaster University (LU) lead a series of projects that are delivering new understanding regarding the role of land management to increase soil carbon storage.

The student will work with 2 major UKRI project teams. Locked Up – The role of biotic and abiotic interactions in soil carbon persistence ( and PBC4GGR: Perennial Bioenergy crops for greenhouse gas removals ( ). Both projects are improving understanding of the ways in which carbon is sequestered in soil, and how land management can be used as a climate mitigation tool.

The student will work within experienced research teams and join project meetings to experience the working environment of environmental research scientists. They will see the projects scope, design and make a small individual contribution to the work  providing an opportunity to understand how fundamental and applied research contribute evidence to policy and societal challenges

The aims for this Envision REP project are:

  • To understand how land management can influence the potential for soil carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions reductions or greenhouse gas removals from agricultural systems.
  • To investigate how soil minerals and soil microbes interact to determine soil carbon sequestration

The student will contribute to fieldwork and lab work for 2 major bioenergy crop field experiments in Lancashire and East Yorkshire, sampling GHGs, and soil cores across 2 large replicated plot experiments, then conducting labwork to measure soil nutrients and soil microbial biomass. They will also contribute to labwork and experiments investigating how soil minerals and organic matter interact to stabilise carbon in soil and assist in using isotopic and other biogeochemical techniques.

During field sampling there are opportunities for the student to take additional samples or perform additional soil analyses focused on ecosystem services or soil health e.g. water infiltration, microbial composition etc. This aspect of the project will be discussed and developed with the student to encourage their intellectual input.

To apply

We encourage applications from students from all backgrounds. Please check you meet eligibility criteria before completing the EDI Form 2023 ; this form is a mandatory part of the application process but contains ‘prefer not to say’ options for all questions asked.

Once you have completed the online data collection form you will receive an email with the application form and details of how to apply to the supervisor. The application form should be completed and emailed to the lead supervisor along with a reference from your personal tutor.