BSc Environmental Sciences (UEA). Dissertation title: Partitioning of arsenic and copper in biochar-amended mining spoil.
MSc Climate Change (UEA). Dissertation title: Direct emissions of nitrous oxide emissions from soils: A comparison of two agricultural regimes
PhD, in progress (UEA). Project title: Dual stable isotope determination of nitrogen transformation in a lowland arable catchment under different agricultural regimes.
My main research interests are in the fields of agronomy and hydrology, in particular the physiochemical influence of agricultural practices on the soil and groundwater/surface water environments.
The influence of both the hyporheic and riparian zones on nitrate transformation and attenuation is of great interest to me, as these potential zones of natural mitigation of surface and groundwater contamination. Research into this area could have an impact on the further propagation of catchment sensitive farming efforts, ultimately leading to more sustainable, environmentally sympathetic agriculture.
Based on the Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment (WDTC, Reepham, Norfolk), my PhD utilises the isotopic signature of nitrate found in groundwater and in the hyporheic zone to indicate the main processes affecting nitrogen transformations. The δ15NNO3 and δ18ONO3 values found in these sinks can aid in improving our understanding of biogeochemical cycling in arable settings and the response of these values (and indeed measured nitrate concentrations) to different agricultural practices (e.g. cover cropping, low till) can be a powerful tool in assessing the effectiveness of these alternative agricultural regimes.
Another part of my PhD will be extensive soil analyses, including cation and anion assessments as well as concentrations of organic and inorganic forms of nitrogen. This will allow for a whole catchment approach, through modelling, in understanding not only the impact of agricultural activities on the receptor (i.e. surface and groundwater), but also the behaviour of the internal stocks and flows of nitrogen throughout the catchment.
Main supervisor: Prof Kevin Hiscock
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Alina Marca
Research Affiliation: River Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment Project, UEA