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A sustainable policy and management of Jersey’s ecosystem services with an emphasis on soil, particularly a strategy for the increase in soil carbon sequestration

   Life and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr Sean Dettman  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

PhD Studentship: 'A sustainable policy and management of Jersey’s ecosystem services with an emphasis on soil, particularly a strategy for the increase in soil carbon sequestration'. 

Supervisors: Dr Kees Jan van Groenigen (GSI, University of Exeter, academic), Dr Tom Powell (GSI, University of Exeter, academic) and Dr Sean Dettman (JICAS, pastoral).  

Soil is an important part of Jersey’s natural capital. Its functions support ecosystem services and goods including agricultural production, carbon sequestration, regulation of water movement and quality and the conservation of biodiversity. The relationship between physical properties, soil functional performance, soil quality and how this influences ecosystem services’ delivery is complex. The scientific robustness of assessing soil quality depends on the availability of spatial and temporal data on the soil, as these reflect the variability of each property with regard to the overall assessment of soil quality (signal to noise ratio), which in turn determines a sampling strategy required to detect significant change in soil quality. Therefore, there is a requirement to assess the state of Jersey’s soils, and to monitor future trends in their condition, to inform policy and confirm the efficacy of management measures.

Working closely with staff at the Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter and officers at the Department of Natural Environment, Government of Jersey, this project will look to evaluate what scope exists for the sequestration of atmospheric carbon into Jersey soils. This study will also examine the effects on sequestration of different soil management practices (e.g. cover crops, alternative crops, inputs of composts and manures) and provide recommendations on how the island’s land sectors can contribute towards the aims of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing atmospheric carbon sequestration. Finally, this project will directly contribute to the goals set out in the climate emergency proposition adopted by the States Assembly in 2019 and to the plans on how Jersey may become carbon neutral by 2030, as outlined by the Minister for the Environment.


·      Applicants should hold or expect to gain a Masters Degree (minimum of a MERIT) in biological, environmental or natural sciences 

·      Successful application and enrolment at the Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter

·      A strong preference will be given to applicants with a research background / interest in islands. 

Funding details: 

·      Starts late January 2023 

·      3 year award 

·      Funding covers home fees tuition and carries a £16,000 stipend, paid monthly (£21,000 p.a. in total)

How to apply: 

Please send your CV and cover letter no later than FRIDAY, 20 JANUARY 2023 to Dr Sean Dettman, Director, Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies - [Email Address Removed]

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